Learning to Love the Grotesque, Gnarly & Gruesome in Ourselves
To become whole, and truly love others, it is essential to accept all of ourselves which includes the beautiful and ugly parts.
This includes the parts we judge in others.
This is easy to say, but what does this actually mean?
Are we all supposed to just immediately drop the judgment and be okay with our fat thighs and our bitchy side?
Are we meant to just ignore our abusive boss and give them a hug? What about the rapists and animal abusers?
Maybe we can just give them a pat on the back and tell them we love them anyway, right? Wrong.
It’s impossible to just talk ourselves out of our repressed parts.
We have to approach it slowly with openness.
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Where do we start?
Here is a simple exercise to get started.
- Write down 3 people you admire and their character traits.
- Write down 3 people that bug you and their character traits.
- Write down 3 things about yourself you hope nobody can see.
*See Results Below
I went on a beautiful water journey with a Shaman and anticipated the divine beauty of the waters mysteries.
We came to a sparkling pool to admire. She guided us to let the water still so we could see our true reflection looking back at us.
As the ripples became smooth as glass, I leaned into the vision to behold and saw…Medusa.
A green snake-headed woman with big algae wrapped breasts. She wasn’t snarling but she wasn’t smiling.
I looked away hoping it would change when I looked back. Afterall, this was supposed to be the clearest, truest reflection of me.
Upon second glance, she was still there looking back at me, only this time with a knowing grin.
We were moving on in the journey but I wasn’t satisfied with the last scene.
What does this mean?! Great. Now we are moving on. No chance of my true essence changing now.
As we continue on, we visit a waterfall, rain, oceans, and all bodies of water. I evaporate, steam, rush, soak in, freeze, melt and become still again.
I lose myself in the essence of all water and realize on the deepest level that it is all the same and not just that. I feel the water inside me and inside Medusa.
The Mother is present in all bodies of water and the lines of distinction fade to nothing.
I come back to the pool and look at the reflection which is stunningly beautiful.
Accepting the good and bad brings us back to union with ourselves and will all of creation.
- These are the traits or power you are giving away. You have every one of these inside you but have pushed them into shadow which is why you project them on others.
- These are traits you are not claiming. You have these traits in you as well. You have established them as unacceptable and pushed them into shadow. This is why you are projecting these qualities on others.
- These are parts you are especially ashamed of but could be the keys to your biggest gifts.
I invite you to notice when you are annoyed, frustrated, or agitated by yourself or others.
These are indicators that something in your shadow is alerting you.
Take the opportunity to ask yourself, “what is triggering me right now about this situation?”
Recently, I found myself getting triggered by feeling ignored. I asked what it was that upset me. I was seeing the other person as inconsiderate and selfish.
I asked myself, “when was the first time I can remember feeling this way?”
I immediately heard my mom saying, “you are being so selfish and inconsiderate!”
I was 10 years old and I was in trouble for asking my sweet neighbor for a ride because my mom was working.
That day, I put being inconsiderate and selfish into my shadow. Now, I projected and judged others for it.
I asked myself, “when was the last time I remember being inconsiderate?”
Then, I asked myself, “can I accept this quality in myself?”
Each time, we become aware of another projection of our shadow aspects and accept them, we become a little freer.
It is a simple process but not always an easy acknowledgment.
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Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.