As we were growing up, our elders and mentors told us what was acceptable behaviour and what wasn’t. We learned ‘society’s laws’: ‘Don’t be greedy!’ ‘It’s not nice to hit.’ ‘It’s rude to say what you are thinking.’ We also learned that a lot of what we enjoyed doing or did naturally, was disapproved by those around us.
Over time, we developed a set of beliefs that reflected what we had been told as children. We didn’t realise we had adopted them and made them our own, they were just a part of who we were once we reached adulthood. We smothered our anger when we were angry. We took the smallest piece of cake, especially if we were women. We learned to monitor what we were saying and to apply a filter before we spoke.
Eventually, we became a ‘variation’ of who we really were. We wore specific masks that reflected the company we kept, acting in a way that was acceptable for that particular group of friends or person. We forgot that all parts of us make up the complete whole of who we really are. When we thought about sharing ourselves totally, we felt the fear of being abandoned and rejected or judged, as we were during childhood.
The problem is that we are a sum of all characteristics, emotions and attributes. We may believe that hiding them is what we need to do, but lets imagine how liberating it would be to be ‘us’, totally and unconditionally? There is nothing wrong with us. All things in this world have balance. There is night and day, light and dark, light and heavy, good and bad, tall and short. Why should we be any different? Can you picture a world without symmetry, if all things were only portrayed or apparent in one half of the balance, instead of the whole?
Well, the same is true of us. We may not love our shadow side, but we need to understand it is a vital part of us. If we didn’t have anger to tap into, how could we be assertive and stick up for ourselves? If we weren’t greedy, how would we ensure we had the fair share that we deserve? If we didn’t say what we were thinking, at least some of the time, how would others know what we needed?
All too often, we believe our shadow side of us is the bad or evil part of us. However in reality, it helps us to maintain the balance that ensures we live life totally and unconditionally as who we truly are. If we looked at those outdated belief systems we accepted as our own, when we were children, really looked at them, we would see them for what they are….restrictions and rules that prevent us from loving ourselves in totality. We are here to be ‘us’, to accept us as we truly are, not to live as someone else’s opinion or perception. Embracing all aspects of who our self is the first step toward who we chose to be in this lifetime.
with love, respect and integrity