Being human is a complex experience. We all have aspects of ourselves that we feel should be kept hidden in the dark, aspects that we feel shame around usually accompanied by a story around it that if we shared these parts or brought them to the light we would not be loved or accepted.
The tendency is to judge, push away, and hide these parts which actually creates the opposite effect of what we desire because when we approach our shadow side in this way it will actually need to get louder and possibly even be destructive in our lives and our relationships in order to get our attention.
What if I told you every single human being has shadow parts?
What if I told you that what the shadow needs is to be seen, heard and acknowledged and by developing a relationship with it you can work WITH it rather than against it?
Building a relationship with these aspects of ourselves is what allows them to be soothed and is a key component in self-regulation.
The first step is awareness around these shadow aspects. When my shadow shows up the experience is a cocktail of feelings of abandonment, deep loneliness and seemingly never ending grief. It feels heavy in my chest and like it will never lift. The thoughts I experience are that it will always be this way, there is no way out and I am a burden to others if I share with them.
Your cocktail may be somewhat different but whatever comes up needs us to connect to it, without shame, without judgment but instead with compassion and love. (Basically the answer is always going to be compassion and love for every single question when wondering how to relate better to ourselves and others).
Next time you find yourself experiencing your shadow – close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and ask your shadow what it is needing? What does it need from you? To be seen? Heard? Witnessed? Loved unconditionally? What is it?
What you are feeling is very likely unprocessed pain from the past that needs to be felt in a loving and non-judgmental space and rather than push it down and judge it – can you just allow it to be what it is? Allow it to exist. Sit with it as though you were sitting with a child who is in emotional pain and hold it with love.
When we can do that oftentimes we will feel some relief but we don’t do it with the intention to change the experience. The intention is to create a safe and loving space for those parts of ourselves to receive what they are needing. We create a safe space that was not created for us as children when we had big emotions. This is an aspect of reparenting ourselves and tending to our inner child/teenager.
This is a practice of unconditional love for self.
When we love ourselves in this way, we create the energetic space for others to love us (ALL PARTS!) without conditions.
If your shadow side has been coming up and you need some support in loving all parts of yourself please click this link for support: