Updated: Jul 22, 2022
I have tried to keep this explanation general, BUT if you haven't seen this brilliant film & you don't want to risk a spoiler, save this for afterwards!
You will find a great example of someone in pain, because they are suppressing a part of themselves.
SIDENOTE! Many people are in 'pain' because they are suppressing their own brilliance!!
That is the golden shadow and that's another blog!
In this example, the part of themselves, is one that they or others (& then by default themselves) deem unacceptable.
Essentially this is the shadow.
We all have an individual shadow and there is what is known as a collective shadow.
There are many reasons why parts of ourselves / our psyche are pushed into the shadow.
It is not our fault by the way, but it is our responsibility.
I have seen my own shadow, it was terrifying & fascinating, but that's another story!
What lies in the shadow is often about shame and therefore fear.
Let's take the example of a bully or the bully archetype.
You may have worked with one, been managed by one, been coached or trained by one, lived with one, been married to one, encountered them at school for example.
If this is the case, my heart goes out to you because it can be anything from deeply painful and extremely damaging to an unpleasant experience.
People who have the bully archetype may seem dominating and strong but here's the truth.....
They are in pain!
That's the only real reason people hurt other people (unless they are psychopathic or just plain ignorant).
So whilst no form of bullying is remotely acceptable, it could also require compassion as well as discernment!
The bully is often afraid of appearing weak.
They are afraid that someone will discover what they are hiding.
Often bullies have been bullied and so learned this proactive defensive behaviour.
They fear being seen as vulnerable, sensitive, different, wrong, stupid, inadequate, etc, the list goes on.
They may also have suppressed anger which can result in volatile eruptions / physical force.
It's important to say that there are also very loving and gentle people who have suppressed anger, in fact many people do and there are various reasons for this. I have been there!
In fact, anyone who has learned to suppress emotions or been a people pleaser will build this anger and resentment up like a pressure cooker!
So what happens with the bully? They display bullying behaviour either to 'protect' themselves, because they haven't dealt with their own shame or because it is their only form of gaining power and control.
Ironically. they often protect themselves from the very thing they are looking for; love, acceptance, the freedom to be themselves etc.
Because they cannot own their own shadow counterparts, they project it onto others that do.
They find the part in others that they cannot tolerate within themselves, for example; sensitivity, gentleness, intuition, anything different, intellect, maturity, cheerfulness, brilliance, creativity, loudness, quietness, sexuality, failure, happiness...etc...and they attack / shame it.
There are many nuances to projection, each situation requires its own evaluation, but I hope this provides some insight.
If you have been bullied, it's not about you!
You are just a reflection of what the bully cannot own or integrate within themselves.
The bully also has their own story. I always aim to be mindful of each side of the coin because people just aren't that simple.
Everyone deserves compassion...some of them from a distance though in all reality, especially if it concerns your mental, emotional or physical safety.
Let's be mindful of the company we keep and at the same time use all situations to rediscover our personal power.
You are way stronger than you know!
Good Vibes, Amanda G
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