are you being drained by this?
The switch flips.
The sting rises.
The tears well.
The rage bubbles.
And we don’t know why.
After all, we are self-aware, mature, well-adjusted adults.
Why, then, do we feel like a tantrummy teen or a shrinking child?
Or! Maybe we find ourselves playing out the same pattern over and over: self-sabotage, inconsistent self-care, questionable decision making, dysfunctional relational dynamics.
Or! Perhaps it’s not us, it’s them. They go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye, their reactions are disorienting, their feelings are inconsolable. They are speaking to you, but they aren’t really speaking to you. You’re just playing a part in a pattern that was established long before you.
Every human I know carries a core wound.
Our core wounds are usually developed early in life, as a response to a painful experience. Then, to cope with the wound, we develop survival strategies.
Fear of failure turns into avoidance.
Fear of rejection turns into people pleasing.
Fear of judgement turns into procrastination.
Fear of success turns into destroying the good.
Fear of being too much turns into playing small.
Fear of vulnerability turns into an armoured heart.
Fear of abandonment turns into fierce independence.
Fear of not being good enough turns into perfectionism.
Last night, I was cuddled up with my sister, talking about all the things. Too many moons had passed since we connected, and we had a lot to catch up on. She shared a story with me, from her paramedic days, about how a heart that has a blockage in an artery will grow new veins to keep the blood flowing.
Our psyche does the same.
We find new ways to source safety, love, and belonging if we’ve been blocked by a core wound. Sometimes, the new ways are healthy and adaptive, sometimes they are unhealthy and maladaptive.
When these strategies end up harming us instead of healing us,
when we act against our own best interest,
when we sabotage our desires,
we call this the
If we haven’t healed the core wound, it will pump out unconscious (or conscious!) messages …
you’re not good enough, you don’t belong, you’re not safe, you’re unlovable, you’re not worthy, you’ll be hurt, you’re a failure, you’ll be taken advantage of, you must prove yourself.
The coping strategies, defence mechanisms, limiting beliefs, habitual patterns, and self-sabotage deplete our energy and confine our aliveness.
Beyond the suffering,
underneath the fear,
When life feels lifeless and dull monotony sets in, it’s an invitation to explore –
Where is my life force leaking out?
How can I reclaim the vitality that lives within my authenticity?
I spent the last eighteen months devoted to Shadow work.
For myself and for others.
I gathered trainings and credentials.
I sourced support from the grandmothers (my mentors).
I learned how to integrate what I had suppressed and repressed.
On the other side of this, sometimes intimidating work, you’ll find fresh habits and horizons, new patterns and perspectives.
Shadow work is letting go of who you thought you had to be, so you can be who you are.