As I comfortably share my experiences and reflections around topics I’ve become at home with I find it so often leads me to beautiful places in others souls as they feel safe enough to entrust me with their own shadow side.
My life’s work over the last two years has been unravelling my past, picking over the bones of my rather complicated childhood and understanding the roles my significant carers have played in the way I have developed into an adult.
I’ve made significant inroads into understanding my own patterns and conditioning as an adult, reflecting extensively over depression, chronic fatigue, effects of trauma, relating and relationships, subtle and less subtle emotional, physical and sexual abuse, faith and sexuality. I’m proud of what I’ve learned, I’m proud to have embodied this knowledge and I believe I can now genuinely call it wisdom that has been cultivated within me.
I openly share my journey with people I meet, it’s a little like telling someone about the work I do and the last holiday I took; this is my life work at present. I’m no longer ashamed of my shadow side; no longer ashamed that I’m not capable of ‘working’ just now or that I experience depression and chronic fatigue or that I’ve lived through trauma and abuse. In fact I feel truly grateful and proud of what I’ve experienced and the work I’ve done full time over the last two years to understand and heal myself. Just like sharing details of your work, I don’t go ramming the ins and outs of my life down people’s throats unless they show a genuine interest. Obviously the depth of what I share will depend largely on who I’m talking to, how well I know them and how safe I feel with them – yes, I’ve done a whole lot of boundary work too, sharing is different from leaking!
I rarely share my story with a purpose to facilitate another to open up. Most often I find, after a while people start asking me questions like ‘What does it feel like to have depression? How do you know?’ or just that they open up about a past trauma, feeling or something they feel deeply ashamed about and trust the space I’m holding for them.
It is quite a magical moment when I realise someone is revealing their wound for me to see, I feel so humbled and my heart swells. It’s very intimate to be trusted with a fellow human being’s shame. It’s equally magical to have the opportunity to start the process of dispelling that shame. It’s always ok to feel what we are feeling, what we went through was never our fault, we are always allowed to be exactly as we are. Each time I can love another with that compassion I heal a part of myself who is still not sure.
Society is scared to talk about abuse, trauma, sex, mental health, suicide. We have been conditioned to hide our shadow side and keep up an image of positivity and success. For many people broaching these taboo topics engenders shame. I invite you to dare to open up, dare to show your wound, your vulnerabilities and your shadow side. The shadow side is always there just as half the Earth is always in darkness. The shadows are just as beautiful as the light, and out of the shadows really amazing things can grow.
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