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The Shadow Knows

by Dr. Candice Cook

Last time we talked about the cast of characters that make up your personality, and if you’re paying attention to yourself, you’ve been seeing quite a little show you put on from day to day.

You might even try a little experiment.  Find a trustworthy friend to do this with you.  Write down 3 of your sub personalities and make a list of adjectives that describes each sub personality.  For example, you may have a Marilyn Monroe sub personality.  How do you describe her?  Hot?  Sweaty?  Confused?  Playful?  Next, write down the emotions that sub personality most often experiences.  Now go back and put a number describing the intensity of each descriptive characteristic and emotion, from 1-10 (one being low intensity, 10 being high.) Next, take turns interviewing each other’s sub personalities, asking such questions such as “What is your name?”  “When did you first make your appearance?”  “What are your needs?”  “What are you trying to accomplish?”  “How does your existence help the person as a whole?”  You’ll learn a great deal about what motivates you and why.

Oh, before you get started, I need to tell you about an aspect of you that you might not be so crazy about, and that’s The Shadow, and we ALL have a Shadow.  What is The Shadow?  Everything we don’t know about ourselves, - often all the things about ourselves we hate or we think yucky and gross and embarrassing.  Qualities like anger, fear, vengefulness, greed, cowardice, evil, perversion, they’re all held in The Shadow.  Believe it or not, meeting this guy does not have to gross you out.  All you have to do is picture The Shadow as Daffy Duck with Daffy’s voice and you’ll be able to put any disgusting description on him that comes to mind (who can really hate Daffy Duck?).  You will be able to look at The Shadow objectively without hating this part of yourself.

Another way to determine the nature of Your Very Own Shadow – and unfortunately this is an extremely accurate way to uncover this guy – is to look at the people you hate, the ones who pluck your last nerve.  Guess what?  Do you know why you hate them so much?  They are the disowned parts of you.  Right now, you have little appreciation of the energy you use up denying these nasty qualities in you.  It’s like trying to hold a beach ball underwater.  You push the mess down and up it pops…in somebody else so you can safely and comfortably hate that person’s guts, instead of your own.  After all, now the unattractive qualities have nothing to do with you anymore – you’ve given them all away – or so you think.  Remember when Yoda sent Luke into the jungle to find the Dark Side, and he bumps into Darth Vader, fights and “kills” him?  Darth Vader’s famous helmet falls off and surprise!  It’s Luke in there.  Get the idea?

Now let me tell you why you don’t want to hate Dear Dark Daffy or Darth or whatever you call him.  First, The Shadow has talents and energy and smarts, and you need to access this!  Second, you use up most of your energy holding The Shadow down.  Think about how much energy you’ll free up.  Third, The Shadow has legitimate needs that are important to explore and evaluate.  In fact, one of the reasons The Shadow at first feels so ugly is that he’s become twisted and ugly from having all your hatred aimed at him.  And when you free up the energy you’ve been using to hold him down, and heal the energy he’s been holding and using to get your attention, you’ll be in business!

Here’s a tip:  Yeah, it’s scary to look at The Shadow, but that’s not what really scares you.  What really scares you is your power, your beauty, your creativity and your brilliance.

You are much more than you think.