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I Am a Narcissist. I Am Selfish. I Am Unlovable: My Beautiful, Shadowy Truths.

Photo on 18-11-13 at 12.58 PM

(Ahem. Nothing to worry about folks. I’m okay! 🙂 )

Months ago, I wrote this about my experiences in calling myself out on the judgements I make towards others (you can read it here), and while I’ve been committed to viewing all interactions in my life as inner teachers, I hadn’t connected the dots of my contemplations as ‘Shadow Work.’

However, now, with the help of the brilliant Debbie Ford (rest in peace, you amazing woman), I can identify that yes, I have indeed been locking eyes with my shadows – with disowned aspects of myself – and not only that, but dammit, I’m ready to go deeper. I want to wade through the mud, crawl into the crevices and come up sweaty, with dirt beneath my nails.

LINE

In her book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (which is quite honestly the most impactful book I’ve ever read), Debbie explains that white is not the absence of colour; it’s the combination of all colour, and that love is not the absence of hate; it’s the summation of all emotion.

Can you picture in your mind a time when you read something (perhaps even here on this blog) and before you had barely digested the words, you were all in. You become a believer. No need to research further, no need to test the waters. The YES within you had been illuminated, and your whole body was telling you so.

That’s what happened to me what I heard this definition of Love. By God, yes.

To return to totality, to become whole, or to simply live a peaceful life, we need to embrace who we are as a whole – all of it. Not just the aspects that beam out optimism and give love freely and operate out of integrity.

If there’s night and day, on and off, up and down, then we also must  be the polar opposite of all we desire. We need to embrace this if we’re to realise wholeness.

Louise Hay is an angel of our generation, and she’s responsible for kickstarting millions of spiritual journeys (including my own) through her work with positive affirmations and gratitude practices. It’s no secret that our thoughts greatly impact our reality – the brighter the thought, the brighter the manifestation of life – but I’m at a point in my practice where sugar coated affirmations aren’t giving me the depth of spirituality that I know is possible.

Shadow work is.

We cannot see our shadow – and how can we – it’s hiding behind the light. Our shadows show up in our life via our projections onto others. In other words, it’s the interaction between two people (or a group dynamic, or a corporation) that teaches us about our shadow.

In other words still – and I love how Debbie explains it: If it affects you, it’s a projection.

I’ve heard versions of this Universal Law for years, but crikey, I get it now. I really get it.

In Bali, I confided in my coach that arrogance annoys me; makes me feel all icky like. She barely skipped a beat in locking eyes with me and saying:

Here’s your homework. You’re to have three conversations with three different people, in which you’ll tell them three reasons why you’re better than most people on the planet.

My jaw hit the floor. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. 

LINE

Life will continue to show us our shadow, vicariously through others, until we’ve embraced it as a part of who we are, until we quit it with the lies and inner games; hingeing our worth on how often we smile, or how readily we swallow down a lump of resentment, or anger, or jealously with an affirmative ‘I accept myself unconditionally.’

No.

Accepting yourself unconditionally is affirming: I’m furious and I have no idea why!  Or, Right now, I feel like a worthless piece of shit. Or, I hate to admit it, but there’s jealousy in me.

That’s wholeness: acknowledging the shadow and expressing it, not pretending as though it’s not there. When we express, we transcend. The consequence of denying our shadows, means that we’ll be constantly plugged in to the very emotion that triggers us in others.

For example, if you’re suffocating your anger, you will continually be presented with situations in your life that will challenge you to acknowledge anger. Traffic jams, impatient partners, mum’s at the supermarket who are at their wit’s end with their children. Anger will look you in the eye, until you look within and find it there, too.

Remember, if it affects you, it’s a projection.

I’ll reveal myself first.

Words that trigger me (also known as: words that I hope I’m not) include:

Scattered

Narcissistic

Aggressive

Boring

Selfish

And if we are what we’re affected by, then folks, you heard it here first: I’m scattered. I’m narcissistic. I’m aggressive, and boring, and selfish.

