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Shadow work. Open the doors.

Let me start by saying thank you. This is my 300th post and I wanted to let all of you who continue to read my blog and often email me about them, that I truly appreciate you. Obviously I’m a work in progress. I think we all are. And I love that we can learn from one another. So bare with me as I continue to share…

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of ‘Shadow Work.’ For those who don’t know what that is, it’s basically acknowledging the parts in yourself that you’ve hidden because you don’t like them or have been told are bad.

I’m currently reading ‘The Dark Side of the Light Chasers,’ by Debbie Ford. She really dives in to it. One of the things she writes I really love. Not doing it justice here, but she basically says it’s like we have this huge mansion with a ton of bedrooms. The bedrooms with the stuff about ourselves that we like, well, we keep those doors open. But the stuff we don’t like about ourselves? That stuff stays in rooms where we close the doors. Because we don’t want to look at it. Those are our shadow pieces.

With shadow work, you’re supposed to face those things about yourself that you don’t like, or won’t look at, and accept them. By acknowledging them, we can often diffuse them and change a behavior.

One of the things that was confusing to me when I started this work was how people say that what you see and dislike in others is mirroring some part of yourself. And I guess I’ll admit that I have seen some stuff like that in myself. Maybe I’ve looked at someone and seen them act in a certain way because they’re jealous. And I’ve realized that I too have held on to some jealousy. Yes, sometimes it is as easy as that.

However, I’ve recently been faced with a shadow that I just couldn’t justify as one of my own behaviors. Being vulnerable here, but betrayal and ‘being made to feel small’ has been coming up for me. In my passed, I’ve been betrayed and have felt small. But I just couldn’t see myself as betraying others or consciously making them feel small. But a couple of friends helped me look at it another way. They helped me realize that I WAS betraying someone. I was making someone feel small.

And that someone was me.

By allowing others to make me feel bad about myself, I was betraying MYSELF. I wasn’t setting boundaries. I was allowing myself to be treated in a certain, unacceptable way. Whew! Kind of a big ah-ha moment for me.

So I guess what I’m trying to say here is we should all be paying attention to how we treat ourselves…and we should all work on opening all our doors.

Live and learn with love…

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