As a woman, my anger has been repressed
for as long as I can remember.
“Good girls don’t get angry.”
They don’t raise their voice
or lose their shit.
It’s simply “not ladylike”.
Rare it is
to see a man
who is willing and able to cry.
Because we conditioned it out of them.
“We” being a society that says “big boys don’t cry”.
“Real men don’t cry”.
the stronger sex
learns in turn
Our mothers taught us well
the power of guilt
Of manipulating the other
to get them to do
what we want or need them to do.
If you’re like me
you probably know that feeling of guilt
That emotion that drives action
to please and console others,
and to meet their needs
before we meet our own.
And yet, much of the guilt we’re feeling
isn’t really helping anyone.
That powerful emotion
that spares no-one.
This says “you are a bad person”
rather than “you did something wrong” – as is the voice of guilt.
Shame takes it
It tells us that we’re not loveable
not worthy of connection
not good enough as we are.
Shame is strong enough to ostracise
and kill us.
Yet, we need to own
where we feel shame
so we can move past it
and move on.
Why do we fear
the other shadow emotions?
Why is it so uncomfortable
to feel our anger (particularly as a woman),
our sadness (particularly as a man),
to own where we feel guilty
and all the places where shame shows up?
They’re not called shadow emotions for no reason.
They lurk in our shadow
showing up at inopportune moments
unconsciously taking over the show
with a power
that can astound us.
Have we become addicted to the light
of the “light” emotions of joy, happiness, and love
of gratitude, grace and optimism?
When did we forget
to look into the dark
the closet of ugly emotions?
When did we forget the power
of being with
what we don’t like,
those emotions that don’t look pretty
And (more importantly)
is it time now
are you ready now
to look at what’s ugly
to feel what feels difficult
to own the parts of your
that linger in the dark?
Are you ready now?
Are you willing now?
Is it time?
But perhaps it begs the question;
Why, would you want to face that stuff?
Why, is it in your interest,
to feel that which we’ve been hiding from
all this time?
Haven’t we swallowed that anger,
danced around that guilt,
and denied the role that fear plays
in our everyday life
for a reason?
Of course we have.
We thought it served us.
We thought it would help us,
that it was easier
to hide from our shadow…
easier to play in the light
and talk about the light
and focus only on the light,
and simply push the shadow back down
into the deepest recesses of our being
and hope it doesn’t come up again.
But somewhere along the way
We forgot that the light only exists because of the dark.
One cannot exist without the other.
Like day time,
we only get it because we also get night time.
And we don’t get a choice with this.
Just as we cannot choose to have only days and no nights
we cannot choose to have only the light (“positive”) emotions
without their counter
Why would I encourage you
to go into the dark?
Because my owning our shadow we get to experience more of the light.
Want to experience more joy
Go look in that closest of baggage.
Want to experience more gratitude
Go take a torch to that warehouse of darkness.
Your answers are there.
Your power to create lasting change
no, transformation, in your life
and the lives of your clients
So pluck up the courage babe
Take your fear by the hand
Grab a torch to light your way
And go explore as deep as you dare.
For your answers are there.
Your answers are there.