But because I am those things, and because we live in a world of opposing forces, I must also be focused, humble, calm, engaging and generous.

Words that I love, words I’m proud to be, include:

Loving

Creative

Authentic

Brave

Determined

Which means I must also be hateful, unimaginative, fake, cowardly and irresolute.

Bring it on. My arms are wide open. I want all of it.

I have never – in all of my life – felt so empowered.

LINEIt’s this energy, this deepening, this curiosity of the dark, imperfect, less polished side, that has been the inspiration for mine and Rach’s newest offering to world:

The 2014 Spirited Companion: Spirited Solutions to What’s Holding You Back.

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Setting New Years Resolutions and weekly, monthly, yearly intentions is about more than throwing a few goals out into open air. It’s human nature. It’s part of the creative cycle, which is one of death and rebirth. As one year closes out, we prepare for the newness – for the amped up energy, the spring-loaded enthusiasm, the bounce in our step – that comes with a new one. There’s no doubt about: ain’t no better time than the turning of the year to step into your desires.

But what happens on the mornings where we can barely get out of bed? The days we break our promises? The days we can’t stand the sight of ourselves? When our To Do lists feel like a whole planet has taken residence on our shoulders?

This companion is a guide to getting in your body, to carrying the dark into the light. It’s practical and powerful. It’s Spirited’s more experienced, wiser big sister.

2014 won’t be perfect – it can’t be (and let’s be honest, do we really want it to be?) – but we’ll be damned if it can’t be a little more whole.

Pre Sale starts tomorrow. The guide will be $13 (a saving of $4) and it’ll be delivered to your inbox the first week of December. Keep those beautiful eyes of yours peeled.

Welcome to the dark side.

LINESo now, if you’re feeling brave, I want you to bring into your mind an image of someone who affects you; someone you feel triggered by. Label it: what’s it about them that rattles you? Are they stubborn? Conceited? Oblivious? Obnoxious?

This person is expressing a sub-personality that you may be suppressing. Can you own that somewhere in you, deep inside, you’re stubborn? Or conceited, or obnoxious, or whatever it is that bothers you?

Can you find a way to healthily express this emotion, before it bubbles up into a catastrophic eruption of saboteur behaviour?

If you could be a fly on the wall around here, you’d think I’ve gone nuts. Every time I find myself being triggered, I affirm the mirror. ‘I am deceitful.’ ‘I am an addict.’ ‘I am self-obsessed.’

And rather than detrimental gospel that threatens to pepper my life with misery, these ‘affirmations’ are beautiful; they provide a cathartic release that welcomes oneness and unity with all of humanity. I see us in each other.

(I feel it necessary here to punctuate that we are ALL emotions (for risk of you all thinking I’ve gone truly mad). So, if I am those things, I must also be honest, pure, selfless..)

Just this morning, stretched out in a yoga pose on the carpet, I could feel anger well up within me, and instead of ‘breathing into the emotion,’ I clenched my jaw before eyeballing my lounge room wall and saying ‘I’m fucking angry!’

Phew. Much better.

It takes courage to healthily express our shadows, particularly as women. We’re supposed to keep it all together, to manage ourselves, remain tidy. Mastin Kipp calls this a Spiritual Bypass; a tactic that many of us seekers use when we’re determined to live spiritually rich lives. Instead of feeling our pain and embodying our darkness, we’re too busy looking at the light, clambering for an elusive ‘Good girl.’

Get messy! Be bad!

And maybe, just maybe, if you’re feeling super brave, you can share with us any aspects of this post that triggered you. The comments welcome your reflections!

