We all need to be naked more often!
I am not speaking here of nudity or physical nakedness (although that is fun too). I am speaking of emotional nakedness, vulnerability, courageous sharing with a committed and trustworthy witness. At these moments, you need a committed and caring and trusted witness…a listener who will hear you and suspend judgment.
With the understanding that your everyday experience, including relationships, career, money, health, or parenting, is a reflection of your inner state, the shadow, of course, has a great impact on how you live your life. The shadow is an important part of your inner self that is hidden from your awareness. Avoiding, denying, or ignoring your shadow is like knowing that a part of you is missing but fearing that it is too scary or overwhelming to let out of the castle. Yet befriending your shadow is like pulling back the curtain (as Toto did to the Wizard of Oz) and revealing the programming that dictates your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and eventually your choices and outcomes in life.
In addition to taking back the power from those parts of you that hold you back from achieving your desired results, getting familiar with and embracing your shadow can assist you in unleashing trapped life energies, your unexpressed personal power, inspiration, and authenticity. For example, many people know they are extremely talented; however, their life stories do not reflect this fact.
Can you see how much energy is put into keeping yourself small although it does not serve you or those exact people you try to protect? Can you see how much of your life force is suffocated? Honoring these old truths, beliefs, and fears that served you in the past and then releasing their hold on you can free much of your energy and inner power to be used to achieve both progress in your daily life and desired results you seek.
Here are a few ways to bring some of your shadow material into the light:
- Examine any long-held stories of some shameful, guilt producing, or fearful event or experiences from the past. You may find, once shared in a new light, the power holding on to you will begin to dissipate. Our memories and fears are usually blown out of proportion and no longer serve us after we have moved on from whatever happened.
- Please consider that the things you perceive as faults, negative patterns, or things you do not like about yourself are actually your assets. The only issue with them is that they are over amplified. If you turn the volume down a little, these so-called faults can become strengths. This kind of examination will assist you in revealing hidden fears, beliefs, and even vows you have made that can be called on to be honored for their past service and then released.
- Make a list in a personal journal of those things you would find it difficult to reveal about yourself or any long-held beliefs about something you have attached to shame, guilt, or fear.
If you could find someone who you could share this with to just clear it out of your hiding place, who might that person be? A therapist? A trusted friend? A spiritual adviser? A life coach? What would it take for you to imagine having that conversation? What would be a positive outcome to such a sharing?
If you keep some of your shameful, guilt ridden, embarrassing stories kept inside of your personal storage, it will always grow. If you find a committed witness with whom to share, to speak out loud with a caring listener, you will discover a sense of freedom, (emotional and spiritual nakedness) that will allow you to reclaim parts of your history and design your future, beginning now.