Our shadow side is the side of us that we try to keep hidden from other people. It's the well-spring of our defensiveness and the personality traits that keep us from peace with ourselves and others.
We all have one and we've learned, rightly or incorrectly, that exposure of the dreaded shadow creates chaos for us.
The path to health is recognition of the shadowy fella and a welcoming of him into the sunshine. This path is also strewn with the obstaces of fear, social disapproval, feelings of worthlessness and failure.
But keeping him in the closet keeps a large part of ourselves cut off from the acceptance by others which we need. Denying our shadow thwarts our growth and self-esteem.
Seems so counter-intuitive to think of acceptance of our darkness being the way to walk in the light, doesn't it? It should just be hidden away and then it doesn't exist, right?
Do you see the shadow in others? Do you mention it? Can you see the shadow of yourself? Do you publicly acknowledge it?
I posted this because sometimes when someone's shadow has suddenly popped out and caused them a problem, I will mention it. In social discourse that tends to be a no-no. And sometimes people will express their displeasure at my comments.
It's like that old "elephant in the living room" story. It's there. Everything we are presently doing centers around it. But it is not nice to acknowledge its presence.
The problem then becomes, "How do you solve a problem when you won't acknowledge what it actually is?" Generally we do this by projecting "His Ickiness" onto others. But that doesn't work so well. Usually it distracts us from the issue and off we go, once again fencing with shadows, everyone defensively denying their own.
We can see this so clearly when others are doing it. And when we are, it takes a tremendous amount of courage and self-awareness to recognize it. Even more to publicly acknowledge it.
I'd like to hear others' thoughts on how they deal with their own shadow or that rascally and problematic shadow that the other guy has. (It's worse than my own, you know! )