Be sure to share this post with your people 🙂

51 Responses to I Am a Narcissist. I Am Selfish. I Am Unlovable: My Beautiful, Shadowy Truths.

  1. Christie Fischer November 21, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    I love the concept of “Spiritual Bypass” – sooo gud! On a separate note, my partner has just had a vitamix explosion in the kitchen, and (literally – the jug broke through) I gotta jet xxx LOVE the post though, will read it again xx

  2. Alana November 21, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Wow. Such powerful wisdom. I did already know that when I was particularly triggered by someone, it was most likely a mirror to something I didn’t like inside myself. However, I’ve never thought about it like this – in daily life, in regular situations. Thank you.

  3. Jenna November 21, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Holy fuck. Someone has finally articulated why affirmations have just not sat well with me as a concept. Why most of the time saying I fully accept myself or I am beautiful feels fake, wrong, inauthentic. There must be some little nugget in me that knows that that isn’t true all the time so I just can’t say that out loud. Because its both true and wrong at the same time, and at all times. Like this post I’ve written – its articulate and crass (hello, first sentence!)

    We’ve spoken about how my medical condition is my teacher and I think this is what it has been screaming at me – you’re often messy and frustrating and an damn inconvenience, don’t stand there saying you’re beautiful and light and positive, its not the whole truth dammit! Thankyou so much for helping me understand its message with this post!

    I am not me without my shadows, and I can’t deny them. Not ever. Because that’s when I’m lying to myself and the world about who I am. I also think its true self-acceptance.

  4. Jessie November 21, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Tara, I have resonated so much with this post! I constantly feel like I am suppressing certain emotions in order to maintain the presence of love – but this post has made me realise that by suppressing what I feel I am not loving myself. I need to allow myself to be angry, hurt or jealous in order to explore WHY I feel that way, to grow and to learn! Thank you, it is always a pleasure reading your work x

  5. Sarah November 21, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Wow, this post really hit a chord with me. I feel particularly triggered by defining what it is that upsets me about that person who affects me. I find myself quickly reacting and saying to myself “I am NOTHING like that!” I am going to think more about this throughout the day, as right now I’m being met with a buttload of resistance! Thanks for writing, babe xx

    • Tara November 21, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Two great questions to ask yourself if you feel as though you can’t resonate:

      – Have I ever acted that way in the past?

      and

      – Is there a possibility that I COULD act that way in the future?

      Changed everything for me.

  6. Kristen November 21, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Love this post Tara. The YES within me has been illuminated. There are traits within other people that trigger me. Just to name two, Perfectionism and competitiveness. I can accept that at time I perfection can creep its way into my life but I am more resistant to this competitive word being apart of me.. You have prompted me to explore that.

    Love Kristen

    • Tara November 21, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      Hey beautiful.

      I know, it’s hard to look it in the eye, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

      Try asking yourself the same two questions I wrote in response to Sarah x

  7. Leah November 21, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Tara this is down right genius. So beautifully written, rattled with deep authenticity. The no bullshit approach. Love it! If I were to be honest, a person who really triggers me is disrespectful of personal boundaries and self absorbed, and it rubs me the wrong way. To the point of fury. And if I answer your questions, yeah I probably have been that in the past. Thank you for bringing to light my shadows Tara xx

  8. Becs November 21, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Thank f-ing god. I am buying that book right now- I love the bright, bubbly, light and supportive affirmations and raised vibrations, but holy hell, the real juice of life is in the frustrated crying, the seething rage and the jealousy. How good is it to see it all and still love it and yourself? Everything is a yes with this post for me, and a frigging relief to hear it.

