Lately, I’ve been deeply ingrained in comparison and judgment. I hate admitting this. I hate even more feeling this way.
My itty-bitty-shitty-committee has been hijacking my thoughts. I share this with you though, so you know you’re not alone. No one is perfect. In our flaws and imperfections, we can connect and heal together.
As a new mom, I’m teaching myself that my toddler’s emotions are totally normal. My natural instinct when Hunter is whiny or throws a tantrum is first embarrassment, then I want to distract her and fix it so we can go back to being smiley and happy again. But I know, this will just make her feel she is flawed or bad for having these emotions that bring her mom shame.
The thing is, my daughter is perfectly normal to have any and ALL emotions. We ALL are perfectly normal to have any emotion.
Listen, we don’t have control over which emotion shows up. They will come and go.
It’s what we do with those emotions that matter. The work that you and I do have control of is whether we choose to dwell on the story of those negative emotions. While we don’t have control over which emotion shows up, we do have control of how we handle it.
In my Soul School signature online course, module 2 is about shadow work. Shadows are a dark part of our personality that we often want to hide because it brings us shame. (enrollment will open January 2021, waitlist coming soon!)
One tool to be with and learn from our shadows is to give the shadow a personal name – the sillier the name, the better.
So, for example, this week I’ve been feeling very jealous. Ugh I hate admitting that. It’s probably one of the worst traits I can think of. I don’t feel jealousy often, but a few times a year, Jealous Jan pops her head out and makes me feel like crap.
Instead of being in my head, ping-ponging why I’m jealous, why I shouldn’t be jealous, and berating myself for feeling this way, giving the shadow a name makes introspection a little more playful and easier to deal with.
I can call forth Jealous Jan and ask why she’s feeling this way, and what I can do to support her.
Doing this work is so important as an adult. Last week we talked about reparenting yourself. Shadow work can be a reparenting tool too.
Just like I want to be supportive to my daughter who will someday have moments where she is jealous, bitter and resentful, instead of judging her, ignoring the emotion or trying to replace it with something more comfortable, I want to be there for her, to hear her out, and to work with her.
Giving your negative feeling or trait helps ease the self-inquiry process and helps you stay open to learning about yourself so you can let go of judgment and be there for yourself to learn the lesson.
Only when we can be with our uncomfortable feelings, then we can learn from them what they are trying to show us.
Ok Getting back to jealous Jan – when I tuned into her, she said she is feeling unimportant, she’s doing a lot but doesn’t feel like it’s paying off, no one is listening, she’s feeling ashamed for comparing her success to her friend’s success, she’s feeling lost and unsuccessful.
Obviously jealous Jan is me and those are my feelings.
There’s something softer and sillier when you name the trait – it kind of takes the drama out of the emotion so you can create space from it, let go of the story behind it and see the emotion for what it is, just another emotion showing you something about yourself.
We’ve been talking about inner child works these past few weeks on the podcast, and doing a combination of inner child and shadow work is really powerful. I visualize myself as a little child saying these words, and immediately I became softer towards myself.
I realized it’s okay to be jealous. I don’t need to dwell on the negativity that is associated with jealousy. I don’t need to feel shame. I can be happy for those women I admire.
Life is showing you something you want. Esther Hicks talks about the law of attraction and calls it driftwood, when you see something you want in someone else’s life. When you see the driftwood, say thank you to the universe because it’s a sign that you can have this too!
In the interview with Orpah and comedian, Kevin Hart, he tells her that there will never be another Eddie Murphy, but he learned from these comedians he looked up to and that helped him become the success he is today. It’s the driftwood!
Similarly, this dark shadow of jealousy is a teacher showing me that I can learn from those people I admire, and also take time to celebrate how far I’ve come. That I can see the driftwood, admire and learn from others, and trust it as a sign my time is coming too. Jealous Jan also taught me that when I’m in resentment, that usually means I need to slow down and nurture and listen to myself a little more and stay in my own lane (meaning stop comparing and focus on what my talents are and how I can use them).
This may be really weird to look at parts of your personality that you deem negative or you’re ashamed of, but naming that part of your personality helps create some mental space from judgement and can bring you back into your truth of learning the lesson that that emotion is trying to show you, rather than getting caught in the story.
We have myriad parts of our personality that we try to hide or ignore. As humans, it’s our natural instinct to try show up perfectly, and hide what we deem unacceptable.
Personally, I have angry angie, jealous jan, insecure sally, fat kid freddy, negative Nancy, lazy Lou Lou. Gosh so many!! When you think about being angry, jealous, insecure, negative, indulgent and lazy, YIKES those are highly negative parts of your personality that bring shame and hard to look at. But when you can name them, it creates space from it so you can see them, learn from them and heal yourself.
You no longer need to perform, perfect or please. You no longer need to feel broken. You can love yourself as whole and real.
So, the intention this week is to work with any heavy emotions or dark shadow traits you deem unacceptable or shameful and bring a little more play into it by naming it and listening to what this emotion is teaching you.
Invite your dark shadows in and see what they want you to know.
Ok friend, was this too weird or was it interesting? These are some tools I share in soul school signature online course and hopefully they help you too! Thanks for sharing and reviewing this podcast! It means the world to me you’re here.
Also, if you want to dive in deeper, I’m hosting a pilot program called the Self-love lab which begins October 5th. Sign up for details on my website audreysuttonmills.com
Until next week, remember you are enough and you matter!