The Shadow Self

The shadow self lies under the surface, and I hope it isn’t real. It seems to go away when I feel the burn of whiskey on my lips. It’s the pain-experiencing part of me. It’s grief, it’s unresolved, and untidy. It’s honest about my limits.

My shadow self, with all its curling around bruises. Protecting it’s comforts like a precious ring. I despise it’s weakness. I can’t carry the dead weight. If I have to claim it as my own, I’d rather die. Something inside give an ultimatum. The parts of myself are ripping me in halves. One the golden darling, and the other running to the slop. “Why can’t I…” Blame. “How am I still…” Impatience. In the old place, the old familiar smash against my built up self. Cut off at the knees, just as the letter said that I wrote to myself 15 years ago.

I’m still here. Shadow is here too.

Limited, crippled and small.

Grieving, hurting, hope deferred.

What purpose does my shadow self serve? How does it serve me in showing up now?

It reminds me to look at the pain- not letting it get to stage 4. It calls it like it is- not receding into blind optimism. It helps me show up. Even in my weakness. Boundaries, limits, values based, diligent, self compassion. Telling my ambition, “Hush.”

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