Bad at Self Improvement
The shadow self is a common topic in yoga and new age conversations. Simply put it's the parts of ourselves we deem unsavory and try to reject. It's our dark side. But not the dark side in the cool Darth Vader kinda way, usually more in the whiny rage-fit teenager Kylo Ren kinda way. Regardless of what we call it we all have one in some form - it's part of the package that comes with being human.
After my first silent retreat in 2009- the one where I ate the obscene amount of peanut butter- I wrote down a summary of what I deemed my shadow self. The list included my being a selfish, stubborn, insecure, judgmental, capricious, aversive, fearful, guilt trippin' loner with an affinity for drama. My intention with the list, after rolling around in self-pity for awhile, was to search out ways to heal these not-so-sparkly bits. Maybe with a bit of luck transcend them altogether. I figured it'd take me a couple years of dedicated practice to get a handle on all of it.
Seven years later here I am a selfish, stubborn, insecure, judgmental, capricious, aversive, fearful, guilt trippin' loner with an affinity for drama... and a few more wrinkles. So reads my online dating profile. The only change in the past seven years, or rather the only one that has given me any lasting peace, is the slow steady dissolution of the belief that I need to be any different. Sometimes the only thing wrong with us is the belief that there's something wrong with us. Seeing that can change everything.