“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”
one the ways i’ve used most often to notice what i’m projecting, is simply noticing what ‘pushes my button’ i.e. what in others triggers a stress or other strong emotional response.
if it’s a strong respsonse, for me, it’s most likely a mirror~shadow piece… as bly says, it can be the difference between being triggered (if it’s a mirror~shadow piece) or being informed by what is happening.
(i’ll be your mirror, by velvet underground). shadow work, is also often called mirror work….as we mirror and reflect these parts of ourselves for eachother)
there are other ways too, of finding and identifying the mirror~shadow pieces for us, for example ~
~ noticing in our everyday life situations and/or on TV, film, in books etc when someone’s behaviour strongly affects us, we can ask questions like:
what is it about them that really ‘pushes my buttons’ (gets you angry/stressed/jealous etc)
…….what is it that i dislike/hate/irritate about them?
…… what is it that i like/love/admire about them?
~ asking questions about ourselves….like:
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?
what behaviour in yourself have you noticed yourself doing that you dislike?
what do you find yourself being jealous of other people for being?
there are many more questions you can ask too like:
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? was there an opposite you chose not to be as a result? e.g. if praised for being modest, did you put away being the being confident part of yourself.
what traits or ‘labels’ would you describe yourself as having? are you happy with these? if not, these may be a shadow piece.
~looking at what traits ‘labels’ would other people describe you as having? (from memory, or by asking them). do you accept these traits as being part of you? if not, these may be a shadow piece.
~ you can also find pieces by looking at the words you would add to the following 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……
~ imagining a newspaper article written about you
what wouldn’t you like being written about you?
.what would you like said about you?
~ 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? again, if not, could be a shadow piece.
~ make a list of 5 people you dislike/hate/are disgusted by
then write down 3 or more qualities that you don’t like about each of them. do you accept these as part of you?
~ looking at a list of traits/characteristics/behaviours, and finding which words trigger a emotional response in you, when reading the words, and when putting ‘i am…’ in front of those words.
~ observing your own thoughts/judgements/opinions about people – could these judgements be shadow pieces?
~ what advice (if any) do you give others to be or not to be? ( 😉 )
“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)
~ can you think of any experiences you remember when you ‘pointing 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?
~ 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?
~ there are also a guided visualisation exercises to find and meet (and integrate) shadow pieces, including the visualisation in the ‘freeing the shadow pieces’ can include meeting a hidden shadow piece. in this way i’ve often found parts of myself that i had tried to hide unconsciously, or simply hadn’t realised that they were actually part of me before.
these are just some suggestions, you may find more….as we may have buried these parts of ourselves deeply, it can be useful to try various techniques. once found, ways of re-integrating these pieces are on the ‘shadows’ sub menu ‘‘shadow freeing exercises”
more information on shadow work is also here: background.
any questions, suggestions sharing, feel free to get in touch: k.creuynni