Get to Know Your Shadow

Do you have a safe space?

I’m not talking about a physical safe space. I’m talking about somewhere you can go where you feel 100% free to be completely and utterly honest about who you and where you’re at in the moment… all alone.

I ask this because I started to notice something worrying about myself over the last week. I was writing in my diary, and as I was wrote, I thought something a little bit rude about someone in my life – nothing terrible, but something I wouldn’t say to their face. My immediate response was to censor myself – since it’s not the kind of think I’d like to think and feel, I didn’t write it down.

Fortunately, I u-turned and wrote it down. As it looked back up at me from the page, I felt a little relief. Writing it down for just me to see didn’t make anything any worse, in fact it made me feel better. I even felt a little bit more compassion about that person.

Hmmm, I thought. Curious, I tore out the page I’d been writing on, and started again. I wrote 3 pages of A4 with as many of the worst things I could think of. Who annoys me? What do I hate about the world? What do I hate about myself? What am I ashamed of? What do I regret about my past?

It felt really good. And as I read back over those 3 pages, I saw things I didn’t even know I’d been keeping a secret from myself. How messed up is that? When I was done, I ripped up the pages, threw them in the bin, and got on with my day, feeling just a little bit less mental than normal.

That’s what I mean by a safe space. Somewhere you feel comfortable expressing your whole self. Not just the socially acceptable part. The more you hide from your shadow, the more power it has to ruin your life. Get it out somehow, and you take back the reins.

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