you and me

Learning To Love Your Shadow.

We can all get triggered and feel ashamed at times. We can all wish we didn’t react in certain ways.

But these situations hold so much wisdom for us, if only we’ll look more closely. We all have a shadow side. We all have darkness within us. And the more we try to push it down, the more it tries to fight its way to the surface.

If we can look squarely at it instead, embracing it as a valuable part of who we are and as nothing to be ashamed of, we’ll have a much smoother ride.

It’s natural to be afraid of the dark. We don’t know what lurks there. We’d rather things were as light, bright and clear as possible. We want things to be good and easy.

But the darkness, and those deeper, more uncomfortable places within us, can hold so much power and wisdom, if only we’ll be brave enough to look. If we can grow to be less afraid of the dark, we can understand all the gifts it has to offer.

We all have things about ourselves that we don’t particularly like. But if we can look at those parts of us and understand why they’re there, we can see why we’re triggered in certain situations, and start to free ourselves from the unconscious patterns that we otherwise play out over and over again.

We may want to change behaviors and the way we react to things, but we don’t need to change who we are.

Question the weights and assumptions you carry. Question the feeling of being under pressure or having to be a certain way. Life is stressful enough. Don’t add to it unnecessarily.

Be kind to yourself instead. Please. Make things easier for yourself where you can. Give yourself a break. Go gently.

Take the pressure off and release the weight of expectation — both yours and other people’s.

We have to be brave enough to look at what we fear may be ugly or weak, so we can transform those beliefs and see the truth.

The things you are most ashamed of aren’t you at all. They are behaviors triggered by old wounds. These wounds need care and attention. They need to be cleaned out and healed.

And the best way to do that is to acknowledge that they’re there; to be with them unconditionally. To see what they’re telling us about what really motivates us, what we’re really afraid of, and what we really want. Then they can be brought into the light and transformed.

Who you are underneath it all is already perfect. You are more beautiful than you know — all of you, the light and the shade.

So don’t run away from the darkness, from the things that scare you the most. From the parts of yourself you find most ugly or shameful. Turn towards them, and sit with them unconditionally. Show them some love and watch the alchemy unfold.

Expose the darkness to the light and let the two blend together, knowing there is room for it all.

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KellySalterKelly Burns is a UK-based writer specializing in women’s health and the mind-body connection. She writes for both print and online publications, working on a flexible and freelance basis. She also provides expert opinion to the media, and is the author of the Inner Jewel Weekly blog. You can get in touch with Kelly via her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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