Shadow parts of ourselves live in the recesses of our subconscious mind. They are the blind spots that we may catch a glimpse of, and then they disappear in an instant. They return with a vengeance to create behavior that embarrasses us, creates conflict with others, and prevents us from making the healthy choices in life that we say we want. In fact our hidden shadow parts may actually cause PTSD to our children and family members.
What are some of the common and hidden defenses that our young child parts used to stay safe (and that we are still using today)? For certain, staying safe is the hidden agenda of all these infantile parts of ourselves. If as a child we were physically or emotionally abandoned, our shadow child will do anything to avoid abandonment. She will sell her soul for love, acceptance or recognition.
Some of the common defenses that our shadow-child may use are:
- AVOIDANCE: You may ask yourself what or who have I avoided in order (real or imagined) to insure that I don’t experience abandonment? Some people avoid intimate relationships in spite of the fact that their soul longs for intimacy. But to the little child (shadow) the pain of abandonment is worse than the pain of loneliness.
- PROCRASTINATION: If you never complete anything then there is no possibility of feeling the pain of disapproval. The shadow (child) may be the one who keeps you from completing your thesis, or that painting sitting in the basement. It may be the part that prevents you from completing the application for a new position (after all, if you don’t complete it, you can’t be rejected) or from putting your profile out there to search for a mate.
- REPRESSION: This is the work of a very crafty shadow (child) part. If we can’t remember our goals, our desires and our intentions, then we can appear to not be responsible for when we don’t achieve them. The job of repression is often given to our shadow (child) in charge of illness or becoming disabled. For example, just when we have been offered a new position that we have said we really wanted, some physical disability appears to prevent us from performing the job. Perhaps we fall and are in a wheelchair, or develop some illness that prevents us from taking the position. This then prevents us from taking the position we have said we want but fear that we can’t perform.
- DENIAL: This crafty child is very competent at pretending that what is happening, is actually not happening. For example, perhaps you really want to belong to that new organization or get accepted into that university or get hired for that new job. The shadow (child) is consumed with fear that you won’t be accepted. The crafty child comes up with multiple reasons why you don’t want to belong or are unable to belong. This shadow may tell you how bad these people are, how you are too busy already to belong, or it may even help you to make a mistake and not get the application in on time.
- RATIONALIZATIONS: Then this hidden fearful child comes up with all the reasons that it wouldn’t have worked anyway! That child convinces us of a myriad of reasons to put off that goal or that job application, or that new web site to promote my business, or writing that book.
These hidden shadow parts such as the fearful child undermine us on a daily basis. They are so adept at it, we barely notice. This procrastination has served us for so long that it is deeply ingrained in our habit patterns, in our subconscious minds. Even deeper than our fear of being inadequate is the fear that we are magnificent!
How do we know and heal this devilish part within us?
We have witnessed the destruction the shadow has done to us over the years. We can look back and see all the missed opportunities and wonder what part of us is doing this? We have taken self-improvement classes, read self-help books, and gone to therapists to discuss our goals and our frustrations. And yet, the patterns do not seem to change permanently.
How do we discover, bring to conscious awareness, these shadow parts of ourselves and begin to really change these patterns that undermine what we say we want?
Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy is a deep way to discover these wounded children parts within us who seem to be undermining what I say I want in my life. These very early, unconscious decisions that we make out of fear and as a way to try to keep ourselves safe are stored in the depths of our subconscious mind. Through hypnotherapy we can access exactly when these hurtful decisions were made and begin the process of changing the ones that continue to undermine our success and happiness.