Embrace Your ‘Shadow’ for Juicy Relationships
Underneath your best behaviour, and all the thoughts and feelings you’ve been suppressing, lies your shadow – the darker parts of your personality.
When you’re blaming, fighting and pulling away from each other in your relationship, that’s your shadow.
Your shadow shows up when your levels of intimacy go down and you are no longer enjoying each other as much as you did at the beginning of your relationship.
Within us, there is a deep urge to know our shadow – to become aware of who we are in all of our complex and fascinating dimensions.
There is much more going on in our relationships than many of us are aware of.
We are instinctively drawn to someone who can help us grow and become aware of ourselves at a deep level, so we are attracted to someone who can help us with this.
In order to deeply understand ourselves and our partners’, we need to understand and embrace not only the good parts of ourselves in our relationships with others, we also need to embrace and understand our more difficult or shadow parts.
It takes courage to open up and to begin to understand that we don’t know ourselves as well as we would like to, and to open to the darker parts of ourselves. When we do, we deepen our relationship with ourselves first, and then with our partner.
When we move beyond the initial romantic phase of a relationship, the relationship changes. It may become difficult, and in many cases, the relationship just ends.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In your relationship, both of you have deeper feelings and inner aspects of yourself that you avoid bringing to the surface so that you can preserve the best parts of yourself in your relationship. As you hide your shadowy aspects, the relationship begins to deaden.
As each of you withholds parts of yourselves from each other, the relationship begins to cool.
Unless both people in the relationship learn to express themselves more fully – what each of you are trying to prevent happening, will happen – the relationship will end.
Many people struggle because they haven’t been able to sustain satisfying, juicy, intimate relationships that they desire.
Understanding and bringing out your shadow for yourself and with your partner, can change that dynamic forever and deepen and sustain your relationship.
In the first stages of romantic love, two people are almost involuntarily drawn together, and have an experience of wonder, magic and passion.
While discovering each other, each person finds themselves in an open, available and feeling state – two hearts opening to one another. People in romantic love tend to see their partners in the best light possible and they wish this feeling would last forever.
In the beginning, we welcome the lessons that our partner tries to show us, because they tend to support the view that we have of ourselves. As time goes by, the lessons become more difficult, and we are challenged to go behind our masks to see our own patterns in detail.
Romantic love sets the stage for deeper intimacy, but this deepening can only happen if each partner can begin the work of incorporating their various shadow aspects of themselves – the stuff that they may not like to think about and may want to keep hidden.
Long-term relationships are a journey – because the feelings of love do not stay constant in our relationships – and this can become an opportunity for us to become conscious and aware of what is really going on inside of us.
Within each relationship is an opportunity – to embrace the shadowy parts of ourselves, and to develop a deeper bond with our partner. To go beyond the romantic initial stages of the relationship and into a deep, authentic connection with each other.
Would you like to learn how to face the difficult shadow aspects of yourself and in your relationship?
Let’s make sense of it together – www.kimcochrane.ca
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