This post is based upon the following video. It was a purely accidental video. I was in the midst of watching something else when I needed to sit my phone down, and somehow I touched the screen and caused this video to play. It resonated, especially since I’ve known for a long while now that my shadow looks and acts just like my dad (it makes deciphering my own crap from psychic input really hard sometimes), so I’m doing the work suggested by miss Tina.
Each section is her suggestions put into practice.
1) What parts of myself do I dislike?
- My inability to create financial abundance and significant savings. To better support and provide security for myself and my chosen family.
- My size. I’m too big these days, when I was a kid I was too small. I’m never just right.
- My shape (I hate that my left is masculine and angular and my right is more soft and feminine, I want my two halves to be symmetrical, and true to my gender). I definitely have a bit of body dysmorphia.
- My inconsistent health.
- My weight, againb it’s too much these days. When I was a baby I was ‘tiny’ fragile and sick, I needed to eat to gain weight, or so they said, enough times that my brain was like ‘okay we’re doing this’ (indefinitely).
- My hair- it is so damn thin that I can’t get it to hold curls, it doesn’t even want to stay up in clips and sometimes falls out because of my health puzzle, so it makes me want to cut it short and keep it that way, and I have on several occasions in my life.
- My inability to change myself, my world, and big systems. I feel like everything I do is just futility.
- My invisibility, I don’t cross other people’s radar until I’m in crisis.
- My stress and worry patterns, too much of both and I can’t make it stop permanently.
- My temper, sometimes it feels like it controls me and not the other way around.
- My sensitivities (in all regards) they make life hard to handle.
2) What parts of myself do I judge?
- My weight and looks. I’m not pretty enough, not slim enough, too asymmetrical, too stocky, too burly, too muscular, too fat.
- I’m never good enough, never was.
- I should be doing more, more capable, more outgoing, more in charge of my life.
- There are lots of “should be’s” and “I’ve already done that” so why am I seeing this again moments.
- My shadow… Wasn’t really seeing that I was judging that until the video (above).
3) What parts of myself do I fear?
- My temper. Rage.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- My health puzzle, because I am afraid I’ll never sort it all out and heal. My parents are dieing and my brother has thyroid cancer, and I’m just hoping at the moment that I’m doing enough to succeed where they have failed.
- Pain, I have dealt with enough of it I’m always afraid of experiencing more.
- Loosing to the darkness.
- That the whole “I’m not good enough” is what is killing me and my family.
- That I’m a horrible mother and wife. I’m a demon masquerading as a human, and only doing a mediocre job at it.
- That my strength will hurt someone at some point, and maybe already has impacted my children too negatively.
- That I’m too slow to figure things out in time. Where I couldn’t keep up with adults as a child, perhaps the adults have just been replaced with the disease I’m trying to kill. I also have moments in massage sessions where I feel like I’m too slow, I should be able to make progress faster, but I want to do it right and fix things for real, and sometimes it takes more time than I have to work with.
1) Was I accepted completely, as a child, by those around me?
- It really depended on the moment, but if I’m going with the over arching umbrella of childhood and those around me, then definitely not.
- Sometimes I was too noisy.
- Sometimes I was too much a Tom-boy.
- Often I was too dirty or messy.
- I didn’t clean well enough.
- I didn’t enjoy picking up after myself and even less picking up after others, I just wanted to hurry up and get it done so I could do back to doing things I wanted to do.
- I liked sugar and chocolate too much.
- I wanted to play with the big pretty dolls that were intended to collect dust on a shelf (‘collectibles’), but I also wanted to take my brother’s GI Joe’s and He-man figurines and micromachines, at least when he wasn’t busy using them to destroy my Barbies. I wanted all the toys to get along and play together and my brother wanted to wage war with them.
- I wanted to play school and house inside, but wanted to run construction vehicles in the sandbox to build imaginary communities.
- I didn’t mind playing football if I was actually allowed to, but I was too small (being the youngest child for 12 years, and the only girl) and the boys would hurt me, so all I was allowed to do was fetch the ball, and that’s no fun.
