I strive to be transparent about my idiosyncrasies, even if I know that it is a result of an inner 10 year old pitching a tantrum. This weeks drama? Jealousy… The green eyed monster that felt threatened by people more popular than me, prettier than me, and more successful than me. The little monster who was awkward, shy, and was terrified of attention, but craved it from the bottom of her soul. I was trying to be the grown up in the room, talking myself down. I consider it a form of self-parenting, but the inner 10 year old was not having it. I could see myself all messy blonde hair and blue eyed, on the edge of another growth spurt, pouting, arms folded, and feeling completely deflated. This is a memory I never thought I would have to repeat, but here I was reliving it.

You all know the feeling. There is an ache in your chest, the wind knocked out of you, and tears are caught in your throat. To admit these feelings to anyone means risking chastising or dismissal. Granted there is nothing terribly rational about the reaction I was having, but it still felt terrible, and it sucks.

That was me for about 48 hours, navigating a serious wave of self-doubt, and feeling that I absolutely have nothing to offer, because someone “better” would always get there before me. 

Inner Child Love, Photo by Ava Sol

Like I said… not terribly rational, but there I was on the edge of tears feeling like a crazy lady. I focused on talking myself out of what I was feeling, but with the help of good friends, they just validated me, so I could validate myself. It is occurring to me now that the way out was through; a piece of advice I give others pretty consistently. This is where the embracing comes in. If you could face your inner 5, 10, 15 year old in their sadness, insecurity and anger, how would you approach them? How would you want to be approached? I imagine now, that I probably just wanted some understanding all of those times I felt defeated, with hugs, and feelings of support and safety so I could cry it out.

I relate this back to shadow work, as per usual. I note that in some circles that when we think of shadow work, it is this process of casting light into the Shadow of the Self for us to see what is there. That we need to shine into the darker corners of our unconscious selves to find what is hidden in order to learn and heal what must be healed. I get that healing can be a fact finding mission, but when most living creatures, two legged or four legged feel threatened, they don’t want to be found. It becomes our job to learn to sit with the wounded parts of ourselves, in the dark. Instead of digging, it is an opportunity to be still in those perceived places of safety to learn, listen, and understand what the wounded pieces feel. Consider that this may be a piece of the self that never received compassion, or empathy for what they were experiencing at the time. It can become necessary to swim in those dark emotional waters, if for no other reason that our adult selves are stronger swimmers that can wade through our internal swampiness. I would guess on average that as we get older, we tend to be better equipped to handle scary feelings and memories.  If not, I am a strong advocate of therapy, because some inner journeys require assistance by someone skilled in those areas. Nothing is worth traumatizing yourself all over again.

Naked Imperfection by Shawn Kasner

I think the message I am wanting to pass along is that Shadow work really never stops. It is a life long exploration of hidden flaws, emotions, and talents. There is value in those two days where I felt defeated and panicked. It gave me permission to accept my imperfections and be gentle with myself. As a reader, teacher, healer, and priestess I feel that part of my integrity is embracing my flaws. I am on my own journey with my own learning curve, and I am fallible. I maintain that in accepting our inner bumps, bruises, and scrapes we better understand others who are experiencing similar things. It means stepping past perceived ideals of perfection, so we can normalize those things we avoid, deny, and obscure from others. If anything I feel it makes some of us better servants to the greater good. With that in mind, I will continue to endeavor to see and hear you exactly where you are. I will continue to find beauty in our cracks, and each perspective journey toward authenticity. I will remain transparent about my own struggles in order to provide a reminder that it really is okay to be imperfect.