In an initial Internal Compass session, I spend about 16 minutes discussing our Shadow. In order to understand our power, we must also understand why we hurt and self-sabotage. Internal Compass work is the juice that guides us on our path, even when we can’t clearly see the vision. When we talk about building your Internal Compass, we often also talk about your Shadow Self. You can not build an Internal Compass without getting intimate with your custom dark side. Often, this is a term new clients have never heard of, so I made you a workbook to get a deeper understanding.
Recently, I heard a devastating story about Shadow that I can’t get out of my head.
At the Unitarian Universalist church I attend, this sermon was written by Rev. Jen Crow. She started by telling us about this glorious couple that she had the honoring of knowing. Everyone loved them and their friendships ran deep. They were active in the community in addition to their work. They took trips, and shared the aliveness of their learning with others. They loved their dog like a child. They were both singers in the choir and often sang together. Her soprano mixing with his deep voice, their music open hearts.
And then Tim strangled Christine. You can hear the whole story, powerfully done on the podcast. It came out that Tim had been failing in his career and that that their financial future was in dire straights. He was going to kill Christine and them himself so that he didn’t have to ruin the illusion of the life they were living. He’s now serving a life sentence. I cried in my seat. More than one life was lost because there was so much fear of being found out.
This story is one of extremes. But we are living in extreme times, so perhaps it’s helpful to hear this. I’ve been wrestling in these questions. How are such terrible things done to such loving people, and sometimes by people we’d never suspect?
Here’s what Rev. Jen Crow was saying and what other teachers have taught. We are both/and.
We are the one who opens the door at the coffee shop and the one who snaps at our lover or best friend when we feel sick.
When you build an Internal Compass, you also reveal your shadow side. The side of you that sabotages and hurts. You need to have compassion for that side of yourself, too. That is intimacy. It is an act of vulnerability. It is the ultimate act and gift of belonging.
I made a workbook for you to delve into your Shadow Self. Peace can’t arrive and stay until each of us can be present to our dark AND our light.
We all have a gloriously luminous side of ourselves. The one that loves to love. But our shadow also demands our attention. You can download your Shadow workbook below.
To the courage it takes to understand your both/and nature,
When you can be in the deep with yourself, you don't get knocked off your path.
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