Being kind to ourselves – even the difficult bits

File:Shadow Person.jpg

Face the shadow side of yourself, but do not identify with it. It represents only part of who you are.  So there is a difference between relating to the denied parts of yourself (bringing light to them), and totally “acting them out” (which is to leave them in their unconscious and dark state). This is why it is so foundational to know yourself, and to learn to be honest about your real motivations.

The hero in us wants to attack, fix, or deny the existence of our dark side. We can also be tempted to share dramatically everything about it as a way to control it (sometimes called ventilating or dumping). The saint merely weeps over the shadow and forgives it — and by God’s grace forgives himself for being a mere human. He opens his arms to that which has been in exile and welcomes it home for the friend that it often is.

Richard Rohr,  On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men

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