Rainbow MagnifiCat investigating HER shadow side
I’m seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about people defriending others due to political beliefs. I’m aware that my rate of deleting posts I’ve typed before publishing them has increased massively since last night, too (and am conscious that a friend joked about a secret tool they have to read deleted posts!).
So I thought I’d spend some time with my shadow today. Jung popularised the idea of our shadow selves, where we project what we’ve disowned in ourselves onto others (be they loved ones, colleagues, strangers, politicians or people from other parts of the world and religions).
The bad news is that this leads to much acting out unconsciously.
The good news is that by reclaiming those unloved aspects of ourselves, WE CAN HEAL. We literally become more whole.
Thinking about this in the pool today, I realised that one of my personal triggers is people blocking the lane in the swimming (it’s a verb) pool. They could be standing to chat in a million other places, my incensed thought processes rant, and there are so few places to swim…
And on a good day, I can smile to myself recognising that this little Grr may have more to do with me than with the thoughtless people chattering away (ditto people blocking doorways, cycle paths, putting feet on train seats etc – I could go on but will restrain myself).
I can ask myself if there may be (even a teeny tiny) part of myself that may be jealous of their casual oblivious approach to life? That maybe I can acknowledge that swanning through life with less consideration for others could potentially be more fun. And as soon as I can acknowledge that, yes, of course, there’s a thoughtless, oblivious aspect of my own personality, I suddenly feel far less bothered by the previously seemingly Evil Lane Blockers.
Sometimes, like today, as soon as I have that epiphany, they move away!
I have a tendency to be overly empathic sometimes, focusing more on others’ needs than my own. This can be a useful thing (in my work, for example) but I’ve also worked hard to dial it back in my personal life as it’s not helpful (or fun!).
By being aware of this shadow aspect to caring and empathy (RAGE towards thoughtless people who don’t give a ****), I’m better able (progress not perfection) to own my own stuff and have a much nicer swim / bike ride / train journey / life etc.
If I remained oblivious to my own shadow, I might act out (swimming violently to SPLASH said Evil Lane Blockers (I’m joking, they’re totally normal people, just like you and me) or even saying, ‘Excuse me!’ in a slightly passive aggressive way.
You get the picture…
What springs to mind when you think about the people and situations that irritate / infuriate you the most?
Think about who makes you go ‘Grr!’ (if you want to – this is not for the fainthearted. Our shadow aspects are parts of ourselves that we, at some stage, unconsciously deemed So Awful, we cut them off, burying them in the dark).
Does a particular person (known personally or maybe on social media or on TV – anyone at all) really trigger you?
If you were Really Honest with yourself, what might your irritation or anger be trying to tell you about an unclaimed shadow aspect of yourself?
I’d love to hear your thoughts (if you’re happy to share) so do feel free to use the Comments section below and let me know what makes you go Grr and what that means to you?
And, of course, if you’d like to explore this in more depth, do get in touch.