    • Tara November 21, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      YES YES YES! 🙂

  9. Steph November 21, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I have been feeling grumpy and unsettled for days, trying to figure out what the hell is going on….you’ve just shone a big bright spotty on it for me. I feel as though the universe has served up this post, and a few others this morning on resistance, to show me the answer. Surely, the bigger our light starts to shine, the shadows retreat, but do they get a little darker!?
    I couldn’t understand why, after finishing #Spirited, finally finding space to meditate and fall in love with yoga…that I was feeling so shit, like I was wearing this light like a mask. I have been feeling as though I’ve cracked open the door to a whole new exciting world, but something inside was slamming that door in my face. Stop resisting, except the dark with the light, it is all you, authentically you. Amazing Tara, thank you xxx

  10. Katie - Conquering Fear Spiritually November 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Good grey grief- there must be something in the air at the moment. The reason I haven’t been blogging and diving into it as much as I used to recently is because I’m having a cosy relationship with my shadow side at the moment. Like so much in life, once you open one flood-gate, the rest of them swing open too, and I’m having energy healing and diving head-first into yoga to get better acquainted with what makes me tick underneath, underneath all the ‘it’s ok’ and the ‘it’ll be alrights’.

    I know that I’m going through this now for a reason, so I can clear this energy before 2014, in which I have a sneaky sense that stuff is going to go off, in a profound, sh*t-yeah, hold-on kind of way. It’s going to be beautiful, but in amongst in all, I know my shadow side will always be there, not as an enemy, but as an allie.

    Thank you so much my darling- love that we’re all dancing the dance together- xx

  11. Amelia {Nurture and Shine} November 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Wow. I read this post earlier today and it really stayed with me. I’m so intrigued by this shadow self stuff. And totally ready to get my hands dirty and see what my shadow is trying to tell me.
    Thank you, gorgeous xxx

  12. Lori November 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I am coming back to this with pen and paper in hand. Thank you Tara.

  13. Sophie November 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    This is a seriously Inspirational post Tara, It’s something I’ve long had lurking in the back of my mind, but never had the words to define it, and change my thinking. I’m going to remember your wisdom in the coming weeks as I work on myself and my thoughts and feelings.

  14. Joscelin November 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Tara, this post hit’s home with me, and perfectly timed as well. I recently moved back to my hometown (and in with my parents) and it has been confronting how uncomfortable I have felt. “Weak”, “in your face” and “showy” are the traits I’m going to work on.

    Thank you (as always) for your raw honesty x

  15. Ashlee November 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Wow Tara, this is so deep. I love it! I’ve got some questions to ask myself. Thank you x

  16. Janet November 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Wow Tara

    I have always struggled with the notion of what that thing that annoys you about someone else is actually a projection of yourself. I actually f%^king hate that and it totally pissed me off when my yoga teacher first said it. However I really love the concept of embracing the shadows. Like I am angry , unorganised , stupid , boring , rude. So then I am Loving , organised , intelligent , interesting and hospitable. Hmm Like they balance each other out. The good with the bad. The dark with the light. We all have our different sides.

    Love it!

  17. Danielle November 21, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    I love this post! Thank you for speaking to this so beautifully. This is such a HUGE part of being a light worker in this world and something I really welcome and invite with my clients, friends, and family. We live in a both/and universe and when we shun the dark side of our lives, it winds up fighting back, with a vengeance! I love getting in touch with my anger and just allowing it to run its course – it doesn’t feel “great”, but it’s empowering to recognize that I don’t shove it away anymore. I work towards embracing all of me now. I also practice tapping into my awareness to notice triggers I experience being around certain people and how they are a reflection of my shadow parts I have yet to forgive/love. Btw, YES to the late and great, Debbie Ford…what a gift she bestowed upon us. xo

  18. Sharyn November 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Hey Tara, I love this! I accept my Shadow side completely and utterly. I have done this moderately for a long time (with a hint of uncertainty), but quite some time ago I decided that my shadow side is a big part of me and I was no longer going to say sorry for her (resolute, assertive). I became sick of feeling the need to apologise for having passionate opinions about subjects where I might receive the response that what I’m feeling is silly, unreasonable or irrational. I am all those things and so much more, all at different times. It is my Shadow side that is passionate, brave and courageous, why would I shun her? Among so many other things this year, I have felt very deeply every emotion, thought & feeling that came through – fear, anger, passion, hatred, disgust, weak, shame, guilt, imperfection, worthless, useless, aggressive, creative, fiery, empowered, authentic, courageous, honest & loyal and the flipsides to each of those. Some of these things I really do not enjoy feeling, they feel horrible, awkwar &, uncontrollable but I feel them nonetheless and honour their place in my life and what they teach me. As for keeping it together, I say fuck that. I’m just me, no validation or pat on the head required, who wants to be a good girl anyway? : ) I wil definitely include your post in my Friday I’m in (Link) Love blog post.

