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Where are you hiding your personal shadow? – ep. 4

Where are you hiding your personal shadow-ep-4-Empowerment Coaching Krakow Blog

Whatever divisions are a matter of the contract, they are not a feature of reality. And while, as I said before, it may be useful to divide in some cases, it should not be forgotten that we are the creators of them. This will save us from problems.

But don't get me wrong. I am not saying that you should passively succumb to bad things and let them bother you or other people. What I'm trying to say is that when you judge certain things as bad, you get rid of them within you. But then, by not owning them, you attract more of them in your life and thus you are the cause of your suffering yourself as well as expressing these abandoned qualities in a hidden and dysfunctional way. Who would want that?

Why are the divisions in our minds dangerous?

So why am I making so much fuss about the topic of dividing up, and in particular the Black and White Games? What's wrong with wanting things to go a certain way? Well ... nothing, as long as you do it gently. But most of us don't do it that way. The truth is, as a human being, I have strong preferences. I care more about my children than yours. I care more about my car than yours.

To be human is to covet certain things. Without craving, you would not eat, you would not run away from the cold, and you would not pursue procreation. And the entire human race would come to an end. However, when you prefer the extreme version of the Black and White Game, in which the White has to win, and when you feel a strong resistance on the Black side of the equation, you are condemning yourself to suffer.

How we doom ourselves to suffering

Why? Because you put yourself in a situation where you cannot succeed, where you try to get rid of something that cannot disappear and win over something that cannot be defeated. First, what you resist is just your mental idea, and second, because it's one side of the coin, you can't get rid of it without getting rid of the whole - which is the other side as well.

Shedding an aspect of myself - what I call shadow-making - is the result of the Black and White Game. If you have experienced any trauma, what is associated with it automatically falls into the category of Black. You stop being the owner of this aspect in yourself and start not to like it in others. And as long as you are unaware of it, you will focus on avoiding this aspect of your life, which paradoxically causes you to attract this repressed quality and express it in hidden and dysfunctional ways.

The more trauma you have experienced in your childhood (e.g. fear, anger, shame, disappointment), the more likely you are to play the extreme version of the Black & Black Game - in other words, the more likely you are to have more shadows in you. It also means that the easier you will be pushed over your equilibrium threshold and the more you will concentrate on avoiding what you don't want.

When you focus on what you don't want, you feel bad because all bad feelings are the result of focusing on what you don't want. And because your mind takes your focus on these things as an instruction to keep looking for them - you will unconsciously attract even more of what you think is Black - what is your shadow and what you don't want in your life.

If your father yelled at you as a child, it was probably traumatic. If at the moment another authority - such as the boss - is tearing away, it is very likely that you are making an automatic connection of negative childhood emotions with your current boss. You drag your past trauma - or more precisely, your image of it - into the present and tie it to your boss. When he yells, you start to feel the same fear you felt when you were a child.

As a result, other authorities, especially those with a more aggressive lifestyle, also become part of your Black Category. Focusing on avoiding them is a source of suffering.

Moreover, if authority is your shadow, you will be externalizing all the qualities you dislike about them in a covert and dysfunctional way. You can be stubborn, imperious, ruthless, or never change your mind. And everyone will see it in you - except you.

If you become the owner of your shadows again (in other words, you consciously admit that like all people you have them in you and you become an extreme Black and Black Game), the immature version of these qualities will start to transform into e.g. honest leadership, wisdom, perhaps being a mentor.

What is the difference between awareness and knowledge

What makes you bring your shadows back to life is awareness. As long as you act unconsciously, all this dynamics is autopilot, and you suffer and suffer the consequences.

As I wrote in one of my posts, you can only act against yourself unconsciously. When you become aware of it - when you are able to observe your action as it happens and see the consequences as it occurs - it becomes extremely difficult to carry on with something that does not serve you.

Please also remember that being aware is not the same as knowing. Awareness is the ability to observe an action and its consequences as they occur. Knowing is purely intellectual. To know is a consolation prize in the field of personal development.

What irritates you the most and how to deal with it?

So I encourage you to sit down and make a list of all those "things" that trigger negative feelings in you when you notice them in others. Perhaps you are irritated by smart, stupid, dishonest, selfish, stubborn, critical, controlling, unorganized, perverse people, etc. What really irritates you the most?

You can also create a list of qualities that fall under your "White" category as well as those you consider "Black".

Then select one quality from the "Black" category or those that irritate you in others, and let it speak for you. Aloud or in writing. Help her get out of the nooks and crannies and express herself. See what this abandoned part of you has to say. If you have denied being a victim, let that voice speak for you. Each of us feels wronged sometimes, so let us allow this part of ourselves to be open. Whatever your shadow is, it has something to say, and by allowing it to do so, you become conscious and it gives you a choice.

As you begin to repeat this practice regularly, the areas of your life where you usually experience bad feelings will begin to change. Believe me, it is possible. And when that happens, you will "fly away" in a very positive way. The positive changes in your life will be huge, I promise. I've done it myself in my life and changed in ways that I couldn't even imagine.

The same may be yours.


The author of the text is Bill Harris, the late founder of Centerpointe Research Institute

Headers and underlines in text: Empowerment Coaching

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