shadow work: “while reflecting on my childhood, what makes me extremely angry or sad to this day?”

shadow work: “while reflecting on my childhood, what makes me extremely angry or sad to this day?”

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work.


the vent answer

My mom didn’t like me until my dad went through a not liking me phase and then she fell in love with me when I was a freshman in high school. But they’ve both loved me pretty consistently since I finished grad school so I feel like we did all of the processing and family dynamics work and shit. We did all the crying and retraumatizing and the why did you do this and you’re the parent I’m the child you were supposed to take care of me and yes I know you didn’t know you had the choice not to have a child and you were poor and struggling and you did your best and you protected me in the ways you knew as love because those were the ways your parents protected you blah blah blah. Like. I’m 33 and have been doing therapy and shadow work for at least a decade. At some point, is it okay that I’m just not mad at them anymore? I probably still feel sad about some things, like the trauma that I’ll never get over, that “inner child” trauma, and my irrational core beliefs. But, like, can’t I just live now? Am I expected to cry about it my whole fucking life? They still do and say some abusive shit to me, which sucks and triggers me and fucks up my life, but like, I can hang up the phone or leave their house. Yes it hurts, but I’m not going to let it destroy me like it did when I was a kid. I’m my own parent now. Let’s move the fuck on.


with that being said 😒

  • I sometimes feel sad and angry about having been abandoned.
  • I sometimes feel sad about not having felt loved as a child.
  • I sometimes feel angry that the decisions made by people around me when I was a child continue to cause me deep pain even though I’m an adult and I feel like I’ve processed the shit out of it and now I just have to live with this pain forever because no amount of therapy or shadow work makes it go away.
  • I sometimes feel angry about possibly having been exposed to [detailed traumatic events censored for my privacy] as a child.

Anyway, I love my parents and maybe even other family members anyway, and I think everyone did the best they could with what they had and I wish talking about it made the pain go away but it doesn’t; it just makes it easier to live with.

shadow work: “which situations have shaped my personality and why?”

shadow work: “which situations have shaped my personality and why?”

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work.


My spiritual beliefs impact my understanding of personality in that I believe in astrology completely, and also my professional learning impacts my understanding of personality based on research. Psychologists are not 100% solid on what creates or impacts a personality, though newer research says it does appear to be more impacted by the environment than we originally assumed. I obviously believe in the attachment theories, and up until today, I thought I had insecure attachment, but reading more about it is blowing my mind because I don’t really fit the behaviors in the theory at all 😱. A few months ago, my coworker/friend sent me this image which hits home a lot more:

sorry for using something with so many typos, but I really like the pictures lol;
yellow depicts how I used to be and have worked through;
purple depicts how I continue to be

I know the question wants me to sit and reflect on what actually happened in my childhood to lead to these wounds. I have gone over my childhood traumas over and over again during therapy and I’m at a point where I’m bored of those narratives. Blah, blah, abandonment. Blah, blah, growing up as a poor immigrant. Blah, blah, no one was taught how to comfort a child in my parents’ generation. Blah, sexual coercion. Blah, abandoned by every friend and partner I’ve ever had. Blah, blah, blah. It’s the same old sob story and I’ve processed the shit out of it since 2011. After a decade of thinking, remembering, feeling, talking about it, addressing it with my parents, noting how it impacts my relationships and friendships, yadda, yadda, I’m tired of describing it in detail to others.

Let’s review yellow:

  • I no longer repress emotions because feeling them and even sharing them (with consent) is healthy.
  • I no longer fear being vulnerable because what other people think about me isn’t as important as it once was.
  • I’m not afraid of being hurt because people will always find a way to hurt others regardless of what I do to avoid it, and relationships are worth the trials and errors.

As for the purple, these are things I’m actively working on and I’ve already made incredible progress with:

  • I say no at work all of the time.
  • I’ve accepted that I can’t be everything to everyone.
  • I will always find a next friend if a friend leaves me.
  • I can’t hate being alone because I’m never really alone; I socialize so much.
  • Trust is a funny thing and though I don’t trust people, I don’t let it interfere with my bonds with them.
  • I have already done significant crown chakra work to believe I am safe and I’m still working on my root chakra.