  19. Ashley November 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    oh my, oh my, oh my. you have perfectly expressed through words what has been on my mind these past few days. you, lady, are right on. YES. I want all of my messy, impractical, hypocritical, dirty parts. It makes me WHO I AM and a unique expression of the whole. THANK YOU for the reminder & I cannot wait to dig into your new project!!

    xo Ashley

  20. Monique November 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    Wow Tara.
    This is the first blog post of yours have I read, and I’m tempted to open my computer and sift through all of your posts and really open mind! So thank you for coming into my life right now.
    This shadow thing freaks me out a little, I won’t lie. I too have heard the saying that your judgements and annoyances are reflections of yourself, but I resisted to believe it because frankly, I didn’t want to. I hate to admit it, but I am a judgemental person. Admitting this in itself shouts out to me that there are lessons I need to learn! My common udgements are ignorance, stupidity, competitiveness, rudeness, unapproachable, obnoxious and nosey. It’s really hard for me to sit here and tell myself that I am all of these things, and I definitely have been in the past. But I guess that I’m also knowledable, intelligent, accommodating, pleasant, approachable, modest and uninterested.
    It’s difficult to swallow, this accepting myself as a whole thing. But as you explained, this is one post that I’m not questioning, it’s a big YES from me with no further questions. This has enlightened me, so thanks again!

    • Tara November 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      There are no lessons to learn! We are ALL judgemental! Embrace it baby! Bring it into the light xxx

  21. Beth November 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    I love that this was my opening blog for this day that I am blessed to live in~ I have known this concept for a long time – something about it never really felt like it fit, never felt like I fully took it in and made it my own.
    Today, right here and now, after reading your post and the comments, I feel that “perfect” timing has struck again (but of course, “she’s” amazing, right!?)
    Today I am committed to being so open and out there with my dark side. I’m and extravert (which means I love to be an introvert too :)) and the power of putting myself out there sends me off so high! I love to be seen (and I love to hide too), I love for people to know me, see me and love me perfectly as I am.
    What a great way for me to fully accept, expand and grow personally as well as allow my world to do the same.

    Rock On Sister!
    I AM the Light and the Dark- the full meal deal!

    thank you, thank me!
    Big Love sister!
    beth

  22. Dave November 22, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    In true narcissistic fashion, narcissists will reveal their flaws before they have hurt people under the guise of “caveat emptor”.

    This attracts all but those with low self esteem and poor boundaries puts the victim in a bind as they feel they must tolerate narcissistic behaviour because the narcissist was so kind as to declare upfront how they will likely hurt them or others….

    i.e. You must love me with all my faults and I have a way out of bad behaviour because I declared it before I hurt you

    Which is very seductive thinking to those who lack accountability.

    Responsibility to the responsible…..

    • Tara November 22, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      Did this post trigger you, Dave 😉

      • Dave November 22, 2013 at 8:13 am #

        No Tara, I’ve just witnessed a lot of people go on self justified damage sprees because they are unwilling to be responsible for their behaviour, so while I agree it’s important to acknowledge all aspects of the psyche dark and light, real growth comes from responsibility and not merely acknowledgement which is just the tip of the iceberg….

        • Tara November 22, 2013 at 8:35 am #

          I 100% agree. As you can see in the post, acknowledging the shadow in my wasn’t easy, but it was freeing. It is ALL about responsibility and HEALTHY expression – not abusing the shadow.

          It’s about not being in denial anymore.

