Some of you reading this may be familiar with “shadow work.” For those who aren’t, shadow work is about taking a courageous look at who we are at our worst. or what we think of as our worst. To use myself as an example, my outward persona, for those who know me, is someone who is kind, thoughtful, compassionate, generous, and selfless, which is true, except for the times when I’m not. The parts of myself that I may not willingly hold up for public scrutiny are those times when I lose my temper and patience with my mother who has dementia. I know she has no control over the countless times she repeats the same question, and there are many times I allow that to frustrate and anger me, regardless.
Through much of life, I’ve looked at others who appear self-confident to the point of arrogance. Or those who, in my perception, can say “no” and put themselves first so easily, and I've labeled them “selfish,” where “selfish” has had a negative connotation to me. What I’ve failed to understand until recently, is that my development opportunity is to embrace those parts of myself: to create stronger boundaries in my ability to say no - to put myself first, particularly when it involves taking care of myself: To be able to stand tall in my strengths and to make those known, in service to my larger purpose. These insights were further illuminated in my work with archetypes (Carl Jung, Carol Pearson) and the discovery of the stories I live in, and those that I tend to disavow. If you’d like to hear more, please email me about this valuable work!