Shadow Love"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
--From Hamlet (III, ii, 239)
The shadow is the part of you you hate – it’s the part of you that you say could never be a part of you. It’s what you fear the most, the living demon, the driver of the tank that your thoughts and actions are always trying to stomp on from the turret.
It’s the piece of you that got split off early in childhood – cleaved off without words by senses that either misunderstood, or pretzel logic consequences from behavior and then fit it together with malformed images sensed not thought.
A smell that came before the burning, a loud shout that preceded the fall – irritable parents neglect and strange faces that scared you in childhood’s circus mirrors.
Things that happen before words can only be understood without words. A mother’s slap for bad that leads to banishment, or the hiding of a behavior. A father’s neglect following a childish mistake that embarrasses him in front of his boss, which leads to a kangaroo court of competing Id’s to make an example of some part of you creative,yet inappropriate.
Socialization that sets the pale with limits that make part of you unacceptable and need to be rubbed out. These are things that can’t be talked out with therapists and friends – they need to be accepted as a part of you.
Things that your internal voices have chosen to place outside your personal pale are still apart of you. Like dark matter and energy, it still adds bulk and movement to your thoughts and actions – you just see out of the corner of your eye, if at all.
The funny part of the shadow is that the parts of you that get walled off are usually not that bad –but by splitting them to keep them from exploding when accidentally bumped into,they shape the way you walk through life, making psychological hunchbacks that others see but can’t name with words.And if they can't be worked on internally -- they learn to wrestle in the public arena -- real life.
As you get older,society and loved ones beat unacceptable behaviors out of you. This is done with emotions and stuff – but usually you can see an external logic that you can talk through with others. The older stuff is the shadow stuff – and because you learned it without words, you can only see it without words and reason –that’s the problem with trying to integrate it with the rest of you.
The horror of yourself you see in the shadows is something you spend your whole life running away from. You run so fast, you never get a chance to look back over your shoulder to see just exactly what it is that is chasing you.
When you see in another something you hate instinctively – that part of your shadow. When the same problem comes to you over and over in different forms – that’s part of your shadow. When you do self destructive things to sabotage your life – that’s your shadow.
Your shadow can’t be reasoned with or bribed – it can only be accepted, and if a true deformity of the soul, worked with in the loving arms of self.