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  • Doris Kessel

How Dark is Your Shadow? Part 2 - Polarity



Are you ready to face your shadow? If you missed my first article where I shared one of my profound experiences of facing one of my shadows, please click here.



You might be familiar with the term “polarity.” Our basic experience of life is expressed as a polarity: night and day, yin and yang, sleep and awake, hungry and full. These extremes are often needed to find balance. How do we know that we are full, when we don’t know how it feels to be hungry? How do we understand daylight if we never saw the darkness of night? We are dancing with the polarity on this earth every day.


Let’s take a look at our character traits. Maybe you are a very patient person, or perhaps you’d like to be a very patient person. In order to understand the quality of what it is to be a patient person, you need to know what it is to be impatient. You might find that you are “tested” by people or events around you, so you can learn what it’s like to be patient or impatient.


When we become more self-aware and conscious of our responses to situations, events and people, we are better able to reflect on these experiences, and choose which response feels better to us. If we want to better ourselves, we will need to practice the positive outcome. But often, as in this example, patience can only exist if there is the opportunity for the opposite. This means, there are times when we will feel impatient. This is normal, and all part of our learning process.


Our experience of polarity doesn’t have to be as extreme as 50/50. My life is a balancing act every day: high energy to low energy, feeling good to feeling not good, etc.


When we become more self-aware and conscious of our responses to situations, events and people, we are better able to reflect on these experiences


Let us look at mother earth. She is always the best teacher for demonstrating the polarities: heaven and earth, high tide and low tide, warm and cold, dry and wet, the seasons, life and death – how wonderfully she balances and regulates herself!


Do you want to discover more of your dark side so you are better able to navigate the polarities within you?


Let’s do a little experiment:

Consider a handful of people with whom you would like to be alone on an island, far away from anyone else. Why would you like to be with them? What attracts you to these people?  What do these people (personality wise) have in common with you? Next, consider which people would you never take with you? What is it that you dislike?  What do these people (personality wise) have in common with you?


Results:

The first group of people, is your light side. The side of yourself that you accept, embrace and love.



Many of the traits in second group actually trigger parts in you which you don’t want to see, acknowledge or love.


True Story


A couple of years ago I had client come into my treatment room, and started to behave like the boss. Seemed to be displaying very dominant behaviors. In the beginning I simply observed her, while she talked about her colleague and how much she didn’t like her. I asked her about colleague’s behavior, to which she replied, “she is so dominant, and wants to be the boss.”

Her colleague was showing her a shadow side which she didn’t want to acknowledge. 


Another Example


Most people think that aggression is not a good character trait. But, consider for a moment, how much energy is behind it. I remember a situation which made me very aggressive. I was in a triathlon race, and after the swim I was leading with two other women. It was a hot day, and I knew that it was a big risk to pump up my tire too much, to improve speed. I took the risk and right in the beginning of the bike portion of the race, my bike tire burst! You can imagine how angry I was with myself. This anger did help me to change the tire in record time! I was able to jump back on my bike again and ride like hell!


Please do me favor, yes? Don’t deny or push your dark side away. It has a lot of power within, and it will cost you more energy to suppress it than to set it free. And, of course, this is for me not a short-term training. It’s a life-long-learning to accept our self again and again, day by day, for what we are.


You are WONDERful, as you are. Always remember that, ok?

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