I’ll give you a big hint. If a trait
or behavior in someone really bothers you, look in the mirror. It’ll be something that you’re not willing to
own in yourself. Hate women who dress
sexy and have men drooling over them?
What stories are buried in your subconscious about women like that? What would happen if you dressed sexy and had
men drooling over you? What thoughts pop
up for you when you imagine doing it? Maybe
you have a poor body image (real or imagined), or maybe you come from a
conservative religious background.
What’s good about dressing sexy and having men drool? I can think of some things: you’d feel great about your body, it can be
fun to be the center of attention, when you look sexy, you feel sexy, there’s a
certain power in drawing men to you, and sometimes it’s just plain fun! There’s a saying, “what you don’t own, owns
you.” Until and unless you’re willing to
embrace all aspects of yourself, you won’t be a fully empowered person.
This was just one example of what is called your Shadow. According to C.G. Jung, the shadow is “a part
of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings, and
instincts… The less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the
blacker and denser it is.” (Wikipedia, Shadow Psychology) To identify a message, you first have to
hear it with your conscious mind. This
first step helps us reclaim our power because the messages we tell ourselves
have the greatest power over us when we listen to them subconsciously. Once we shine the light of our consciousness
on them, they begin to lose their power over us. In that way, we gain the ability to ask
ourselves if we really want to believe the messages.
The bad news is that uncovering all the aspects of your
Shadow can be a life-long process. The
good news is that it gets easier every time you do it, and the clearer you
become, the more centered and secure you’ll be with yourself. You’ll be a veritable man magnet! Debbie Ford has written several books about
the Shadow, and I’d recommend you work with them (each book has a series of
exercises to complete) to help you uncover the gifts within your own