The Nasty Little Shadow-Self

Overall, I’d consider myself a pretty happy person.

I have low moments where I struggle with motivation… I still have the occasional moment of anxiety (which is thankfully no longer a daily, overwhelming occurrence)… I get mad when people are jerks/unfair to others/embodying entitlement or victimhood… But generally, I’d say I’m a positive, happy person. So how did I get there?

I am introspective and reflective, basically all the time.

Which if I’m honest, is kind of exhausting sometimes… but let me tell you why it’s worth the effort.
When you’re being conscious and aware in your daily life, you observe the things that you react to… and you get to know these really intimate sides of yourself, and you can recognize not only what you’re feeling, but why you’re feeling it. The understanding is key.

egoHowever… if you let your guard down… the nasty little shadow-self (some will call it the ego) will sneak in like a thief in the night and rob you of your happiness.

So why is the ego less effective when your guard is up? Well – you can see it coming. You observe what you’re feeling and you uncover why you’re feeling it. This strips the ego of its power and puts you in the driver’s seat. If you remain curious, instead of condemning yourself, you will get something out of every experience… which means even the “bad” stuff isn’t so much bad as it is opportunity to learn and grow.

I’ve had two incidents lately where I’ve felt this profound sadness…. once in breath work, and it came as a big (NECESSARY) energetic release… and once last night… where a kind of blue feeling day completely consumed me. And I wept… BIG, DEEP tears… I had a sadness in me that went so far back… I was moving old, dense energy tied to this old belief system of inadequacy, which when I’m conscious and aware has zero effect on me, but stress and a busy schedule got me to let my guard down, and guess who snuck in?

That nasty little shadow-self!

alleyHere’s how I imagine it… I’m strutting down a street and I come upon a fork in the road…. The shadow-self is 3 steps behind me. If I take the left side of the fork, I continue in the daylight – confident, positive, aware and observant… but if I’m not looking where I’m going (maybe I’m engrossed in my phone, and not checking a map), I may stumble to the right part of the fork… and it’s dark there… and there’s this doubt that creeps in… and next thing I know, my purse is stolen and the nasty little shadow is whispering in my ear any old thing that ever hurt me… any lie I believed to be true about myself… and because he stays close, he knows exactly what to say and what will hurt most.

He always goes for the hurt… never the kill.
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Yesterday, when that happened… I cried… and it was BIG… and my husband held me tight and told me it was okay… and that I am good. All I could say was “This is old hurt… it’s not you” and hours later, I told him that I felt little… like really little… and that I’d been feeling like my best wasn’t good enough and then I remembered that when I was 3, my younger brother could write his name before I could. This is the first time I can remember feeling less-than. And when I’m on the right side of the fork, the dark side, none of my successes matter, because when I was 3, I couldn’t write my name and my little brother could.

Remember darlings: the voice in your head lies.

And in the moment, you feel powerless, but you’re not. Because the powerlessness is another lie, whispered in your ear on the right side of the fork in the road.

So when you feel the darkness wash over you… when the whispering voice gets louder than is comfortable, just stop… observe… pause and try to comprehend… to learn… to grow… Because interestingly, even though it’s the shadow-self, it can’t exist in the light.

Loving you always,

seryna signed