Facing Your Shadow

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What are you so afraid of?

It’s no secret that there are parts of ourselves that we keep hidden from others, but what is to be said about the parts of ourselves that we keep hidden from ourselves? If you’re anything like me, you didn’t even realize these parts existed until major trauma caused them to reveal themselves.

Can you look upon these parts that make up the entirety of your being and not place a limit upon their existence?

Can you accept them and still love yourself wholeheartedly?

…Or will you choose to turn and look away as if these parts do not exist? Many people do so you wouldn’t be alone, but I caution you, there is a heavy price to pay if this is the choice you make.

Your shadow is made up of all of the darker parts of your soul; fear, anger, shame, guilt, residual trauma, and the like. And the more we repress this, the larger it grows. Shadows can be scary sometimes, especially to children. A shadow when brought closer to the light will grow larger in size, so in theory when you expose your shadow it can be overwhelming and therefore repression is more appealing.

When you choose to walk away and ignore your shadow, you’ll see it still; perhaps in other things. It will reflect in the world around you. You’ll become offended easily by the things people say and do. Upon integrating your whole self, if you look back you’ll notice that the things that triggered the largest responses were the very things you hated the most about yourself (even if you weren’t conscious about them at the time).

So how can you face your shadow?

    Stop expecting life to be uneventful and painless, but rather understand that life is a series of lessons from which you can grow.
    Look back at it. Look at your shadow. Look at all of the parts you don’t want to see. Acknowledge them and resolve to love yourselves anyways.
    Learn to bend; you are not in control of this process, and if you believe you are, you will surely break or worse, not integrate at all.
    Stop picking sides. This isn’t high school or a video game, it is a spiritual journey and you do not have to choose which part of yourself you like best. Just be honest about your intention to heal and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

We are born free from inhibition and immediately programmed to repress emotion; we all have the ability to heal the inner child and stop bleeding all over ourselves and each other if we choose to put in the work.

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