And lastly, the things I don’t yet know how to address:

  • I need constant praise and validation.
  • I don’t feel seen, but do I need to?
shadow work: “the way I spend my daily life is how I will spend the rest of my life. how do I feel about this idea?”

shadow work: “the way I spend my daily life is how I will spend the rest of my life. how do I feel about this idea?”

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work.


I feel mostly content with the way I live my daily life, though there are some things I would want to add to it. I don’t want to seem like I’m not thinking a lot about this; this topic is one I’ve mulled over for many years if not decades. I’ve done many things wrong, have survived agoraphobia for the most part, and have made a ton of mistakes. Today, I believe I have gone through many possible scenarios of how to live daily life, and have learned so much about what really matters. The way I currently live makes me feel satisfied in all areas, though some areas would benefit from some improvement. I think I would benefit more from changing my weekly life and monthly life than my daily life, or, rather, changing my daily life after examining my monthly and weekly lives.


These are my ambitious goals for daily life:

  • Eat a plant
  • Exercise
  • Divine
  • Practice magick
  • Engage in a morning and night skin care routine
  • Play with Bastet
  • Play with Ra Ra
  • Read
  • Take my meds ON TIME
  • Clean something
  • Not leave my home

And these are the things I already do every day that I love:

  • Socialize
  • Bond with Ra Ra
  • Bond with Bastet
  • Play video games
  • Shadow work
  • Tidy something
shadow work topic: trust

shadow work topic: trust

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work.


why do I have issues with trust?

I wouldn’t call it an issue. I don’t trust anyone fully, but I think that’s normal, and I don’t let it interfere with my relationships. I’ve never been in a relationship that didn’t end (except this current one). I’ve never had a friendship that didn’t end (except these current ones). People have always proven themselves to be betrayers and abandoners. But in typical Aquarius style, I am the personification of Hope, I get right back on the horse and try again. I let myself make friends and I let them hurt and abandon me. I let myself love. I trust that I can’t trust anyone, but I’m not ever going to let that dictate my life.

Now, trusting the universe is an interesting topic I’ve been pondering. I took a chakra test, just a random old thing online, and my crown chakra was closed. I read a bunch of tips on how to open it and I was horrified to learn that I was supposed to trust that the universe will take care of me. That’s been spinning me for a loop. I understand this is what the Christians do, right? They believe God (capitalizing because was raised Catholic and it’s hard not to be afraid of the lowercase g) is looking out for them for no reason, just out of the goodness of his [heart?]? That’s the kind of thing I’m trying to believe now, that God, my Goddesses, the universe, that something/one cares about me and wants to keep me safe. Oof. Try trusting that.


do I trust myself? and why/why not?

This question is super interesting because I can’t imagine not trusting myself? I mean, in the general sense, I am my biggest fan and my best friend and my closest family. I am everything to me, because I have to be, to survive and to thrive. I enjoyed hearing other folks talk about why they might not trust themselves and I don’t relate to it. I feel I have a great understanding of what I need and even if I veer off of the path, I’m veering off for a good reason.

book of shadows: malachite, do no harm spell, kali-ma, hera

book of shadows: malachite, do no harm spell, kali-ma, hera

I realized I don’t want to create a physical book of shadows because 1) it feels artistically limiting, 2) I’m more of a minimalist, and 3) I don’t have the tendency to enjoy physical behaviors. So I thought it would serve me better to create a digital book of shadows! I will be sharing it as I work on it. I first started with one of my favorite crystals, Malachite, the very first spell I created with the help of my friends, and two devotional pages to my matron Goddesses Kali-ma and Hera.


shadow work: “if I could communicate with the person I was 10 years ago today, I would say…”

shadow work: “if I could communicate with the person I was 10 years ago today, I would say…”

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work. I edited this one to be 10 years and not 5 or 10 years. This took 1 hour.