- I was too sensitive to handle scary things, too weak for rough housing or helping build anything, to small to be left alone, to dumb to keep up with adult conversations.
- I liked playing in the dirt. I liked making mud pies and searching for pretty crystals and stones. But, it made me too dirty and I was a girl. My father already had boys that were too much for him to handle, he wanted a quiet pretty little girl that was clean and behaved. My mom did too, she wanted a girl to put pretty dresses on, but ones that she thought was pretty, and in hindsight they were what she didn’t get to have as a child.
- I was okay wearing boys hand-me-downs from my brothers. They were easy to put on and easy to take off and they were comfortable when I wore them. Girls clothes were hard to get on and off and even though they were pretty they weren’t always comfortable, but I was a tomboy for wanting to wear the boys clothes.
2) What was expected of me as a child?
- I was a girl child and was supposed to act like it.
- Only girly toys and clothes were expected. My mom hated that I was okay with wearing the boys old clothes because she wanted to dress me up in pretty clothes, but couldn’t afford all the pretty things she wanted me to wear. So, she made me dresses from scratch that looked like they belonged in the 60’s and everyone made fun of me. When I told her I didn’t want to wear them it hurt her feelings. I couldn’t do anything right.
- I wasn’t supposed to dig in the dirt or make mid pies.
- I wasn’t supposed to have strong opinions.
- I wasn’t supposed to be loud or run and jump a lot.
- I was supposed to go to school, get good grades (by that nearly all A’s, even a few B’s would get me in trouble- “I was better than that” you know). Then make it into college, and eventually grow up and get married and have kids and voila- happily ever after.
- I repeated things too much (my handful of notes that I pecked on the keyboard repeatedly, or the card I broke opening obsessively to listen to Für Elise).
- I was supposed to be cute and quiet and unobtrusive.
- I was only supposed to speak if I was spoken to.
- I was supposed to play in my room or out in the yard and no where else.
- I was supposed to clean my room as well as an adult, and not have too much stuff.
- I was supposed to help with chores and never have any complaints.
- I was supposed to be a good girl always.
- I was supposed to want to cook.
- I was supposed to be good at cleaning and want to do all the cleaning.
- I was supposed to be self-contained and easily managed.
3) What behaviors and emotions were judged by my parents?
- What wasn’t?
- All of the above was inappropriate. I was always doing something wrong, saying something wrong, being wrong. My pure existence was just wrong much of the time.
- Why do you want to act like the boys, you’re a girl? Gee I dunno, maybe because I want to fit in and be loved. Maybe because I didn’t want to be the only one that was different. Maybe because some of those things were just part of me to begin with.
- Then when I took to art and music, that wasn’t okay either. I spent too much time inside, too much time alone, I was anti-social, I wasn’t making friends, it wasn’t going to make me any money, I’d spend my life in poverty. I couldn’t win. No matter what I did, what I chose there was always something wrong with it from someone’s perspective.
Embrace and accept my shadow self, or at least attempt to see the good lieing in the shadow. It’s a process I’m sure I’ll have to revisit based on miss Tina’s video.
My desire to dig in the dirt has led to having pretty crystals all over, and wanting pretty gardens that help me feel better and help the world be a better place. It keeps me wanting to connect with nature and let myself be me for a bit, that was why laying pavers wasn’t really WORK, and why I like camping the traditional way in a tent. It even has given me tools that I use in massages, sometimes I feel like I’m digging through muck in a person’s body looking for the rotten roots or rocks that need pulled out, so the beautiful plant of healing can be planted. My sense of touch and feel was developed in those early days exploring the dirt and mud around our homes. I can feel trigger points the same way I found tiny pebbles or rolly-pollys in the dirt.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable in my clothes and in my skin. As an adult with freedom of choice, and way more options, I am learning how to find things that are comfortable but still pretty. I would have been fine doing what I do now, as a child, exploring thrift stores looking for the gems. That didn’t start until I was in middle school, but if my mom had taken me as a toddler, I would have been able to do that even when I was really little, but maybe there weren’t thrift stores like that where we lived when I was really young, and maybe mom couldn’t understand me enough to know I could choose like that.
