The Woman in the Mirror and the Power of Her Shadow Work
“A man is whole only when he takes into account his shadow.” ~ Djuna Barnes
The human consciousness is an amazingly beautiful masterpiece. We are born with a pure canvas, connected to the Divine Creator with access to divine knowledge and wisdom. Then some point in our childhood, some experience, some interruption in development, we learn knowledge that teaches us to judge. We judge things as right or wrong. Good or bad. Holy or evil. Like Eve, from the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible, once we eat from this tree of knowledge, the shadows within us are born. We start dividing and judging our own selves as right, wrong, good, bad, holy, or evil. Those feelings that we judge as wrong, bad, and evil, serve as magnets to attract to us others who hold the same judgments against themselves. They plug right in and then we deny, resent, reject or project our internal feelings.
We straight up lie! We deny when we’ve done something inappropriate and we resent when someone calls us out on our “stuff.” We reject to see the truth, and we project the feelings we deny about ourselves onto others.
One of the most dishonest and dishonorable conversations I despise engaging in is when someone is straight up lying and will flip it to cause an argument and make me the liar or wrong. That was until I stopped taking it personally. Once I began seeing myself and realized that they were reflections of my shadow self, I was able to both educate and extend grace. When we are embarrassed or afraid of telling the truth, it becomes easier for us to point the finger and project on others to make them wrong. When anger or frustrations aren’t expressed, somebody or some experience is being attracted into your life to express it for you and ten times out of ten, you won’t like it! We end up even more upset but dare not say anything, and project that frustration onto others by acting out in inappropriate behaviors. These behaviors can come out as anger, the silent treatment, passive aggressiveness, and my favorite, the smile. All of these are the same. They are masks that we wear to cover up our fears and our shadow selves. The parts of us we don’t want anybody to know.
Many of us show the world the representation of who we think we should be or who we think they want us to be, rather than showing the shadow parts of ourselves. This part of our unconscious mind is what holds restrained ideas and instincts, weaknesses, desires, and disturbing fears. Wearing social masks becomes much easier than facing ourselves. So, what happens when we don’t tell the truth to ourselves about ourselves? We become and show up as inauthentic. Jennifer Lewis, the proclaimed “Mother of Hollywood,” said “If you sit in shit too long, it stops smelling.” Taking this a step further, it stops stinking to us. We no longer smell it and believe the mask covers it up. The gotcha is others can smell it. Energy doesn’t lie, and you can only hide "fake-ness," but for so long.
When we stop “smelling our shit,” we become irresponsible with our feelings and emotions, oftentimes, hiding behind the guise of accepting only the ones “God approved” like peace, love, harmony, and joy, while we ignore our tendencies to be jealous, envious, ashamed, or even manipulative.
When we deny or are afraid to acknowledge the shadows that live within us, it’s a challenge to experience a reprieve from it. We cannot heal what is not revealed. This causes absolute chaos within our psyche and stifles the very creative energy we were born with. Ignoring the shadow self and not acknowledging that it’s there keeps us stuck and unable to grow or live the life of energetic freedom that all of us desire. Let’s be clear, other people are our mirrors. They reflect back to us the emotions and feelings we repress and hide. When people continue to come into your life and show you the parts of yourself that you’ve been hiding, it is a divine opportunity to practice the principle of ownership or as I sometimes tell myself, “own your shit.” When we own the parts of us that we have denied or hidden, we reclaim the power by taking responsibility and transforming our experiences into something new and more desired.
This is freedom. This is accepting our duality. This is accepting the blessing of knowing that all things work together for our good.
Like what you've learned? Get more of these teachings in my book, the BEING WOMAN ~ A Sacred Journey of Reconnecting to the Divine Truth of Who You Are. In the book I share personal stories of my experience and practical tools to support you on your own journey! Get the book now on Amazon!
See you next week for another empowering blog post!