I’ve been taking a deep look at shadow work recently.
Looking into your depths to find out what’s there. Hiding from you.
Or not so much hiding. Blocked and suppressed by your ego.
We feel everything and we are everything.
We are all of that. What we see in others, is what lies within ourselves.
ALL of it.
When you find yourself judging someone or giving them advice. Listen and notice. What is it about yourself that you are hiding?
For me, I would complain and judge others who were ‘lazy’, who would say they would do things and then not do them. I would analyse and try to understand what it was about them that held them back. I would comment about how they should change and what they could do to change. Giving advice, encouraging them on and judging them for not making a move.
I had already understood that I procrastinated and self-sabotaged a few months ago, however, the past few weeks I’ve come to understand that this is part of my shadow too.
I was judging others for saying and not doing because I was trying to deflect the fact that I had had so many business ideas but never acted on them. It was a part of myself that I didn’t want to face. Underneath, fear held me back from starting a business. I made lots of excuses as to why now wasn’t the time to start. So anyone who showed that quality in any area of their life used to trigger me. Because my shadow part could see it. The unconscious part of me recognised it. The conscious part of me, only now.
The underlying fear here is fear of failure. Also fear of success. Maintaining success. Being seen as successful I am too seen, standing out too much. Being too much. I was bullied a lot in my teenage years and my 20s so I learnt to not be seen, to be too much. To stand out in a way that could be threatening to other people. Especially other women.
When we hide from the parts of us that we want to reject, that we feel shame or guilt over. We squash them down, deny they exist. Deny they’re a part of us. Instead we need to fully embrace them. They have served to protect us in whatever way they have. They have served us at some point in our lives. To be whole is to accept all aspects of ourselves. We are contrasts and everything in between. To experience light we need to know the dark. How can you know what happiness feels like if you’ve never fallen into sadness? What does courage feel like if you haven’t connected to your fear?
Wholeness is accepting and celebrating it all.
So I stood in the mirror and I celebrated the fact that I’m afraid of failing and I’m afraid of success. I said it with pride, with conviction. I lifted my hands in the air and gave myself a good shake and celebrated the fact that:
I AM AFRAID OF FAILING.
I AM AFRAID OF SUCCEEDING.
After doing this a few times, the feeling isn’t as strong. It doesn’t hold me the same. And now I’ve noticed that I judge less people’s inability to move forward where they say they want to. Because I recognise that they also have the fear. And that’s OK. They just haven’t learnt to embrace it yet.
Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at email@example.com.