I never did make friends with football, by the time my highschool allowed girls to play I was already too fat and couldn’t run. But now Nathan and I occasionally take time to have some fun belly jousting in our home or yard. It’s a comical wrestling bounce similar to Sumo, and I’ve been known to launch Nathan several feet away. We do it where no one sees because there were a couple times that little kids saw and we heard “Mommy what is that lady doing to that man?” It’s our version of rough housing and wrestling like sporty people do. It gives me the contact and the energy and the fun, with less risk than football anyway. Nathan’s dialysis port has put that on hold, I’m afraid of hurting him. I don’t really know how I will fill that desire now. Zen, our dog, has been kind enough to play tug with me as often as I feel up to it.
I play school for real now, sometimes getting to be my kid’s teacher when they get stuck on a subject that isn’t Nathan’s forté. When I’m not teaching them the basics, I spend as much energy as I can, doing my level best, to try and meet their needs in understanding their world or how to navigate emotions and other things. And playing house, well I finally have one. It’s not pretending anymore, and it doesn’t suck. I just wish I had more time so I wasn’t trying to cram it all in, that’s the biggest stress factor there, time management. I like doing most of the things that are part of playing house, and cleaning isn’t necessarily fun, but I have a groove going now where I’m efficient and good at it, so it isn’t a big deal like when I was a kid.
It isn’t a bad thing that I like getting dirty, being rough, and making things. It’s part of who I am and now I know how to channel it better to be more constructive and less messy. I can still get dirty and now I know how to contain my mess and clean up after myself.
As for my size. It was so pushed on me to eat as a baby, so now my brain thinks I need to keep eating. Later when I wanted to play with older brothers but was too small and fragile, it only reinforced that idea. I don’t need that anymore. It supposedly kept me from dieing as a baby when I didn’t want to eat at all, and later it helped me grow big fast. Now it can subside, and I may or may not ever need that element again. It saved me when it was needed and I just didn’t know how to stop it when it was no longer needed. It has filled its role and can retire. It could have retired 20 years ago, but it’s better late than never. It is okay to not have an appetite, it’s okay to not need to eat, and I’m okay with letting my body dictate whether I need to eat or not. My brain no longer needs to have input in that process, my brain can release control of pushing me to eat. Let my body use up what is there and let my body inform when I need to eat again. If that happens I’m more likely to find my just right body that I desire.
My hair is mine, it’s always been thin and likely always will be. If thick luscious locks and curls are desired that much, then eventually I’ll try those things called weaves. For now, I’ll enjoy the one aspect I do love about my hair- it is petably soft. My hair is part of what makes me uniquely me, wigs and weaves can give a temporary change, but this girl was born a delicate dark-blonde and that’s what I am. My hair has beautiful red highlights when the sun catches it, and tells everyone how much fun I’ve had in the sun because it readily sun bleaches. I like that, I love that when I’ve had a full summer of outdoor fun, it lightens and stays that way all through the winter. Weaves will never accomplish that. Now if only every summer accomplished that!
As for never being good enough, and never doing the right thing. It’s probably bullshit all together. Some of the things I did that were seen as wrong, were just part of me. Nothing that’s part of me is wrong, it makes me who I am. And words that were said, there may not have been a better option, it might have caused hurts no matter how I said them. Some of them might have been said better, but I did learn from all of those moments. AND I must have done enough right. I’ve done enough right to work in 3 different careers. I’ve given myself a really good education. I’ve supported an entire family for almost 12 years. I’ve done my level best to correct health concerns for myself and encourage Nathan, when doctors were perfectly fine managing symptoms in the easiest solution for them, sort of way. I deserve a break, I’ve battled a pretty huge battle all on my own. So, I do have a home and a working van, and I am able to work more than the usual Joe, and I’ve still managed to lose weight battling thyroid/EBV disease, and when the rest of my birth family is losing that battle, I’m still treading water and a distant shore is in sight. I must be doing enough right to matter. I’m reaching for being myself enough to see I am worthy and deserving of acceptance. I am doing everything I can in due time and with the resources I have available. I’m willing and able to work on myself and that is exactly how this post manifested. Doing the work is what counts, and I’m doing enough of it right to matter, it’s pointed me in the right direction. I just have to stick with it enough to produce evidence. I’m a good girl and I deserve to have the things that I want, I deserve to experience the things that I want to experience, and it just means I need to keep being me and my shadow can become my friend if the negatives chill out and allow for healing.