10 years ago, I was 23 years old. It was 2011, so I was in my second semester of graduate school. I was heavily grieving my breakup with my college sweetheart, making new friends, becoming vulnerable for the first time, learning how to exist as a fat person after having been thin for a significant few years, and fooling around with and catching feelings for a woman for the first time in my adult life. I would say this was the beginning of my shadow work and one year later I would “covert” to paganism. It was the first time I enrolled in therapy.


if I could communicate with the person I was 10 years ago, I would say:

Post-College

  • The Virgo betrayed you, yes. Get over it. Did you really want to marry a Christian who wants kids and whose mother hates you and who has zero sex drive which is how you got fat in the first place? Move on. You will have good conversations again one day and you will find clingy friends. You’ll live.
  • Stop drinking. You’re going to stop in 2013 anyway, may as well stop now.
  • Stop trying to get high.

Grad School

  • Don’t attach to these people just because they are around. Don’t make friends offline. Offline people are not your people.
  • Trust your instincts about people.
  • Learn about basic touch consent.
  • Treat your graduate school experience like the first job of your career; same for practicum.
  • Wear form-fitting clothing to work. Tight pants at least! I know this sounds weird and silly, but I promise it will change your life.
  • You have to start getting vulnerable. Cry in public. Don’t worry about the negativity and the labels. Cry harder.
  • Fuck the Scorpio in every way you possibly can for as long as she will let you.
  • Dye your hair teal and pink and any other color you want.
  • You’ll be in a relationship soon. Chill out.
  • Your therapist has you diagnosed with PD but you much later finally learn you have severe OCD.

Post Grad School

  • Don’t make friends offline. Offline people are not your people.
  • That year you’re unemployed? Start reading as a hobby.
  • Your job destroys your BookTubing life eventually. This turns out to be a blessing, but enjoy the peak of your BookTubing career when you’re there.
  • Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re less than because of your weight. You’re still going to be fat in your thirties and intelligent people will want to fuck you very much. Don’t waste your time allowing people to make you feel inferior. You are so beautiful and powerful.
  • You are not a submissive. You are allowed to say no to anything sexual or otherwise. You do not have to adjust to anyone’s kinks. You do not owe anyone any sexual behaviors. BDSM and kink are not what people around you claim.

Later

  • Don’t work so hard in 2018. Don’t do things the way your supervisor told you. To quote Swan Princess, things are not as they seem.

shadow work: “how worthy do I honestly believe I am?”

shadow work: “how worthy do I honestly believe I am?”

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work. This entry took 8.5 hours to create.


I’m going to shake things up and do things a little differently to guide you through my stream of consciousness thought process about this one.

  • What does it mean to be worthy?
  • Worthy of what?
  • I don’t think I believe in the concept.
  • What is self-worth and how does it tie into this conversation?
  • Why be worthy when you can just be?
  • worthy (adjective) – having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way
  • How we do decide what merits recognition?
  • Recognition from whom?
  • I’m going to side-step the “specified way” because now we’re really not making sense.
  • This reminds me of the concept of being worthy of God or other deities.
  • How much of this is a social construct?
  • Is this a spiritual concept at all?
  • I read What it Means to Be Worthy & Why You Are by Danielle Bernock.
  • I listened to the song linked in that entry, You Say by Lauren Diagle.
  • My initial reaction to this entry was about how I have felt worthless after being treated poorly, so when Diagle sings about not being “enough”, that wording resonates with me more strongly because I do feel that I am not “enough” for my loved ones.
  • My Google search also led me to the video Worthy | Meaning of worthy by Meaning of the words on YouTube.
  • worthy (adjective) – having worth, merit or value.
  • worthy (adjective) – honorable or admirable.
  • I am valuable and admirable.
  • I define “valuable” to mean I add value to the lives of others. I help, teach, challenge, love, validate, and so on.
  • If I didn’t do that, would I still consider myself valuable or do I determine my worth by whether or not I have something to offer others?
  • I think I would consider myself valuable even if no one utilized my assistance, but just knowing I am capable of assisting would be enough.
  • I’m admirable for too many things to list. I have achieved so much in almost every area of my life. Plus, I think I am a genuinely unique person.
  • I feel guilty for typing that and I can hear the little critical voices people have imprinted onto me saying “who do you think you are?”, “how dare you”, “what makes you so special?”, and so on. But if I pretended I didn’t think I was, I’d just be lying to you, and why bother in an entry about shadow work?

so, how worthy do I honestly believe I am?

