Remember this scene in Peter Pan? He couldn’t live without his shadow and was willing to risk being seen by others in order to get it back. He even sewed it on he loved it so much!
When most of us think of our shadow, we think about that silhouette we see when there is a contrast between light and dark. But our shadow self is really the side of our personality that contains all of those unappealing parts of ourselves that we don’t want to admit to having and certainly don’t want anyone to see.
Most of us may not even give our shadow side a second thought and it will therefore remain unconscious. When life starts to serve up the same bs to you over and over again or you are forced, jarred or otherwise catapulted from your la di da existence, then you become what is called self-aware and just like magic, your shadow self appears. It whispers in your ear in a creepy little voice, “Hello there stranger. I think it’s time we got acquainted.”
Your shadow self wants you to acknowledge it! It is tired of being hidden away like a secret lover or a family member you’re ashamed of. It begs you to look at it, honor it and give it light.
Why is it we think our shadow selves are so heinous? We tell ourselves that these characteristics we have are too unsightly for others to see, so we hide them away (in the shadows if you will) and pretend we are someone else. We may go so far as to invent a new persona altogether.
We become very leery of who we share our “dark” side with. We may even have a whole different set of friends and we never let the two groups meet. We may carry on as though our world is perfect, when we might be one bottle away from drinking ourselves to death. We may smile at everyone and then go home and cry ourselves to sleep.
What is it about the perfect facade that draws so many of us to it? Well, I can only tell you from experience that when someone presents themselves as perfect and you take the bait, it’s because you’ve got some shadow work to do yourself.
Perfect=highly dysfunctional. When people try too hard or never share their thoughts, they have got some baggage, and I’m not talking a carry-on here. They’ve got the whole set of luggage and bought two more because they were on sale!
I think the so-called ugly side of people is their most attractive quality. I call it being real. It seems to be a rare quality these days, which is why I personally find it so alluring.
What is your shadow side? What do you think is so wretched about yourself that you can’t share it? Show it? Embrace it?
Maybe today is the day you take a note out of Peter Pan’s story and embrace your shadow. Allow yourself to be free of the facade. Imagine how much lighter you would feel. Who knows! Maybe with a little pixie dust you might even fly!