I am good enough. I am smart enough, it took me many years, but I’m now able to carry on intelligent conversations with a wide array of people of all ages. I can keep up with the best of them, even people that have jobs with vast technical knowledge. Sometimes I still faulter when brain fog or dyslexia test my patience, but as my health improves, so do those elements.
My strength, makes me look more masculine, and causes a fear of hurting others. I can not help those things except by reaching for better. I can do my best to control my strength and learn my limits. I can do my best to allow myself to be more feminine where it is possible. And I can acknowledge that my strength has protected me over and over again. It protected me from molestation. It protected me from my own father’s abusiveness. It protected me from bullies at school. It protected me when I moved out and left my parents home. It protected me when jobs were lost and times were hard. It protected me when we needed logs for fire to keep warm. It protected my family when critters encroached on our home and I needed to put down a badly injured animal. My strength has been the biggest factor in our survival. At this point I am ready for my wounded warrior to return home and hold me knowing that all is well and we are safe. In reality I never really needed those wars, my feminine half was happy knowing I could and didn’t have to. My feminine half only needed the comfort of the strength, and wanted my masculine half to duck out of the wars all along. Now that the worst is over my feminine can heal the wounds as long as my masculine just let’s me know everything is alright. My shadow can stop scaring me with fear inducing tales and just hold me close. That would be the best healing ever.
Those scary tales that my shadow tells are all the thoughts of worry that induce stress. They are all the thoughts of I need to do this or that, and only have this much time. The thoughts of what could go wrong, or the bad ideas of how something might play out. They are all just speculation, but ones that create and manifest a war to actually have to fight and solve. I know that in some cases those thoughts have helped me to avoid traps and hiccups I might have otherwise missed. I know that their intention is good. But damn if they don’t seem to multiply sometimes. There is a healthy level of “Beware of Dog” and then there’s what my brain feels the need to do. It’s a result of many years watching others do the same. I only wish that my shadow would listen when I ask for it to chill out, we don’t need the laundry list of things that could go wrong over every single topic. No, a normal level of caution is perfectly fine. It’s healthy and normal if it helps you avoid something you are missing. Anything more is excessive and needs to calm the eff down. If my shadow can do that we’re good, besties in fact. Is it possible to just say that once and have it stick?
Let’s face it, I am no financial guru. I will not be giving advice on stocks or savings anytime soon. However, my shadow has enabled me to make certain the correct things were accounted for at the correct time. I have kept bills paid and my family in a home of some sort continuously. I much prefer the home I now have, over the tin can we spent 3 years in attempting to remodel a mobile home. That is progress, that is improvement. I am grateful for that, and I couldn’t have done it if the positive side of my shadow hadn’t told me “we might fail, this might suck, but we have to attempt it or we’ll never know”. Of course mental shadows don’t use so many words, but the message was the same. I was taking an uncomfortable leap of faith, and one that could have ended horribly, but I felt that battle was worth it. I’m glad I did, and I’m even more grateful I succeeded. My shadow does try to protect me and give me things that I desire. I’d really like less leaping and more growth. I’d really like more comfort and security in the process, more financial prowess and less hands on labor, but the good intentions are still much appreciated. I am only one person and my higher self can do way more than I can sometimes, so if my shadow could heal to scare me less and accomplish more that would be wonderful.
