when i first started my healing journey 10 years ago, facing my shadow or the undesirable parts of myself was one of the hardest parts of my journey. it was honestly the first time that i actually connected with myself for who i really am– a flawed and imperfect human.
i came face-to-face with my need to be right and perfect, my shame around past trauma, mistakes and shortcomings, my selfishness and self-centeredness, and ways that i had fallen asleep on myself. all of these parts of myself that were once hidden from me where now on full display. i could no longer run or hide from my shadow.
i carried an immense amount of shame and humiliation and fear. the shame ran so deep. it was the cause of self-sabotage and a belief that i was unlovable. i was humiliated by things that had been done to me and my inability to process those events in ways that cultivated wholeness and flourishing. i feared that i would be found out, and my woundedness and blindspots would harm those around me.
it was a murky and confusing time for me. but we cannot heal what we are unwilling to face. we cannot grow if we are unwilling to heal.
we cannot heal if we are unwilling to be honest with ourselves.
facing these painful realities about myself created capacities for self-awareness, empathy, and humility.
i’m still on my healing journey, learning and facing my shadow side every day. but rather than meeting my shadow with shame, humiliation and fear, i have learned to love, accept and offer gratitude.
my shadow is an invitation to offer myself love, healing and acceptance. i sit with myself like i sit with a loved one or friend who’s in pain.
i offer care.
i offer empathy.
i offer honesty wrapped in love.
i ask what they need to feel whole and loved and seen.
when my shadow side is revealed, i thank her for loving me enough to show me that there is more healing for me to embody. after i thank her, i pull up a chair, grab my journal, and have a conversation with myself.
how do you nurture your shadow?