Through my shadows I find my way

Recently I have been reading Dark side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. This is a great book that helps you to help yourself by becoming more conscious of the judgements, advise and compliments you give to others. She explains you can use these parts of yourself as a tool for self-realization, healing and fulfilling your dreams. If you’re wondering how this is possible read on…

One of the main messages in this book is that your judgements of others, and the advice you give to others is a reflection of yourself. The person acts as a mirror, showing you the hidden sides of yourself that you are denying or not wanting to admit are a part of you. Here’s a situation that I recently encountered where I saw this in action.

My friend was angry, not at me, but man I found it hard to be around her. It made me feel so uncomfortable! I actually ended up confronting her about it, saying that she was being very negative and I was really struggling to be around her. Soon after this, I realised that her anger had triggered my ‘stuff’ around anger.

In my past I had been angry for very good reason, but I hadn’t been able to express this anger, so it became suppressed anger which meant I used to get angry easily and often at the strangest situations, which to others of course seemed inappropriate. Over the years I had become aware of this so I had spent a lot of time addressing my anger and healing, and as a result these days I hardly ever feel angry or experience outbursts of anger.

Reflecting some more, it’s like I had gone from being constantly angry, to thinking I no longer was an angry person and I didn’t need to get angry, as only people with ‘issues’ behave like that. I was now better and healed so had no need to get angry. How wrong was I! After seeing my friend expressing her anger and me being so obviously disturbed by it I realised that I still have some suppressed anger and that I am definitely capable of becoming angry. The good thing about this is after all my years of psychotherapy I know it’s ok for me to feel angry, it’s part of being human and it’s healthy to express anger in the right circumstances.

So from this encounter with my angry friend I have acknowledged the angry me. I’m no longer denying that I still have some unexpressed anger and I now know that I’m definitely capable of getting angry. This in itself makes me feel a lot lighter and therefore has been a healing process for me. It will be interesting to see if I react next time I’m around someone who’s expressing anger.

Likewise, this shadow work also helps you be aware of the compliments you give to others and when you are in-awe of someone else. The message here again is that you are seeing parts of yourself in them. These are parts of yourself that you are not recognizing or parts of yourself that you are wanting to develop and grow into.

I have two friends of mine, both men who I look up to, one is a very successful artist, business man and creative person, the other is a very successful business man who seems to be able to make anything he touches turn to gold. When I look at both of these men, I envy their success, I want to be like them – creative and successful.
I know that I have the ability to become both of these things but 1: I don’t spend enough time being creative and 2: I only just attempted starting my first business a couple of years ago. So I realise I have a lot of room for growth, of course it makes sense I look up to them.
By identifying my desire to be like them, feeling envious and even being able to admit I’m jealous of their success, I know that one day I will be a very successful in business if I keep working towards my goals and can start to honour my soul cry of wanting to once again be creative.

So until we are able to admit to the darkest sides (our shadows or unseen parts) of ourselves we will continue to attract people into our lives with these ‘annoying’ tendencies. Likewise, we will continue to feel envious, jealous, and therefore dis-empowered when we see qualities in people that we admire.

The first trick is to learn to see people that annoy us as our teachers and to be grateful for them providing us a mirror of ourselves.
The second trick is to be able to see people that inspire us as indicators of where our passions lye.
When we are able to put both of these together we can see that they act as guidance in where to improve and the direction to take in life. It’s like our envy, jealousy, frustration and annoyances at others are lighting up the pathway, showing us to our happiness, fulfilment and success in life!

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