In that bundle is my temper. I get angry, sometimes a whole lot, and often because of some connection to money. Kids destroying toys costs me money, trees rotting and bugs getting in our home, medical problems, they all cost money. I’m only one person and still working essentially hourly. If I don’t use my hands, I don’t get paid. It makes me angry because there are literally billions of families in this world with two incomes, or making money by tasks not necessarily needings hard labor, or drawing passive income where they don’t actually do anything themselves to earn the money. I’m angry because I have not been able to accomplish that, when it’s supposed to be easy. Listen to any one of the financial gurus and they say it’s just a process. Do you know how many times I’ve tried? I can’t tell you because I lost count. So it makes me angry because I have done the steps and followed suggestions and done my level best and I have no progress to show for it. I’ve done everything I can and everything I am supposed to do and the puzzle is just more than I can handle alone, and my shadow doesn’t help fix it. So, in this case I really just want my shadow to pay off everything or just leave me be on that subject. I can maintain what I’ve accomplished this far, and I appreciate that. Let’s let it be what it is and stop nagging me to do things that only add stress and don’t actually solve anything. I know my shadow is trying to help, but the stress is unnecessary, and I’m ready for some chill.
I am sensitive. Sensitive to my failures, to my faults, to my shortcomings, to foods, to environmental elements, to energy, and psychic projections. I’m sensitive to all of it and I can only handle so much. My shadow doesn’t seem to care because my family didn’t get it. My family wanted me to cry less, be tough, just handle things, ignore the bullies. But all of those things are extra hard when you are sensitive to everything. It’s like making a bath that’s already too hot and trying to cool it down after you’re already in it. When your system is reacting to foods and beverages and pollens and molds and you toss a bully on top it’s just too much. I should never have been told to just handle it and stop whining, but I was. My shadow doesn’t need to keep it going. I’m doing better and better at handling lots of things and I’m making strides to sort out what I can and can’t handle on a given day. My shadow needs to work with me on that, lay off when I know I’m already at max density. Don’t warn me of this or stress me out over that, when I’m already handling as much as I humanly can. And if my shadow can tell me all the shit that is bad for me, then why can’t it tell me the things that will help in a given moment? Why can’t my shadow provide actual helpful input on occasion to help handle things when they start to become too much? Why can’t my shadow provide a little encouragement when a little would go a long ways to helping manage my sensitivities? Sensitivities are not a bad thing and I believe that labeling mine has actually helped me to solve a large piece of my health puzzle. labeling them has also helped me to manage and handle them much better when I’m unable to control them. Acknowledging my sensitivities has gone miles to helping me feel and function better, and I wish my shadow would too! Help my Self be more stable and functional by working with my sensitivities instead of against them.
I did all the supposed to’s. It is time for want to’s. I like playing rough sometimes, as long as I can stay safe. I like having fun. I like doing things and going places. I like new experiences, and I want to see the world. I want better financial stability, but I want to enjoy my time here in this world too, because you can’t take anything with you when you die, and it’s better to give to your kids while you’re still alive. I appreciate safety and caution, but I have more than adequately proven my own ability to stay safe through my own strengths. I would love to embrace my shadow self fully so that it can help me live a better life for me. I will never make everyone around me happy, and I will never account for everything that could go wrong. So it’s time for my shadow to become my friend and support me in an awareness of my strength and beauty. I need my shadow to become my healer and help me navigate this world in a more positive way. This is just the start, I know my onion will keep peeling and at some point I will be able to embrace my shadow fully and completely and live my desired life.
This post took several hours to write, and the universe really wanted me to, because I kept having people not show up for appointments enabling me to finish it. I hope that it helps you on your journey and gives you encouragement that you are on the right path. I hope that my ramblings made sense to you and helped you see some of your own moments. I hope we all can learn and grow and become better people from this process.
May we all embrace our shadows fully and completely. May we all accept ourselves for who we are and acknowledge that maybe some of our traumas were things not intended to leave us with deep scars. May you see the helpfulness in the unsavory bits. May you understand yourself more fully. May you find a way to love all the pieces and see the good in even things that you hate. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.