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Running From Your Shadow

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the problem with running from your shadow side. So there's actually an old story about this. Long ago, there was a man who was afraid of his own shadow. He was so afraid of it in fact, that he tried to run away from it.

But of course, no matter how fast he ran or how far he went, his shadow always kept pace. He thought he could never be happy unless he got rid of his shadow. So he ran faster and faster and faster until finally he was so exhausted that he dropped dead. He didn't understand that if he had only relaxed and sat down to rest in the shade, his shadow would have naturally disappeared and he could have been at ease. So this old story offers us a metaphor for how to work with our own personal shadow side.

Our personal shadow is made up of the parts of ourselves that we do not accept and we do not want to see. Our shadow is rooted in shame by our sense of being basically unworthy or deficient just as we are. Now, the reason we have this underlying shame is because of our basic desire to have love and acceptance from other people. Often we reject certain parts of ourselves because we've been conditioned by our culture, by our upbringing to see certain parts of ourselves as undesirable or even wrong. So we reject them.

But then our shadow becomes an unhelpful force in our psyche because the more that we run from certain parts of ourselves, the more we reinforce this sense that something's wrong with us. Somehow we're flawed or unworthy. And not only does running from our shadow ramp up that feeling that we're unlovable or deficient, but it also stops us from attending to the parts of ourselves that probably need more attention and compassion than any other part, because it stays rejected and unseen parts of ourselves that are the source of so much of our neuroses and suffering. But when we bring mindful compassion to them, they can heal and they can be integrated in really healthy ways. And then they can be worked with skillfully.

So through mindfulness, we can learn to stop running from our shadow and rest in self-acceptance, wisdom and inner strength. In this way, we awaken to greater self-awareness and we respond to our life with more authenticity, intention and courage. So this is the invitation to practice today. Just stop running from your shadow, if and when it arises. And instead, see if you can bring mindfulness, compassion and acceptance to all the parts of you instead.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Running From Your Shadow

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the problem with running from your shadow side. So there's actually an old story about this. Long ago, there was a man who was afraid of his own shadow. He was so afraid of it in fact, that he tried to run away from it.

But of course, no matter how fast he ran or how far he went, his shadow always kept pace. He thought he could never be happy unless he got rid of his shadow. So he ran faster and faster and faster until finally he was so exhausted that he dropped dead. He didn't understand that if he had only relaxed and sat down to rest in the shade, his shadow would have naturally disappeared and he could have been at ease. So this old story offers us a metaphor for how to work with our own personal shadow side.

Our personal shadow is made up of the parts of ourselves that we do not accept and we do not want to see. Our shadow is rooted in shame by our sense of being basically unworthy or deficient just as we are. Now, the reason we have this underlying shame is because of our basic desire to have love and acceptance from other people. Often we reject certain parts of ourselves because we've been conditioned by our culture, by our upbringing to see certain parts of ourselves as undesirable or even wrong. So we reject them.

But then our shadow becomes an unhelpful force in our psyche because the more that we run from certain parts of ourselves, the more we reinforce this sense that something's wrong with us. Somehow we're flawed or unworthy. And not only does running from our shadow ramp up that feeling that we're unlovable or deficient, but it also stops us from attending to the parts of ourselves that probably need more attention and compassion than any other part, because it stays rejected and unseen parts of ourselves that are the source of so much of our neuroses and suffering. But when we bring mindful compassion to them, they can heal and they can be integrated in really healthy ways. And then they can be worked with skillfully.

So through mindfulness, we can learn to stop running from our shadow and rest in self-acceptance, wisdom and inner strength. In this way, we awaken to greater self-awareness and we respond to our life with more authenticity, intention and courage. So this is the invitation to practice today. Just stop running from your shadow, if and when it arises. And instead, see if you can bring mindfulness, compassion and acceptance to all the parts of you instead.

As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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