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Ep07. Listeners Commentary
Paul Reflects on the Shadow
So what about the shadow? We all experience it but most of us try not to pay too much attention to it, and others pretend it doesn’t exist. And can you blame us? The shadow is inconvenient. It causes us discomfort and sometimes pain. Often times it leaves us embarrassed in front of others, with relationship mess to clean up, or even worse, disappointed in ourselves.
I consider myself a relaxed and laid-back individual. And at the same time there are situations that really set me off, no matter how much yoga I did that morning. Usually these reactions are unexpected. Even if not expressed, as an introvert, I have learned to internalize most of those feelings. Either way someone gets the shit end of that stick. And maybe your shadow isn’t as hot tempered as mine, perhaps it’s those moments where you simply behave in ways or have feelings that are not aligned with your dominant persona, or identity. If you relate to this, then this episode is for you!
One familiar representation of this internal battle is one that’s been externalized by the writers of the Star Wars universe. The constant struggle between the light and dark sides of the force, with the one goal to bring balance to it all. We can see it as an intergalactic metaphor of the universes inside each of us.
And there are many ways to deal with this often unfortunate phenomenon, without the use of light sabers. Carl Jung believed that acknowledgement, intimacy, and integration of the shadow is necessary on the path to true and radiant goodness. Sounds counterintuitive right? Trust me, I thought so too. But in the last few years, I learned about a tool which has helped me understand this seemingly nonsensical approach to dealing with this stuff. Enter: Internal Family Systems, or IFS.
We’ll learn more about IFS in this episode, so tune in to learn more.
Joining us this week is Ryan Ginn, who is a Relationship Educator and Coach, and host of the On Relating podcast. What Ryan does in for the people of this world is incredible. In his own words, Ryan is helping people navigate the complexities and hilarities of long-term relationships. And this doesn’t just include romantic relationships; even that long-term relationship we all have with ourselves.
So in this episode we dive deeper into the concept of the shadow and how IFS can help us all understand and better integrate these shadowy parts of ourselves. And just to make things interesting, Omar flipped the tables on me, and suggested I take part in a live demo of IFS, with me as the client.
I found this experience quite freeing, while at the same time, not believing I actually shared some of these real inner struggles that I wrestle with on the air. But I’m so glad I did. I’m reminded of the power of vulnerability in our own growth, and the collective healing of people everywhere.
So tune in and check out this episode. We’d love to hear from you about your experiences with these topics so please join us in the comments section!
We hope that this episode can inspire you all as much as it did us, especially in this lifelong balancing act between the light and dark parts of ourselves. Thanks for tuning in!