Facing the Shadow

Facing the Shadow

Something came through to me this morning as I sat in meditation, and I felt it was important to share.

As I sat in stillness this morning, memories and images of feeling inadequate, dismissed, ignored, laughed at, excluded, bullied, all came to the surface.

These memories ranged from when I was in high school to even today, as an adult. The memories were related to my interactions with women in my life – past and present.

I know some experiences were not intentional in making me feel inadequate, but my feelings and stories of feeling shamed were there due to old wounds.

In the past, when these memories surfaced,  I’d tell my (adult) self it’s okay, and try to soothe over it. I’d attempt a linear approach, trying to rationalize what happened, and to forgive and move on — because I’m an adult, and most of that sh*t happened so long ago.

But our emotions are not linear.

So, this morning was a bit different. I breathed in, let the emotions come up and allowed them to sit. I gave space for them in my body, and just felt into them. As unpleasant as it was to sit with these intense emotions, for the first time, I gave an opportunity for them to be seen and witnessed.

There was so much power in that.

Here’s the REAL truth that I haven’t publicly shared before, as it is not what I stand for:

— There are times where I get envious of other women’s successes.
— There are times when I find it hard to only ‘add value’ to others, and to support other women.

No, it does NOT feel good when these “small self” emotions appear. It is seriously icky. Yet, when they come up, I can’t control them.

Envy.
Jealousy.
Holding back on love.

They’re all low vibe emotions, and I honestly hate that I feel this way at times. I know it’s got nothing to do with the women who are successful and amazing. Ultimately, it’s about me. I’m feeling small, inadequate, and unseen.

But ugh. How can I elevate women and do my work when I feel this way?

I know deep down in my bones that my work is about celebrating and supporting women.

We NEED to uplift each other.  Doing so not only feels  AMAZING but it’s also healing. Healing of the ancestral wounds for the women who came before us who were not seen, not heard, nor celebrated.

And yet, I’ve wondered why I’d sometimes feel the way I do, and compare myself to others.

It wasn’t until this morning that the why became clear.

I have wounds from my past that still exist today, and they hadn’t been dealt with or honoured until now.

Fierce jag

Phew.

Earlier this summer, I took a few photos that were at my edge. One photo in particular (see photo on right), I did not like at all. But as part of a challenge, I shared it in a private group and also publicly on my FB profile.

Everyone commented only positive, encouraging words about the photo. But I had NO CLUE what they were talking about.

That photo brought up much discomfort. I felt awkward in that shot, and didn’t like how up close and “in your face” I was. My nose looked big.

I cringed each time I looked at it.

Until today.

After sharing what happened in this morning’s meditation with a group of women I’m close with, my friend, Serefina Firestarter (the one who guided me in taking those photos), asked how I felt about that photo now.

When I looked at it again today, my perception shifted. I no longer directed my eyes at how big my nose looked or how I was all up in the camera. I looked at the woman who was looking back at me, straight into her eyes, and saw her strength, her beauty, and her softness.

I finally saw her TRUTH.

We all have shadows and wounds that lie under the surface. Wherever you are on your journey, I honour your path.

The more we brave the darkness that serves to be our teacher, the more it will heal not just ourselves, but our collective.

With deep love + gratitude,
Michelle xo

 

 

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2 Responses to Facing the Shadow

  1. Thank you for sharing. I think we’ve all felt that smallness before, which highlights how important working with and supporting women (and people in general) is. That very feeling is exactly what we need support for, your relatability is great.

    • Hi Kelli!
      So true! The more we share our stories and our truth, the more compassionate we are. I appreciate you stopping by :)
      xo – Michelle