Okay, the featured photo is Bette. She and I are very much alike – we both appreciate deep relaxation, eating treats, are a bit on the chubby side, love to sleep, and look spectacular in black! But I digress. Yes, in the first paragraph. Ha!
The Shadow is not a new topic for me. If you’d like to read about a couple of good books I’ve written about on this site, follow this link.
However, this will not be your typical post about The Shadow. That’s because I discovered something that seems to dance around the edges of the shadow but in fact, is smack dab in the middle.
Let me explain!
I’m sure many of you have heard the Native American story of The Tale of Two Wolves. It is paraphrased here:
I stumbled across the story in a training module today. As I listened, I felt warmth radiate throughout my body… like a flame, growing and glowing into a fire.
I thought of how lately, I’ve been feeding the vicious, evil wolf. I will call her Shadow. My shadow. This is the part of me that wants to jump on the insult-train in conversations and online posts, lash out at people (if only in my head), ignore others, and even in conversations with myself. <<< You’re such an idiot. You’re a fat cow. You’ll never get what you want. You’re selfish. You’re ugly. You’ve got what you deserve.
I noticed that politics had become a big problem when I used a word I would normally never, ever use to describe a certain politician. And baby, it felt good! (And bad. You know what I mean.)
As an empath and Self-Help Whisperer, I’d like to think I’m compassionate, kind, and thoughtful… and of course, I am!… but I am also a person who has biases, shame, and ugliness that shows itself from time-to-time. Like the other day, mentioned above.
We ALL have a shadow and this post is not about denying it. That would be folly or worse, emotionally dangerous.
It lurks below the surface of our carefully-crafted public-self.
“The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.” — Carl Jung, Aion (1951)
So, first, we acknowledge… it’s there.
Next, do we feed it? Especially when sometimes, it feels so good to do so!
This is my struggle.
I have tried to rise above – which I’ve said about a dozen vomitous times in the last year – so, sorry about that! But I have tried. Really hard! I have not ignored my depressive, anxious side, or other little icky things I dislike about myself. It’s all here on this blog space in living color. I’m nothing, if not a blabber-mouth.
But the really ugly underbelly? Yeah, I like to keep her under wraps. I know she’s there, sure, but…
Look, here’s a kitteh doing yoga!
(It’s actually Tess, our first girl who crossed the Rainbow Bridge five years ago! ❤ )
ADHD rocks! It comes in so handy at times like these.
Actually, The Shadow is a loathsome POS that I’d prefer not to know.
But still, hating her does nothing to get rid of her. In fact, I suspect it feeds her. All ugliness thrives in secret.
And you know what really confuses me? Some people EMBRACE their shadow and run with it! They’re feeding the bugger and proud of it. Good people who have had enough of the politicians, the pandemic, family, work, strangers… anything and everything.
Understand, I don’t mean the natural, healthy expression of anger here. That’s my public service announcement that I bet you already knew.
No, this is something else altogether.
If this post has made you think… please share your thoughts. Do you acknowledge your Shadow…
Which do you feed?