Shadow Self

Shadow Self

​It struck me the other day that staying positive for positive’s sake is not that helpful, that always seeing the world through rose coloured glasses doesn’t work all the time. Life is full of speed bumps, it is not linear and hanging on for dear life while staying firmly strapped in is sometimes the only solution.

We all have ‘stuff’ in our lives, things to deal with we would rather not. Although much preferred is the ‘Masters of our own Destiny’ approach – scuse the pun, sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. Sometimes we would rather throw the inflatable overboard and leap in hoping for a rescue boat preferably a large luxury liner with a gorgeous Captain on board. Ok I’ll stop now, and by the way where is it when it’s really needed?

Being true to ourselves and honouring how we feel must come first in these situations. Allowing ourselves to experience the sadness or pain is healthy and important. It doesn’t mean we won’t bounce back and see the world in all its magnificence tomorrow. It just means for today, we need to ‘feel’ and ‘face in’ to the emotions that surface. This serves us because we connect with the depth of who we are.
Tough emotions get a bad-wrap: pain, anger, resentment, sorrow and frustration all get the unacceptable or’ hurry up there’s others waiting’ approach. But seeing as we are human, experiencing those is essential for our health and well being. We used to do this all the time and not give it a second thought. As young ‘uns, we didn’t consider the impact on someone if we were sad or angry. This is the gift of being in touch with feelings. Small children show how they feel, work through and move on from whatever is happening around them. They can’t fake it and pretend everything is ok if it’s not.

Recently I’ve had to face into some hard truths about my life and the people in it. It hasn’t been what I would have chosen or even seen coming. They appeared in the form of blindsides and impossible choices where I had to dig deep to where my true values and core beliefs lay. I didn’t want this, and was deeply saddened by it. As I let it simmer and reality seeped in, I realised:

  • Not everyone believes in me.
  • I was witnessing the Shadow Self in others.

Let me explain.
We all have a ‘Shadow self’, the part where ugly stuff like jealousies, resentments and insecurities lie. That if we press the On button self-loathing and judgement causes a skewed and miserable view of the world. This can cause us to become mean, dishonest and manipulative etc quite easily. Our challenge becomes recognising it and turning it to Off pretty smartly. For everything light and wonderful in us, lies the exact opposite capability.  It can be a shocker, but it’s also true. Our choice becomes whether to embrace the lighter side, and be our best selves or the shadow self which is anything but.It isn’t easy, hard to recognise and manage; but being aware and staying vigilante is the key.
I have met and partied often with my Shadow Self. Usually unconsciously, but sometimes deliberately. Now I always recognise when it’s around. I’d prefer I didn’t have it – it doesn’t quite suit the image I have of myself with the Angels, if you get my drift – but there is a small part of me that does enjoy spending time with it if I’m pushed hard enough.
The aftermath in the form of later guilt counteracts the enjoyment however….
My default position is usually to err on the side of kindness and love, because I’m wired that way. I will always see the world as being wonderful and full of joy. But sometimes it just feels ‘good’ to give into the darkness that is my Shadow self.

How about you
Have you met your Shadow self yet
Is it On or Off

Please let me know if there is a topic you would like me to write on. Otherwise, feel free to comment, like or share.

Gloria Masters
Gloria Masters
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6 Comments
  • Avatar
    Jackie
    Posted at 16:53h, 18 July Reply

    Thank you for sharing, you always make it real, to make one look and check oneself to bring out the best.

    • Gloria Masters
      Gloria Masters
      Posted at 07:58h, 19 July Reply

      HI Jackie, appreciate your comment, good to self reflect at times

  • Avatar
    Abhi G
    Posted at 16:54h, 18 July Reply

    Profound words Gloria. The ‘shadow self’ is a great way of putting it as it’s always there waiting to come out as soon as the light is blocked- a shadow is made. This helped me remember to accept myself in my totality while staying aware of my dark side and knowing that I can unblock the light.

    • Gloria Masters
      Gloria Masters
      Posted at 10:40h, 19 July Reply

      Hi Abhi. Its always a challenge to see who ‘we really are’. Much easier to see the Shadow in others. Thanks for your comment

  • Avatar
    Marc Fisk
    Posted at 10:54h, 19 July Reply

    A wonderful insight. We must accept that no-one, ourselves included are either all white or all black. Rather we are all a (shifting) shade of grey.

    • Gloria Masters
      Gloria Masters
      Posted at 11:56h, 19 July Reply

      So true Marc, good to remember that when we are judging others.

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