“The soul can’t make us wake up, but it can see to it that we project” (Robert Bly)
“Aspects hidden from ourselves have life of their own, and always trying to get our intention in order to be accepted and integrated into our whole self”
Who presses your buttons?
If someone presses our buttons, triggers us, provides a strong emotional response – it could be a shadow piece.
As Bly says, it can be the difference between being triggered (if it is a piece) or being informed by what is happening.
This could be someone in your life, on TV/Film, newspapers, politics even.
Here you can ask yourself:
What is it about them that really ‘pushes my buttons’, that angers me?
What is it that i dislike/hate/irritate about them?
What is it that i like/love/admire about them?
With these answers, you find these pieces.
“Only when I was convinced that I was not capable of certain behaviour would I get upset and point my finger at the other person….it took the focus off me…. [but] ……imagine if you held your hand straight out and pointing thee finger of judgment/blame at them – notice that you have one finger pointing at them, and three pointing back to yourself! ” (Debbie Ford)
Answers to the following questions can highlight shadow pieces:
~ What would you not like to be said about you?
~ What is the worst insult anyone can give you?
~ If you’ve been called names or accused of a certain behaviour, which most hurt or offended you?
~What way of behaving are you afraid of being?
~ What would you love to have said about you that you don’t think that you already are yet?
~ What prejudices do you have about others?
~What behaviour in yourself have you noticed yourself doing unconsciously that you dislike?
~What do you find yourself being jealous of other people for being?
~Is there a time when you or someone else did something and was laughed at, and you decided not to be that way again?
~Is there a time when you were scolded/condemned for behaving in a certain way, and so you vowed to never be like that ever never again?
~ Adults may say to children ‘don’t be loud’ ‘don’t be naughty’ etc, ‘don’t be stupid’, can you remember anything you were told not to ‘be’?
~Can you remember when you or someone else did something, and received praise for it (by yourself or others), so you decided to be that way as much as possible? In doing so, did you put away it’s opposite?
~What traits or ‘labels’ would you describe yourself as having? are you happy with these? (if not happy, these may be a shadow piece).
~What traits or labels do others describe you as? Are you happy with these? Do you accept these traits as part of you?
would you describe yourself as having? are you happy with these?
~Finish these sentences…
‘I hate it when he/she/people……..’
‘I love it when he/she/people…….’
‘It really annoys me when he/she/people……’
‘I think it’s great when he/she/people……’
‘My mum/dad/brother/sister/best friend/partner is……..’
‘My hero/the person i most admire is ……… because……
~What wouldn’t you like being written about you in a newspaper article/magasine?
~What would you like being written about you in a newspaper article/magasine?
~Make a list of 5 people you like/admire/love.
Write down 3 or more qualities that you like about each of them. do you accept these as part of you?
~Make a list of 5 people you dislike/hate/are disgusted by.
Write down 3 or more qualities that you don’t like about each of them. Do you accept these as part of you?
~Observing your own thoughts/judgements/opinions about others – could these judgements be shadow pieces?
~Observing your own thoughts/judgements/opinions about yourself – could these judgements be shadow pieces?
~What advice (if any) do you give others to be? Or not to be?
~Can you think of any experiences you remember when you ‘pointed your finger’ at someone. what are the traits/qualities that you were saying that person was?
~Can you think of any experiences when someone ‘pointed their finger’ at you? what were they saying you were?
~Is there a part of you that you keep hidden from others? what is it? Can you accept this as part of you?
~Have you noticed someone else hiding a part of themselves that you dislike or like?
~Is there a’ persona’ that you or someone you know puts out to people? Do any of these qualities trigger an emotional response in you? What is the opposite of this persona? does this trigger and emotional response in you?
~What part of yourself, what behaviour do you not want to admit to?
~Putting ‘I am…’ in front of any those words above. Can you say this comfortably? With acceptance of who you are?
~Guided visualisation exercises can be worked with to find and meet (and integrate) shadow pieces, especially those deep in the unconscious. See ‘freeing the shadow pieces’ and the forthcoming audiobook.
These are just some suggestions, you may find more.