The other night a friend of mine misunderstood what I meant by a text and got hurt by what I had said. No biggie, texting doesn’t even have friggin’ italics, it happens, right?
Nope, I WIGGED. I got so upset that I was perceived as someone who would say something meant to hurt another that I actually started crying. Like, for a long time. Spinning with fear about how I might actually be an asshole.
I’ve talked about how insight can be derived from our overreactions before. When we really freak about something something minor like that, we aren’t actually upset about the thing that happened – we’re upset about something we don’t want to see in ourselves, but is totes there.
Shadow aspects. The bits about ourselves that we don’t particularly like. In this case, being a real jerk-a-rooni. It usually manifests as a bitchy remark that just falls right out of my mouth. Often a rando offensive observation, akin to a small filterless child. But I’m a grown-up, and it’s not the darndest thing when a 32 year old does it. That’s being an asshole.
I saw the err of my ways and worked really hard to stop, maybe too hard. It became a part of me that I feared. Being called “too nice” became a thing. I hid my real opinions for fear of offending anyone, scared to death of confrontation. I was often disingenuous and agreeable.
The thing about shadow aspects is that they are there. They cannot be disappeared. However, they can be transformed, turned up or down. When they’re just right they aren’t a shadow, in a negative way, at all. Being an asshole can be tuned to being assertive. Laziness can be an ability to truly relax. Cowardice can be cautiousness. Recklessness can be bravery.
I’ve been consciously working on cultivating tactful authenticity this year, so it makes perfect since that these fears suddenly arose. The spin out lasted that evening and a little into the morning, this upsetting fear that the true me is a total dick. Then it lifted. *Poof*. I moved through it. The clarity of shadow work and Jungian brilliance was waiting for me when I woke up this morning, after a just amazing sleep. (Spiritual healing is good for insomnia.)
What do you dislike about yourself? Or, what really really crazy intensely ticks you off? What is a quality that you just HATE in another? Cause you’ve totally got it, dude. Acknowledge it and use it to your advantage, revamp it to make it awesome – because that ish isn’t going anywhere.