There is a lot going on right now on so many levels for so many people.
I personally have been on a journey exploring my shadow self for many years now. The journey of reconnecting with myself has been tumultuous at times, but beyond worth it. It's a literal daily journey for me in some ways. Some parts of it have been scary as fuck, but I've also tremendously enjoyed a lot of it as well.
This is a slight example of Shadow Work. You all know that recently I lost two of my precious furbabies. It's been rough. I literally cried so hard I cried myself into a very bad back injury. Now, years ago I'd simply say "Shut the fuck up and deal with it". Then proceed to completely ignore my pain in any and all fashions and fuck myself over even more. Now, I look at the meaning of my emotions and reactions. When this occurred, I asked myself why I was reacting the way I did. After all, being 100% objective, deep down I knew that being partially outdoor cats this could one day happen. This is not pushing my emotions away. It's the balance of logic and my very meaningful emotions. So knowing this was a possible reality, and actively making the choice to allow my cats out, why did I feel so utterly and completely destroyed?
This is where the internal convo, analysis, and breakdown of thoughts and feelings ensues. Note, this is just a glimpse...
1- They were my furbabies, closer to me than a lot of my family.
2- Yes, true, but dig deeper Denae. You know there's more.
1- They're helpless animals I feel responsible for.
2- Cop out. You are responsible for them Denae, to an extent. They are living creatures with their own wills and desires. You can't control everything. So why do you really feel destroyed Denae?
1- Because I fucking failed them! I knew there were foxes, bears, coyotes and all kinds of shit outside. And I still let them out! I did this. I let them keep going out. My decisions led to them being gone.... it's my fault. I failed. Again. Like I have so many other fucking times.
2 - You did make all these decisions. However, did you force them to go out?
1- No. BUT...
2- No. No but. Did they want to go out? Yes. They loved being outside. There were several times they even snuck outside.
1 - Can you control foxes, bears, coyotes, driving cars, nature or anything else outside of you?
2 - No..... as much as I want to and wish I could... No...
1 - So should you really be blaming yourself for what is not in your control? No... and I know this. I just miss them so bad it hurts. My babies are gone, and it fucking hurts. And I'm allowed to miss them. I'm allowed to hurt. But blaming and hating myself over what I can't control won't bring them home. It won't fix anything or make me feel better. I'm human baby. So allow yourself to be human.
Further reflections - what did I learn? Again, a glimpse to another piece of my process. And this is normally where I'd meditate and journal. First and foremost, I don't want to hurt like this anymore if it can be avoided. When it comes to my kitties, it can be avoided. How? Well, by not allowing them outside. Which pain is worse? Hearing them whine to go out? Or the pain of them never returning? It's a fair and objective question. What else did I learn? It was moreso a reminder of what I already know. But, I can't control everything. So blaming and hating on myself over what I can't control does me no good. It only causes further trauma... hence my back injury. I let anger, and even hate take hold and as a result, I hurt myself. Also, monitoring my thoughts, I learned there's a piece of me that believes I'm a failure. Hmmm... That's going to require deeper work. Deeper questions. Deeper reflections. More honest and objective answers. And whole lot of love.
I recommend getting a diary or journal. Write your experiences, feelings, thoughts, everything. Not only does it give you the ability to spill out all the bullshit you've been holding back forever, but then you get to have a reference point and see how you've handled things. Later on down the road, you get to look back and see how much you've healed and grown. I don't know about you, but I find that very valuable. Especially for when you get in those funks where you're just so down on yourself.
So when I see these posts about coming back to self, centering, and reconnecting - this is what I think of. This is what reconnecting to self looks like for me.
Have you done Shadow Work? What does it look like for you? Do you have any unique processes or tools that have helped you heal? I'd love to hear from you and connect.
💫💜Your Ultimate Woo Woo Witch,