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suppressed self

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Shadow Work

Shadow work. Working on my own shadow has been one of the hardest things I've ever done for myself personally. Every time a situation upsets me, I do my shadow work. What is Shadow Work? Let me explain to you here

A shadow is an aspect of the separate self-story that, for some reason, gets repressed and then projected outward as an “other.” The “other” is a reflection of the separate self.  In other words, the thing or things which we despise in another, is within us. We box and embrace shadows. To box a shadow is to repress a negative trait and then experience a strong aversion towards others who possess that trait. To embrace a shadow is to repress a positive trait and then experience a strong attraction towards others who possess that trait.

Most people who speak of 'shadow work' mean those traits we dislike in others, which are actually characteristics we have rejected in ourselves.

The results are profound and create a catalyst for healing! Recently, I worked on my shadow and it brought a river of tears for me and with those tears, brought a realization that there lies within my soul, a child waiting to be healed. Inside of both you and I, is an inner child waiting to be spoken to and even healed. What is an inner child?   Sharing this is personal, yet I long to reach out to those of you who have experienced what I have experienced as a child of an alcoholic parent. Lately, I've been worried, that a really dear and close friend of mine, (let's call him Hank) has no time to spend with me due to his extremely demanding career.  First, I start off with my aggravating factor:  

I feel sad and hurt because I won't see Hank for a long time.

What does this mean to me?

It means that he is too busy with his lifestyle and career to spend time with me.

Assuming this is true, why would that be so bad?

It would be bad because if we don't spend time together he will forget me.

What does this mean to me?

It means that I will obviously be forgettable to Hank.

Assuming this is true, why would that be so bad?

It would mean that I am forgettable to Hank.

I AM FORGETTABLE. (Root belief)

So you see, it really isn't about Hank. It's about me. My root belief is, I AM FORGETTABLE. So the question is, why do I feel forgettable? What's causing this root belief? It's time to speak to my inner child. I must remember the very first time I felt forgettable. Here's where it gets riveting.  As a young child, I oftentimes, witnessed my father come home in a drunken stupor. Rebellious and careless, he'd come in as if he was attending some feast of a king. This particular morning, my mother sat at our custom made glass table, drank coffee as she normally did and ate wheat toast (Roman Meal to be exact). I vaguely remember the words she uttered to him, but I know they contained the words strung together that indicated he had been out all night with some "harlots" and "screwing around".

As I stood there at the table and watched in horror, my father lifted the table off of the base and slammed it back down, causing each and every piece of glass to shatter on the floor. As my mother sat there, she watched the glass break over her legs. With a blank stare in her face, she calmly got up and headed back to the kitchen. I felt like I was in a movie. I felt unreal. No one spoke to me nor even glanced at me. 

All was quite at that very moment.  As I walked into the kitchen, there stood my mother shaking violently, like a leaf, as she grabbed one of our largest kitchen knives. At the age of 9 years old, even I knew what was to follow. My mother gripped the knife so tightly, that I could see the veins in her brown skin bulging. I felt so invisible. I felt as if I wasn't there.  I felt entirely forgotten because my mother was about to kill my father, maybe even herself and I. 

I remember gently touching her forearm and pleading with her, "Mommy, please don't do it. Please don't do it." At my age, I wasn't fully aware of the ramifications, but I did know, without a reasonable doubt, that there would be bloodshed

Up until this very moment in frozen time, I felt invisible. I was forgotten. My touch on my mother's forearm brought her to the realization of the here and now. My touch and my words actually stopped something completely tragic from happening, and as an adult, that realization, even now, brings tears to my eyes as I share this story with you, my friends. I was forgotten

Part of the second phase of my shadow work was speaking to my inner child. What was I wearing? Where was I standing? Did I have on shoes? I had to then introduce to my inner child, the adult me. Which room in the house did I feel the most comfortable?  I felt comfortable in my room. It was my sanctuary. It was always clean and dust-free. The adult me walks into the scene and introduces myself to my inner child. I take my inner child into the room where I felt most comfortable. I proceed to tell her how strong, beautiful, intelligent, fabulous, vibrant, resourceful, and how memorable I am. I comfort my inner child. I make peace with my inner child. I tell her she is not forgettable. She is one amazing person, full of love and who can forget such a being? No one.

I AM UNFORGETTABLE.

This is a snippet of the profound progress made when doing shadow work. It's not easy, but it can be done. It opens doors and lifts your spirit, frees your mind and unbound it from self-limiting beliefs. For more information on working with me on Shadow Work. Contact me here.

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