  23. Natasha November 22, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    This is incredible Tara. I agree with the whole affirmations thing- why live a lie when underneath the anger, the jealousy, and the competitiveness are waiting to be acknowledged. I too have felt icky and resistant over the past couple of months and it feels so good to understand why. Accepting every emotion and not having to disguise it with a big list of why i am grateful, feels like a huge sigh of relief. Thank you for giving me permission to feel and feel all of it. I believe it is truly the thing that’s holding me back. X x

  24. Claire // This is Lifeblood November 22, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Sometimes we can all feel a bit “love and light-ed” out that’s for sure. Acceptance is transcendence. Yin and yang. Light and dark. Who we are! Love you x

  25. Kylie November 22, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I think this is your most game-changing post yet. Incredible.

  26. Lauren November 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    wow I really LOVE this post! Beautifully written and I absolutely laughed out loud in parts! (especially the outburst on the yoga mat – this is so me ) So so so true we are all emotions rolled into one love…wonderful thanks so much 🙂

  27. Zoë November 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    This is another cool article along these lines – incredible writer!
    Last paragraph in particular…

    http://kristenhedges.com/with-my-sadness-i-am-complete/

  28. Clare Greig November 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    Beautifully written Tara.

  29. Pettina Stanghon November 22, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I work a lot with shadow work and find the eternally optimistic, positive thinking, love is the answer stuff grating at times… yes, i know what that says about me!… so it’s refreshing to me to read this post and see you diving in with such gusto. It IS so cleansing and freeing to embrace the crap, acknowledge and accept the unpleasant aspects and thoughts and feelings in ourselves and others. it is brave, It is authentic and it is growth which REQUIRES discomfort. If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you! Bring it.

  30. Clare Greig November 23, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    I went away and thought about this post and whilst I agree with it on the whole I do think there is a slight danger that it encourages people to think everything is their fault.
    On a basic level if someone upsets you by saying or doing something then you need to be open and honest and let them know. That way communication takes place and perhaps confrontation which then means everyone learns something from the process.
    We have to be careful about creating a non confrontational – it must be me, it’s all my fault mentality.
    What are your thoughts on that Tara?

    • Tara November 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

      Totally agree with you honey. I don’t shadow work is about identifying what is your ‘fault’ or what’s wrong with you – shadow work teaches us that there is nothing wrong about having anger or jealously or resentment inside of us – we all have it, some of us are expressing it more than others – some unhealthy, some not so healthily, some not at all (which is dangerous).

      Boundaries are important. Having the conversation with people that have hurt you is important. But just as important as that (I believe) is investigating what’s triggered us in the first place.

      I don’t believe in ‘it’s all my fault’ – but I do believe in empowered responsibility, which essentially points to EMBRACING who we are as a whole, rather than being ashamed.

      Thank you so much for your comment x

      • Clare Greig November 23, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

        That makes sense Tara, you write beautifully.

  31. Mandi November 23, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    This is such a fantastic post. There isn’t a part of it that I didn’t go…oh that makes so much sense. I’m new at finding out about myself, about finding my shadow self as well so this is actually really handy. I really love the boldness of this post. You are an amazing woman.

  32. Emma November 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    YES BABE. FUCK YES.

    Unifying Duality.

    My soul is THRILLED. My shadows are having a party with the light and it’s getting ECSTATIC up in here.

    LOVE YOU XOXO

    • Tara November 26, 2013 at 6:07 am #

      Dance it up, baby! 🙂

      YEAH

  33. Sophia Somerville November 26, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    This post changed my life Tara XX many thanks

    • Tara November 26, 2013 at 6:08 am #

      You are so welcome Soph 🙂

  34. Tegan Ballinger November 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    Heck yeah Tara! This was an awesome post! It’s such a relief to allow ourselves to fully express our emotions. We’ve been under the impression for so long that there are ‘bad’ emotions when they are simply our shadows. They balance us. Love your work honey. xox

  35. Penny November 26, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Beautiful post Tara, I don’t think I’ve ever looked at it that way before.
    You are becoming such an amazing writer and teacher. Keep shining honey xx

  36. Marcella November 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I like the notion that we are all-encompassing beings. And that what we see in each other, whether they be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ attributes, suggests that we are looking at a reflection of ourselves. It initially might seem scary to acknowledge the shadow & to give it the attention it may well warrant. But ultimately, once it’s all laid out on the table, it can be so liberating. As though we are limitless!

