I’ll Take Not Cool

I’ve realized I’m not nearly as interested in being cool or accepted as I am about being real. I’ve also realized that even in my kindest way of being real it’s not always accepted. All I can say is I’m a *Pisces… and Pisces don’t care about being popular. Not to mention my quirky Aquarius north node,

“Some of us have to stand apart in order to lead us into the future. I like being different, it is my promise. I’m grateful for those that love me just the way I am”. (Thanks Debra Silverman!)

*[If you want to learn more about your own life purpose email me for a reading!]

In the meantime I’m going to tighten up my rugged and challenging ‘wayshower’ boots and keep blazing the trail. We all have the ability to wear a pair of these boots… if you are doing your work to awaken, expand your consciousness, and show up with courageous vulnerability, then you’re known as a ‘wayshower.’ With the awakening freedom these boots bestow, so too come the questions and doubts by others, as well as the lonely pastures of the beautiful unknown. However, I am prepared to own it, discuss it, and express it.

Too often I’ve had projected judgement, blame, an old wound, or a lifetime of pain thrown at me in return for my vulnerable expression. Have you experienced this? These projections are typically the side of our personality that contain all the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to admit having. In analytical psychology it’s called our shadow. Even when the sun is shining… we all have one. It’s at first an unconscious side but through effort to become self-aware we can recognise our shadow.

What’s the shadow of your sunshine side?

Ok I’ll offer mine first. Mine looks raw, ugly, blunt, emotionally loaded – I mean the tears can fiercely flow – It’s usually automatic and unintentional, frustrated, angry, hurt, emotions begging to be seen and heard, and sometimes it just looks downright scary. I can land smack on my ass at the very bottom of the barrel… I can’t hold back… and it hurts. I do know it usually only takes over when I’ve been pushed up against the wall or I’m emotionally exhausted.
But that’s my shadow side.

“Keep the shadow up here cuz it can only take you down from behind.” ~Brene Brown’s [therapist]

What does that mean? To me, it means know your shadow ~ befriend your past hurts, wounds, and triggers ~ look it in the eye, do not be ashamed. You’ll be less likely to take it out or project it onto others. Know when your shadow side is pushing you around. Learn your unconscious behaviors and acknowledge them but suspend judgement on yourself. It’s ok, we all have a shadow. We all have a shadow to our sunshine side ~ no one is exempt. No need to judge it or feel ashamed. It’s the practice of healing and self growth. Remember, if we can name it, we can handle it. If we can feel it, we can heal it.

It will show up though from time to time. And we do often hold others in our shadow of hurt as it can be painful to merely accept what is ours, let alone to stand still in our discomfort. As if we are the only ones to act defensively, resist change, or come from a place of ego. Please!! You can secretly try to hold it in tight but you are not exempt… and you are never alone. We’ve all been there, done that ~ the unconscious response to events, people, and situations. Although we all exhibit it differently, it is our shadow behaviour. It’s also a commonality to rank order of suffering in fear of the shadow ~ I’ll hold back how I’m feeling to protect you from your past hurts because, gosh forbid the shadow jumps out, and now we have a total sh%t show. Now would that ‘hold-back’ help our relationship expand, or create a block that could result in resentment?

It’s the same interesting perspective of compassion and empathy. Like there might not be enough to go around. Compassion and empathy are not finite. Meaning, in order for you to get some I need less. Compassion, actually everything, grows exponentially. And we all need love and healing. It is not a competition, rather a give and take. If we want others to accept all of us we must offer acceptance first. I always keep in mind to allow space for another’s shadow with trust there is room for mine. Funny how my shadow always seems to tag along. I’m pretty sure yours does too. Do you see it? We must make room for all our parts in relationship… We all take up space. It is our birthright.

If we go deep enough with each other our shadow side will, at some point, reveal itself.

Because the closer we get to each other’s hearts, the more triggers rise into view. Because you can’t fully know someone without that shadow side. It is part of us. Actually it’s a gift. A gift?? Yes. When our shadow shows up and triggers fly it’s an opportunity to face it head on. You won’t know if a connection has legs until it has been tested by conflict. It looks like talking it out, understanding where [in the past] it comes from, then unleashing each other from projected blame. Taking the scarlet letter from the one that initiated this belief in you and re-tacking it on the one who just lit the trigger is only transposing the fear and irrational belief. It is not true healing. Not only can it be harmful to all involved, it is an avoidance of getting to the root of its origin. Gather your maturity, your openness, and your willingness and ability to change. Spirit only comes in benevolence and love. Let it crack you open. Have trust and faith in the one that stands in front of you ~ the one you call ‘friend’, “partner”, “family”. How could you know or judge this one in front of you holds grace for you beyond any human behavior or out-dated wound. How could you know how deep the opening can be if you do not stand in stillness. In your own discomfort. Do not run from the shadow dear shining one. In a pure relationship there is no room for blame. It’s not yours or mine, it’s a conditioned thought or belief that belongs to the past. The relations that have become the most beautifully binding are the ones I’ve circled back to with forgiveness, and forgiveness offered to me. It is always a mutual exchange. So what will you choose ~ To walk away in disgust, or walk toward it and make an effort to deepen the connection? Conflict isn’t the adversary of connection. Fear of confrontation is. (Thanks Jeff Brown!)

I’m in for the people who love me for my imperfections not despite them. And if we know each other well enough we will, inevitably, be witness to one or more of said imperfections. I choose to be with the ones willing to go through the muck with me. You know, those few that will show up with a shovel. I call them my “shovel friends”. And we are lucky to have at least one or two of them in our lives…. three? ~ a miracle!

“We will steamroll over these people to get the attention and appreciation of the people who will never show up for us like that.” ~Brene Brown

Let that simmer for a minute… Ooohh, feel that?? Whether you inwardly admit you’ve driven the steamroller, or you’ve been flattened by it once or twice, it hits home. Unfortunately I can say I’ve experienced both.

Here’s what I say…”You can only keep what you’re willing to give.” You can keep the shovel friend if you’re courageous enough to show up with one.

No. Matter. What.

It’s called ‘benefit of the doubt’. We all have it in us to be that kind of friend. But when someone tells us something that gets right up in our own shame, well… that’s when it hits the nerve. The human reaction of defense and retraction. Human, imperfect, and vulnerable. Amen! Man have I felt those hard fast moments. If you know anything about shame, it is lethal. But it cannot survive empathy. And remember there is plenty to go around! Yes it’s tough to muster empathy in these moments ~ when our own worthiness is off balance ~ for yourself and the other. It takes practice to prevent projection. We will still project and we’re not going to always respond with a tender heart, but those that see the essence of us will pause, return, offer grace, and still Love. Understanding our shadow helps us to circle back to own what’s ours, say sorry, and trust the reciprocity of empathy. Those that can love their own imperfections and befriend their shadow will recognize when your shadow reveals itself… and still show up with a shovel full of compassion and empathy.

I promise you, I will keep my shadow in front of me for you to see. I’ll be the first to show mine. I’ll take “not cool”. I’m not afraid… never have been.

Do you have the courage to shine the light on your shadow? I mean really.

Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. And if we keep our shadow in front of us is it still shadow behaviour? Or does it make us a more open, awake, loving, and vulnerable being…

Imperfections and all, I’m going to trail-blaze on and meet you in the shadows with my shovel.

Big Love 🖤

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