My recent experience with domestic violence really made me realize how I was not fully owning my shadow, my “dark” side, so to speak.
Our shadow encapsulates all about our selves that we aren’t exactly happy about, proud of or, sometimes, even aware of. It is all the things about us that aren’t always (in any obvious way) for our highest good. It can also include the good things about ourselves that we have dissociated or disconnected from.
Our shadow includes things like:
- A quick temper
- A penchant for judging others
- Avoidance behaviors
- Catty-ness or a flair for gossip
As well as all the strengths we have that we don’t recognize in ourselves.
In my case, my shadow included my denial of my role in attracting abusive men into my life. I wasn’t fulling owning my active participation in selecting men who would abuse me in some way. And because I didn’t own that part of myself, I wasn’t able to see the red flags and get out of a situation before it became dangerous.
We all have a shadow self … and that’s a good thing. Our shadow helps our light shine brighter. Our shadow challenges us to grow and evolve. Our shadow makes us human and vulnerable.
But when we ignore our shadow, avoid or deny it, it can rise up and bite us in the butt!
Are you owning your shadow? Are you aware of the things about you that are less than rosy? Do you take them into account when you go about your day-to-day life? Are you acknowledging all of your strengths? If not, you will find yourself facing the same (sometimes unpleasant) lessons over and over again.
I encourage you to always be on the look out for evidence of your shadow self. Embrace it and the lessons it is there to teach you. When you do, you will move along your journey at a much more pleasant pace … and you will become more and more of the person you were meant to be, empowering you to help the people you were meant to help.
Now its your turn:
What are your thoughts about owning your shadow self? What experiences have you had that woke you up to shadow aspects of who you are? Please share your insights, lessons, stories and wisdom in a comment below.