Unbeknownst to some of us, there is an another that lurks within. We joke about evil twins, you may be familiar with Dr. Jekyll’s Mr. Hyde, or with a multi-personality disorder, but within there is darkness.
We hide things we don’t want others to see. We are ashamed of something or were criticized about something we banish it, lock it away. Sometimes these things fade into the deep recesses of our being, others lie just beneath the surface and don’t pass up a chance to remind us that we have banished them from the bright light of being.
Sometimes our greatest gifts and passions are discouraged and for whatever reason, we comply with others views and opinions and we enter into an unconscious agreement and we let our dreams die, and aspirations wither on the vine. In the desire to be accepted we fall in line and become part of the herd as we conceal who and what we really are.
This shadow self-comes out to express itself and play when we are stressed. Besides suppressed hopes and desires there are elements of our worst self, the darkness within, our ugly, selfish, demanding inner five-year-old; our ego writ large.
When we fear, when we doubt, when we feel that our world or beliefs are being questioned or judged our shadow is roused. When we stumble and take things personally our shadow moves to the fore and sometimes takes the floor and shows itself.
It’s like evil genii that escape from the bottle but instead of wishes, you are usually left with regrets. Even when we are at our best, if we are tired, or hungry, or suffering from a lack of sleep, this troublesome specter can slip away and get the best of us.
So, we must realize and acknowledge that it is there and that it can be a potent force; and if we are not mindful of our thinking, feeling, and our willingness to do the work at bringing our dark aspects into the light we could do something in the moment that could change our lives and alter our path and disrupt our progress. We could get fired, lose a friend, a loved one or worse.
I have personally let my shadow appear to someone I care a great deal about and say something I should not have said, something I felt, something I desired but was not appropriate then that disrupted the environment that we were in. I wanted to be more than I could under the circumstances and I fell into an old pattern. It was selfish and self-serving, and I was grandiose, and I almost lost more than I could afford to lose. Love is a powerful force but unchecked can exemplify the shadow self as well.