The art of satisfying relationships isn’t something we usually think much about until one of our relationships isn’t going so well. Valentine’s Day brings up wherever we are in terms of our current relationships.
What’s your shadow?
People talk about making friends with our shadow sides, but what exactly does that mean?
When we react to others in a negative or judgmental way, it is more often than not some aspect of ourselves that we are reacting to. It’s some part of ourselves we have been unable to claim that we are projecting onto someone else. When I look around my house, for example, and see a mess, I immediately want to blame my hubby. In fact, my reaction to the mess is more about my own need for order and approval. It’s about how I see it as a reflection of me.
This shadow side offers a treasure trove of information to examine in order to know yourself better, and to fine-tune the art of relationship. You must accept your shadow aspects in order to be able to care for and love yourself in any meaningful way.
Self-care or loving ourselves is predicated on being able to fully own, accept and claim those less than admirable traits we may have tried to bury or hide from. Often our shadow aspects originated from some early childhood memory. But claiming every bit of ourselves — the good, the bad and the not so pretty parts — is step number one in being able to love yourself fully, and then in turn love others.
None of us are perfect. We all have made mistakes. And when we know better, we do better.
This Valentine’s Day, make an effort to forgive yourself for any and all past errors. Release any shame or guilt you may have embodied around this.
Then come up with a caring and loving way to treat yourself … now. In what way could you be extra nice to yourself?
For me, being kind to myself often involves very simple things like making a cup of tea, going window shopping in my favorite neighborhood, watching a movie or taking a walk. The point is to do something meaningful and loving — and to do it consciously.
I recommend creating some loving affirmations. In fact, making a framed and decorated version of your affirmation that you can view every day is part of sharing the love!
You may wish to journal around this topic and discover what parts of yourself you have previously shunned. You might ask yourself:
- In what area of my life do I tend to exhibit stubbornness and resistance?
- How good am I at making specific requests when I feel disturbed or uncomfortable?
Bringing this information to the surface will allow you to neutralize that shadow trait, accept it and even appreciate it with love.
In love and appreciation of you, Goddess,