It wasn't what I thought it would be. Is anything ever? I still can't figure out why this happened, but as I was heading towards my car to leave home for the weekend, I just started crying. Lately, I have been more in tune with my kids and I think I probably just didn't want to be away from them for that long. Everything was fine though, they were fine, and I learned and healed so much! Though I did, of course, cry throughout the weekend, it was so intense!!
It has been easy to talk about it out loud, but I just haven't been able to find the time to sit and write it all out. It's overwhelming how much I learned and there's just no way to get it all down. I will tell you, the darkness in my life has been illuminated and my Shadow and I are working on becoming friends. During the workshop, I couldn't help but relate "befriending your shadow" to Peter Pan. See, Shadow is all the parts of our true self that we have suppressed, oppressed, somehow buried in order to survive in our family of origin, and then out in the world. It's the part of a boy that won't let him cry, because "boys don't cry." It's the part of a girl that will always cross her legs when she seats herself because "we must always be a lady!" The problem is, you push the urge to cry back behind you, and you push the urge to just flop on the floor and sit anyway you like behind you, and each time you push something behind you, it is building up your Shadow. And Shadow comes out as Rage, Depression, Hunched up shoulders, Shortness of breath, Tightened muscles in our bodies. The therapist that lead our group even went so far as to say, our Shadows can contribute to cancers. Not that other things don't! Anything our bodies/minds were told as we were growing up, got taken in on a cellular level. (no, not the phone, the actual cells of our body!) We deny our true selves in order to fit the mold the family or the world creates for us. So, it is so hard and so scary to actually "befriend" my shadow, that I couldn't help but think of how Wendy actually sews Peter Pan's Shadow on to him with needle and thread. Oh, I didn't mention, there is also something called "Golden Shadow." It is all the potential we had as children to become whatever we dreamed of becoming, that got squelched by comments like "No, that drawing isn't a dinosaur, it's just scribbles!" So the artist gets buried. Or, "Little Susie has a hard time with that." So, whatever "that" is, Little Susie learns to continue having a hard time with it. So, all the goodness and all the badness of our TRUE selves is buried underneath what is termed as a FALSE self, in order to fit in, survive, or simply please those around us. Out of TRUE and FALSE, evolves the Adaptive Self. That's the one that tries to function in the world pleasing others, but still remembering that he once wanted to be an artist. He does the art work but won't ever show anyone. He wants to make money at, but believes no one will ever buy his work. This is probably why most artists are angry and starving, LOL! So, he is stuck in an Adaptive self, not even knowing he's there or how to get out of it!!
I met my Shadow last weekend. I found what I have suppressed, and I found my Golden Shadow too. And I learned how to be friends with my Shadow. It is so AWESOME to have the resources and tools I need to peel the layers back and figure out where the ideas and thoughts come from that make me believe anything I believe, from not feeling "worthy" or "smart," to thinking "I can't do that," and then to the other spectrum of "Yes, I can do that, and even better than you!" LOL. No blame here, but it all goes back to the words and phrases we heard as children! We soaked it up like a plant soaks up the sun! We let it nurture us, and now we have to nurture ourselves back into one whole person, befriending our Shadows and Loving our whole selves. And this Loving of our whole selves includes crying if you want to cry, sitting how ever you like, feeling however you are feeling and allowing it to be what's True for you, no matter what else anyone else ever has said or will say about it! Amazingly, this work has even helped with a LOT of my parenting skills. I see even more now the importance of letting my children be who they are and not passing *MY* Shadow talk onto them! It is so important for our children to have the space held for them to be who they are, however that is, noisy, improper, sad, happy, whatever THEY are in the moment! I'm not saying there aren't boundaries and times and places for different ways of behaving, but in general, I am backing way off of them and enforcing a house of Free to Be You and Me!
"And that's all I have to say 'bout tha-at." ---Forrest Gump.
For now, heheh! Thank you to everyone who helped me get to this workshop!!