Janae B. Weinhold & Barry K. Weinhold
Your Shadow consists of all those aspects of yourself that you want to keep hidden from others and from yourself. These are usually the aspects of your self that not accepted in the matrix and reinforced by your parents or teachers or society as wrong, deviant, bad, unruly or uncivilized. Your parents may have told you things like, “Don’t be so active, sit still,” or “Don’t play with your food,” “Sit up straight,” “Don’t play with yourself, that’s bad and dirty,” or “Good girls don’t get angry,” and “Big boys don’t cry.” You then learn to hide all of these rejected or unacceptable feelings, thoughts and behaviors. You put them away in a “bag,” so to speak. Hiding these natural aspects of your True Self, at a young age, allows you to please others and just plain survive. However, it is also traps you and keeps you a prisoner in the Matrix.
As you grow up, you drag this bag of unwanted or unappreciated aspects behind you everywhere you go. For most people, by the time they are nineteen or twenty they have put almost everything of value about themselves into this bag: their creativity, their passion, their sexuality, their ability to have deep feelings, their energy, their spontaneity, their hungers, their enthusiasms, their dreams, and whatever else that they deemed frivolous, unattractive or unacceptable by others.
What’s left The only things left are those behaviors, thoughts and feelings that peers, parents, teachers and other adults found acceptable or non-threatening, which is usually not much of who you really are. You can easily get over-identified with your False self and still try to look acceptable enough or non-threatening enough, in hopes of getting you unmet developmental needs met. Your hope is that if you do enough of the right things, you will finally get the respect, love and recognition you have always wanted. Of course, this doesn’t work. Instead, you find yourself on a treadmill, doing as much as possible to look good to others, but feeling empty inside.