Is this really me?
Have you seen these quirky zodiac tea towels? Many times I have seen the “positive” version for the Virgo and I have enjoyed a quiet giggle, acknowledging all that is true about my own personality!
Recently I discovered the alternative Virgo version. And I still had a giggle although I found myself re-reading the words and checking how they made me feel… Eventually I decided that these adjectives may be true also.
I had to have them both – I thought they were hilarious. More hilarious than the tea towels however, was how it made me feel to see (and acknowledge) such a clear reflection of my shadow personality.
Carl Jung (the Swiss psychiatrist) referred to the dark aspects of ourselves that we believe unacceptable to our family, friends and ourselves as the shadow. This shadow side is often stuffed so deeply into our consciousness because we try to hide it from ourselves and others. From here we get the subconscious messages that we are not worthy of love and it is this darkness that subdues our spirit and keeps us from fulfilling our dreams.
I have learned a lot by considering this perspective by Debbie Ford:
Our shadows hold the essence of who we are. They hold our most treasured gifts. By facing these aspects of ourselves, we become free to experience our glorious totality: the good and the bad, the dark and the light.” Debbie Ford.
For me, the key is learning to love the totality – the light and the shadow. After all, if I wasn’t obsessive with feeling good how would I have ever improved my diet, lifestyle and mind set? If I wasn’t pedantic, how would I perform my role when I am copy editing? And if I wasn’t anal-retentive, how would I muster the attention to detail and the organization to create events and campaigns covering multiple media for my clients and in my own work?
The more that I connect with my totality – all the things that I love about myself as well as those things that can make me cringe – the more courage I find to peel back the layers of who I am, discover more and live authentically.
I have always had a tendency to see life with a little bit of a different perspective than those close to me. Not because I wanted to be argumentative but just because it is my instinct to see it this way. And for a long time I would suppress this truth for fear of being judged or feeling less worthy. Instead I would focus on those things that made me more congruent.
But when I start to share more of who I am I notice that I get more of what I desire! And – beautifully – I get the feedback from myself and from others that they like what I’m doing.
It’s building a muscle of confidence that leads to feeling good.
It is by embracing all of who we are that we earn the freedom to choose what we want to do in this world.” Debbie Ford.