March 02, 2010 (Shadow Work)

Friday, March 02, 2010


Loving Him Without Losing You, pg. 211 Exercise: shadow work

Qualities I do not like in other people: (***highlight the qualities I not only dislike, but hate, loathe and despise).

  • fake, pretending to be someone they’re not***
  • dishonesty
  • physical violence, rape
  • passive aggressive, instead of directly saying what’s up***
  • controlling, dominating, telling others what to do***
  • power trips, abusing power***
  • laziness (mooching) —like in “Atlas Shrugged” (Ayn Rand)
  • rude driving
  • rudeness to strangers (especially when the strangers are friendly or didn’t do anything to provoke it)
  • neediness, clinging, suffocating the other person***
  • not treating children with kindness
  • abusing children or animals or the earth
  • greedy for money
  • addict “slips” in a 12-step program [Note: after I wrote this, then I put an arrow pointing down to the next one, suggesting that demanding perfectionism is a reference to myself]
  • people who demand perfectionism
  • obnoxious behavior in public
  • anger, rage
  • dumb people, lack of solid, rational reasoning
  • people who complain without doing anything to change
  • “poor me” pity party***
  • people thinking they’re better than others (condescending, up on a high horse)***

MY SHADOW SIDE (my darker self)

  1. Fake, pretending to be someone I’m not.
  2. Passive aggressive, instead of directly communicating.
  3. Controlling, dominating, telling others what to do.
  4. Power trips, abusing power.
  5. Neediness, clingy, suffocating to others.
  6. “Poor me;” pity-party; victim mentality.

[Note: So what is happening in this exercise is this. I identify the things that annoy me about others and I pay special, close attention to the things I really hate and despise… actions that make my skin crawl and make me want to punch something because someone is doing whatever it is. It is those actions that I have within myself, my darker side. THAT is why I hate it so much when I see other people do this, because I’m seeing something within myself that I hate.

This wasn’t so bad, because I’d been in therapy for a year at this point and I was used to hearing “bad stuff” about myself.

The amazing thing about this exercise is the next step: The Lighter Side of me. I was not prepared to find anything good in myself. But of course we all have light and dark within us.]

Qualities I most admire in others: (***highlight the qualities I especially love and think are totally awesome).

  • Very high intelligence, intellectual conversation.*************
  • Standing up for what they believe in.***
  • Ability to relax, chill, have a good time.
  • Quality leadership, with a rational, logical mind; seeing the big picture.***
  • Having close friendships, for many years (long-time friends).
  • Getting things done, instead of merely daydreaming about things. Action!***
  • Healthy, functional, recovered and sane people.
  • Honesty and self-honesty.
  • Advancements in recovery (SAA, etc)***

I am resisting seeing that I’d have these good qualities within myself. There is a part of me that still doesn’t want to believe that there are good, positive qualities in me. I get emotional and feel like crying when I let myself accept these good and negative shadow qualities. It’s tough, emotionally, but I feel like I’m discovering important things about deeper parts of me.

Qualities I admired in past partners:

  • Caring and concerned about me (Kevin)
  • Wants to take care of me (KL)
  • Humor and friendship (Matt)
  • Philosophical (Scottish guy, KL, Kevin, Matt)
  • Leadership abilities (KL in Warcraft)***
  • Many had one or two close, long-time friends. I really admired that***
  • Standing up for what he believes in (Matt… loudly, lol)

Yeah, I’ve denied leadership abilities in myself. I think it’s supposed to come naturally to myself, but I don’t let it. Maybe I fear responsibility and commitment? In the past, it was difficult to take criticism (whether it’s constructive and professional, or personal and bitter), since my self-esteem depended so much on what others thought.

Perhaps I’ve also denied my ability to form lasting friendships? I always seem to find something wrong with them and I leave. Is that my fault of perfectionism? But if they’re unhealthy and dysfunctional, but I’m changing and growing and healing, then I guess it’s normal to slowly fade out friends? That doesn’t seem right, though. I just have a hard time keeping friends. I do enjoy my new friendships with two people at work, though. They seem like healthy people and I accept them, even when we happen to disagree on small things.


One thought on “March 02, 2010 (Shadow Work)

  1. Pingback: June 10, 2010 | The Miracle Mud Bath of Life

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