Maybe, given the number of posts that I’ve written relating to this theme, it’s not surprising that I’ve chosen “shadow” for one of my S prompts. The whole idea of “Shadow” is that all the things you don’t like about yourself wind up tucked away in a closet at the back of your Self where you stuff them to try and pretend they don’t exist… which never works.
For a long time, I figured that “shadow” was specific to “dangerous” things in the sense of “things that other people would perceive as dangerous” – you know, things that get you in trouble, things that “Good Girls Don’t” do, that kind of thing. It never occurred to me (until very recently, at least) that people’s insecurities, their meekness, that which is “dangerous” because it makes them (feel) vulnerable (rather than harmful-to-others or unwantable or something) could end up there, too.
I once did a “Guided Meditation” thing wherein my then-counselor took me on a trip in my own brain. I got to ride the Personal Bus and see who else was on there.
There was a man on my bus who dressed like a rough rocker type and who had a ring in his nose, and whose head was that of a boar or a bull (but I’m not at all sure which, because it kept changing), who looked scary and intimidating but who was really a bit of a gentle sweetheart. There was an unhappy, rather lonely lesbian with diamond earrings and jeans (who actually looks like someone I’ve now met… huh…). There was an old woman (who looked so much like the 4-of-Earth card in my tarot deck, it’s mind-boggling) name Angela who was bitter and hurting because nobody took care of her and a very young little girl (like between 4 and 7) also named Angela who wanted/needed to be taken care of but was wasn’t bitter or hurting about it yet, and still possessed some wonder about the world.
There were others, apparently, but I didn’t see them.
My counselor said that I was unusual because, while most people have one side of their Mental Bus all full, and the other side mostly empty – that all of their Shadow People fall along the same lines, so to speak – for me, if I had a person on the right who was imperious, sexual, and entitled (The Wicked Queen, let’s call her), I’d also have a person on the left who was the naïve, vulnerable, childish (child-like?) shadow of The Ingénue. Apparently there are a lot of parts of myself that I’ve learned (in whatever way) are “unacceptable” or “dangerous” for me.
I don’t have a clue why that is, but there it is. (Is this why I’m constantly frozen with indecision? …Perhaps).
I’ve heard it said – everywhere from self-help books to mythology classes to writing workshops – that what scares [you] most is where you have to go.
I know what scares me most.
And boy-howdy does it ever scare me, for more reasons than one. But there it is. So… down I go. At least I think I’ve found a way of putting my feet in that water without completely risking drowning. :-\
Wish me luck.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
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