    Thank you, Tara. Your honesty & self-expression are reassuring & allow me to feel more able to love my WHOLE self – woohoo! I appreciate it very much.

  37. Tiffany December 2, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Tara, I think this is the best post you’ve ever written. Just today I have been looking over this past year by going through my journal. I noticed how whenever I am in a seriously difficult situation or battling some really uncomfortable emotions, I turn to affirmations, thinking that I can change my mind out of whatever is going on in my life. Never, ever does this work.
    Now that I have read this post, it finally clicks with me why that is. It’s because those affirmations are making it even more obvious that the words I’m saying are not true. If I’m feeling angry telling myself over and over that I am filled with peace is going to do nothing but push that anger even further down when what it really needs is to be acknowledged.
    Thank you for being so transparent.
    Tons of love!

  38. Shea December 7, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Wowza. Probably the first half of this post was met with a decent level of resistance. I got it, and I was okay with it, but I kind of felt, “Eh, I don’t know if I can get on board with ALL of this…” So obviously I knew it was important. By the end of it, I could feel the little changes & sparkles & cracks happening inside. Thank you.

    xx shea

  39. Greta April 27, 2014 at 12:45 am #

    Tara,

    Wow this article is amazing. I have been experiencing anxiety for almost a year now. Doctors prescribe medicine to control, which I’m not using it, since it has many side effects one of the biggest highly addictive. Inside of me was telling me this is only going to suppress of what I’m feeling and I know my body is telling me something. It’s sending me a message, that I’m doing something wrong, it’s my body’s way of telling me stop you are hurting. Went to psychotherapy to find out what is it that I don’t know. What is my body telling me. Oh boy that was a great foundation to what I know now. My doctor pointed out some things I never owned like anger, ect… That was only the beginning. All my life (29yrs) I was convinced I’m strong, powerful, very giving, nice, warm, loving, honest, reliable person. Never and I mean never Thought I could be angry, unloving, hateful, weak, unreliable, dark, arrogant, jealous. I used to say it to myself I don’t have a jealous bone in my body. So, the quest to getting to know myself continues to this day, but just the other day when it hit me I was a very selfish person was a shock. I was bawling my eyes out. I couldn’t understand where all of this pain is coming from. The only explanation I have now is that I’m starting to acknowledge and OWN all of my emotions. I did try positive affirmations “like I love and approve of myself” ect but it never worked me and i see why. How can you love and approve yourself when you ignore/disown the other part of you? There are no good or bad emotions, all of them are good and it serves a purpose for us human beings. I watch my 5yr old niece in play all the time. You can learn from them a lot even babies. All of us are born in free spirit only later parents, teachers, society teaches us to be this or that way. When you watch a baby or a child at play you’ll see them selfish, jealous, if they want something oh they’ll let you know by screening, being angry throwing tantrums ect. Kids show all emotions with no shame, they just do it and it’s how it should be naturally.
    Finding my true self is the biggest blessing. Not gonna lie it takes great courage to look for your shadows, but with every pain comes a reward. I’m still anxious, but I’m done telling myself lies, I’m done ignoring my other not so much liked, but good emotions, I’m done pretending to be good all there time. Back in a day I was clueless, now I’m wiser.
    Still looking for what triggers me, but already accepting myself with all of my shadows. I love myself. 🙂

  40. Caroline August 31, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    Simpluy brilliant.. the best I’ve read on our shadow sides.. just discovered you, love you wise outlook and realness <3

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