Bravery to be Seen

I coach womxn on becoming their true Self–making the unconscious conscious and accessing their Higher Self outside of the ego-persona. I think of this work as true empowerment, not based on bolstering the attachments and desires of the ego, but on accepting the qualities we reject about ourselves.

This practice is founded in the belief that everyone already has all the answers. I don’t provide answers. I guide my clients in finding their way back to the truth of who they are. We are born into this world perfect beings, soon to be conditioned into behaving for our own social survival. We spend the first half of our lives building up our ego-persona to face the challenges of life. At the same time, we develop a shadow of everything we choose not to be. Somewhere in mid-life (sometimes sooner) we are faced with a choice: continue in our compulsive behaviors or begin to face our rejected selves so we can step into our wholeness. Oddly enough, this process is a normal function of life. It was never our fault that we subscribed to the ego-persona that programmed us on how to show up in the world.

The un-doing is our soul’s journey. And it starts with shadow work.

“We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life‘s morning; for what was great in the morning will belittle at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie.”

Carl Jung

Since learning how to do shadow work, I am reminded of my own shadow on a regular basis. Every time I find myself emotionally triggered by someone or something, I recognize that my own shadow is talking to me.

Ah, that pesky shadow again…

Previous to learning shadow work, I would respond to triggering situations in one of several ways:

  • Disassociate from the feeling entirely, because it felt like ass
  • Erupt in rage, typically blaming others
  • Smother the thoughts and feelings, pretending like everything was fine when really I was feeling like the worthless runt of the litter who should have just been eaten by its mother (wow, really Krissy?)

It was never a choice. I didn’t pull out a 3×5 index card of decisions and go, “Hmm… how will I respond today?” My reaction was completely and utterly out of compulsion and conditioned behavior.

Do I still respond this way now? Well yeah, I’m not a fucking saint.

The point is, now I invite choice into the picture much more often than I don’t.

A couple weeks ago, I was faced with one of my biggest shadow elements. Something I’ve rejected for all 35 years of my life. A part of me that I’ve pretty successfully avoided at every stage of my life. Until now.

Wanting, craving, hoping to be SEEN.

That’s it.

Gasp! But isn’t the shadow about the “negative” traits we push away, like being mean, selfish, greedy, needy? Nope, it’s both. Often the shadow contains parts of ourselves that are the keys to our brilliance. We repress the opposite of how we show up in the world into our shadow. For me, I’ve been hiding in a bunker, only letting myself out occasionally when I felt I had complete control over the situation. Control over how I looked, how others saw me (that’s an illusion!), how much I could predict the outcome.

Until this year, when I decided to quit my job and completely change the trajectory of my life by starting my own business as a Jungian Life Coach and S Factor Teacher.

A couple weeks ago I was at the county fair eating an overpriced churro, waiting for the race horsing to start, as you do. I decided right then, that it was time to reach out to someone who I’m counting on to launch a part of my business. Mind you, a business that really puts me OUT there. To be seen by others in a way I’ve never done before.

Immediately after sending the message, my nervous system went into flight mode. My heart rate increased. My chest tightened. Everything around me felt like it was swirling. It felt like ASS. Discomfort at a 10 on the scale. A year ago, I would have probably resorted to self-soothing by distracting myself or taking a nap. And to be clear, there is no shame for self-soothing strategies. Sometimes it’s what you need most. But where I am today, I know I have a choice to lean into that uncomfortable feeling and see wha’s hiding underneath.

And right there, with a mouth full of churro, bees swarming all around me, rednecks drunkenly yelling at each other, I discovered that my fear of being seen was protecting me from putting myself out there. That deep in my shadow, I craved so much to be seen. And the bravery to step into the light was also in my unconscious.

A few months ago, I wrote about some anxiety attacks I was having. I learned a lot about myself at that time, but it wasn’t until now that I made the connection to my shadow. It doesn’t mean the trigger will go away necessarily, but now I have an opportunity to stop avoiding the discomfort the arises. I can sit with it. Allow it to be there, learning what it says about the nature of my mind. I can respond differently to life. I can embrace the part of me that wants to be seen, and loosen the grip on my ego-persona that’s historically kept me in the bunker locked up.

I’ve done a lot of self-work in my adult life. I’ve read countless books. Journaled thousands of pages. But nothing has changed me the way that the Jungian psychology has. I’ve rediscovered my spiritual path and my Higher Self. I’m responding differently to protective patterns that have hindered me. I’m experiencing what it actually means to already be whole, not broken.

This shit is GOOD.

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