How to make the invisible visible?
How to make visible what is invisible
Discovering your dark side isn’t an easy task, mainly because our “dark side” is that part which we usually haven’t accepted yet.
Have you ever wondered why you can’t stand that particular person?
In this article, I hope to answer this question and offer you some clues about that part of you that you may not like much but, which you need to recognize, accept and integrate.
- 1 The shadow
- 2 Why does other’s people behavior bother you?
- 3 2 ways to discover your dark side
- 4 Integrate your shadow
As a child, you get a significant amount of judgments or lectures about what’s right and what’s wrong about yourself, your behavior and your feelings, so at an early age, you’re clear about what your parents appreciate and value, and what they don’t.
For example, if your parents criticize you for crying, you learn that showing strength is recognized and accepted, but showing weakness isn’t. Each time you feel weak, you’ll hide that feeling and send them to your subconscious or the shadow.
Thus it will create a “sack” in which every behavior that is criticized, every thought that is despised or every unvalued emotion will be sent to the subconscious and you will abandon any kind of relationship with the rejected part.
That subconscious could be represented by the part of the iceberg you don’t see.
But, the rejected part can’t stay in the subconscious mind, because it’s a part of you, so your subconscious will send your rejected part back to your consciousness but, reversed.
What do you mean with “reversed”?
Why does other’s people behavior bother you?
Following the previous example. If weakness is rejected as an emotion by adults or society, you’ll reject it too, and won’t know anything about that rejected part.
Therefore, two things can happen:
- You won’t be able to recognize your own weaknesses, but you’ll see them in the others and won’t tolerate them.
And that’s how you learn to project onto others the rejected parts of yourself.
Can’t put up with arrogant people?
What if I told you that you may be experiencing one of these two things?
You have an arrogant side, but you can’t see it or if you do, you don’t allow yourself to be arrogant, because there’s a negative connotation that prevents you from expressing arrogance.
Is arrogance or the weakness really that bad?
From my point of view, it depends on the situation, the time, the person in front you …
Do you always need to show strength?
Can you allow yourself to feel weakness in certain situations?
Can you be arrogant with certain people or situations when it’s required?
Because that is the essence of the matter and, for me, the most important thing is: to show yourself in every situation with authenticity and sometimes, as the situation demands.
2 ways to discover your dark side
I’ve already explained both ways with an example, to make it easier to understand, but now let’s try to find more parts of your shadow place.
For this, I propose a little exercise:
Think of those characteristics, behaviors or feelings that others do and which bother you.
This last part of “bother you” is important, because if you don’t like those people’s behaviors, but you aren’t altering your own behavior, it may have nothing to do with you.
You have to find those behaviors, feelings or people who you can’t stand, that make your blood boil when you see them, to which you show no indifference… and that may give you an idea of something that, perhaps, you are rejecting.
Once you’ve located these behaviors, feelings or qualities, try to look inside yourself and ask yourself this question.
That thing that bothers you, have you ever experienced it in yourself?
And, if so, did you allow? Were you able to express it?
Imagine that you felt it, but you didn’t allow yourself to express it…
Now that you’ve seen it, can you express it?
Can you afford to be a little weak or a little arrogant?
Could you try it today?
Can you accept that part of you?
Integrate your shadow
When you do this exercise, you’ll be able to see what you’ve been rejecting and it will be time to admit it and integrate it into your consciousness.
As you know, life is a combination of oppositions: there is no night without day, darkness without light, inhaling without exhaling…
So, once you’ve made your list, it’s time to accept those parts that you have discovered and:
And although this post tries to help you discover your dark side, you can also do this exercise to discover your positive side, by trying to make a list of people you admire.
Pinpoint the behaviors, feelings or actions that you value in those people and try to find them within yourself.
I’m sure you’ll be able to find them, because one can only see what he or she is. And if you resonate with that attribute, that means that you have it, otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to see it.
It’s important for you to try and find that positive aspect in yourself, so you can integrate it as a part of you.
2. If you’re able to recognize, but can’t get it, it’s time to practice.
If you can’t yourself to be weak, find small spaces where you can do it, and you will feel complete by not having to “always” be strong.
Don’t be afraid, because the more you allow weakness in, the faster your strength will grow.
That’s how opposites work, the more you go to one side, the more you can go to the other. Remember that weakness and strength are two sides of the same coin.
I assure you that once you integrate those parts of you, you’ll feel calmer because you will no longer have to struggle to avoid certain feelings and, you’ll simply use them when they arise or when necessary.
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