As you’ve undoubtedly discovered over the past few weeks, these articles have brought up some stuff for you. You may have been quite “triggered” by my words and have select words you’d thought about me or what I’ve said. Perhaps they involve some with four-letters.
Good. It’s by design.
Triggers are a blessing because they instantly highlight trauma or suffering. This awareness helps us recognize when we are reacting from fear or past hurt instead of responding appropriately to the current situation. The triggers show us we have a distorted view of reality.
This is important to your success because as your business grows, you will need to grow. As you expand, you press up against your limitations like a balloon inflating inside a jar. You can either stay confined by the jar out of fear and comfort, or face the moment of discomfort and expand past lifetimes of constraint.
These are opportunities in disguise that happen dozens of times… a day! So let’s dive right into some of the most triggering things you’ll read.
Have you ever…
- Felt guilty for asking for a lot of money for your services?
- Wanted to speak but the fear of embarrassment and anxiety was overwhelming you didn’t?
- Created an entire story of how the other person doesn’t like you and how unlovable you are just because they didn’t respond within a certain time… only to realize none of it was true?
- Been reading a blog and were infuriated about how wrong this person was, and how you just had to prove they were full of it or talk trash on social?
- Been offended and threw a hissy about something totally meaningless?
- Thought an absolutely horrible thing about somebody and felt like you were just an awful person because “who thinks that way?”
- Stolen something and not felt guilty for it?
- Noticed a secret part of yourself that enjoyed hurting somebody and became afraid of the part of you that can harm, destroy, or even kill?
- Been uncomfortable with compliments or receiving love in general?
I have. Some of them scare the hell out of me, and quite a few I’ve been in denial of because “what kind of person would that make me?”
This series is slyly really about shining light on aspects of yourself that you choose to ignore or simply weren’t aware of. The parts of you that you think are wrong, flawed, broken, scary, useless, or bad. The dark, evil, selfish, destructive, hurtful things you secretly know you’re capable of. The “sinful” thoughts, judgements, limitations, and views you hold.
Our culture’s handling of the “dark stuff” is very immature and underdeveloped. We are taught to suppress others’ behaviors that make us uncomfortable and repress our own. We are taught comfort and being nice is more important than telling the truth and addressing the issue.
Most traumatic, is that we are told that our shadow material is “wrong”. That it’s bad we have thoughts of killing, raping, attacking, judging, stealing, hurting, seducing, fornicating, etc. That we’re bad people if we’re selfish, greedy, promiscuous, deviant, nonconforming, disobedient, sexual, affluent, selling, indulging, disruptive, childish, or lazy.
That we should not be these things or ever have these thoughts, and if we do, we should be ashamed of ourselves for being such bad people… even if we’d never act them out.
But if we do, there will be consequences. It’s important to have values, ethics, and a moral compass guiding you. But that’s different than fear, condemnation, and denial of what’s real shaming you in line.
We inherently want to do the right thing… whatever that means to each of us personally. Yet as children, we soon realize we naturally want to do things we are told are “bad”—and this terrifies us. It confuses us, and results in distrust for our nature and spontaneous impulses of expression and desire. Innocently, we decide to hide all of these things we think are bad and unlovable. The world—and most importantly ourselves—can’t know the secret truth.
The “secret truth” that we have fallen from grace, and are broken, flawed, disgusting, unworthy, unlovable, sinful, and evil.
So we shove it down to the darkest, deepest dungeon of our psyche, lock the door, and forget we have the key. Then it runs us; whispering below perception as a destructive guiding force of distortion and suffering.
This is our shadow.
And it’s absolutely lovable. It contains some of the best parts about us.
We don’t suffer because we have a shadow—we suffer because we think we shouldn’t have one. We go to healers, therapists, coaches, and gurus to eliminate it. We are in a war with ourselves, and innocence, peace, self-love, and functionality is its collateral damage. The very things we think we’ll get if we conquer the “worst” parts of us.
You can trust a liar who knows he’s a liar more than one who’s in denial of it. It’s safer to be with someone who knows they’re capable of killing and chooses not to, than somebody who denies that and acts like they’re only benevolent love and light.
It may sound like a weird paradox.
We are dangerous when we are out of relationship with these aspects. When the “dark” qualities are deprived, denied, and underdeveloped, they stay immature and lack the wisdom of experience that brings appropriateness of context and proper value. However, if left to their natural course, they tend to integrate safely and usefully rather than get stunted and distorted.
I have been taking martial arts the past few years for this very reason. I was out of relationship with my “killer”, which meant that I didn’t have access to my “protector”. Every quality has its creative and destructive capabilities, as all coins have heads and tails. (Remember, these are archetypes we’re talking about).
Not feeling able to protect women, children, and my loved ones in the chances something happened made me feel emasculated, weak, and insecure. That was my story, and true or not, I knew I needed to go into what I was avoiding and uncomfortable with.
Guess what? I have yet to kill anyone or get into a fight. It In fact, from what I’ve learned, the best use is to never have to use any of it. All that training to never have to use it. It’s having the sword in the sheath—not parading it around, not thrown away, but by your side available if needed.
It’s the opposite of what we think.
We may think going into the selfishness and feeling it will make us Scrooge. We may think feeling our sadness will mean that we’re weak. We may think going into the loneliness will cement our place as losers. But it ends up showing us how to meet our needs. We end up discovering our real strength. We end up seeing how we’re connected to everything.
Falling in love with your shadow does not mean you condone destructive, evil, harmful behavior.
Falling in love with your shadow means you see the greater Truth. That you can’t mess it up. That, who you really are, is sinless. That as hard as you try to keep love away, there’s nothing you can do to be truly unlovable. That all of those things that you thought people made fun of you for, may actually hold your most wonderful qualities.
What’s hiding in your shadow is not what you think…