  • I honestly believe I am extremely admirable.
  • I honestly believe I am extremely valuable.
  • I honestly believe I am not enough for others.
  • I hope one day this will change.
shadow work: “what makes me feel the happiest?”

shadow work: “what makes me feel the happiest?”

I am using this prompt list to engage in shadow work. This entry took 9 hours to create.


definitions

  • happiness (noun) – the state of feeling happy
  • happy (adjective) – feeling pleasure or contentment
  • pleasure (noun) – a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment
  • contentment (noun) – a state of happiness and satisfaction
  • satisfaction (noun) – fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this

the brain chemistry of happiness

dopamine – causes the happy feeling when: someone likes your post, you fill in a checkbox, or you complete a small task; addictive; instantly gratifying; short-lasting

oxytocin – the feeling behind love, friendship, or deep trust; helps fight stress; promotes long-lasting enjoyable emotions; could assist in physical wound healing; boosts our immune systems, makes us better problem solvers; makes us more resistant to the addictive qualities of dopamine

seratonin – when we feel a sense of accomplishment; when he receive recognition from others; when we feel we made others proud; assist in digestion, bone growth, and organ development.

endorphins – the intoxicating feeling of physical pain subsiding; the feeling of happiness from laughter; cause stress relief

Source: 4 Brain Chemicals That Make You Happy


my relationship with happiness

  • I am cheerful.
  • I look for the positive in everything.
  • I look for opportunities to experience joy or pleasure constantly.
  • I turn everything into fun, including work and mundane activities.
  • I am a Type 7 in the Enneagram, which means I am an eternal pleasure-seeker.
  • I try to make people laugh every day.
  • I laugh every day.

so, what makes me feel happy?

  • making people laugh; laughing; joking; being witty; being funny
  • praise for me, my work, or any creative pursuits
  • when folks acknowledge I taught them something; when folks acknowledge I changed something about their life in a positive manner
  • peace; the absence of suffering; the absence of pain; contentment; comfort
  • almost everything my sunflowers (cat children) do
  • any positive interactions with others

the difference between happy, happier, and happiest

The challenge in this question is not just about what makes me feel happy but also identifying on a happiness spectrum where I would rank the items.

finally, what makes me feel the happiest?

  • making my parents, wife-to-be, bestie, and friends laugh
  • when my parents, wife-to-be, bestie, and friends praise me or acknowledge my achievements and impact
  • almost everything my sunflowers do

shadow work: “which of my weaknesses could actually have potential?”

shadow work: “which of my weaknesses could actually have potential?”

I am using this prompt list to engage in daily shadow work; I’m keeping the exact wording of the question because I find the wording fascinating. I worked on this for around 19 hours.


in order to answer the question I must first seek to understand the question

weakness

  • (noun) the state or condition of lacking strength
    • my question: how do we measure strength?
  • (noun) a quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault
    • my question: regarded by whom?
  • (noun) a person or thing that one is unable to resist or likes excessively
  • (synonym) flaw

potential

  • (adjective) having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future
  • (noun) latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness
  • (noun) the possibility of something happening or of someone doing something in the future

some resources I reviewed when considering this question


do I believe in the concept of weaknesses/flaws?

I’ve been engaging in active self-love since I was 14 years old (19 years ago) and self-love is one of my biggest strengths as well as a behavior/ability I’m known for, so it’s very difficult for me try to press pause on my self-love to think about any of my traits as weaknesses.

I find myself questioning whether even the idea of putting our traits in a binary of “weak” and “strong” is healthy, not only from the mental health perspective, but also from the spiritual perspective. I have follow-up questions. Is the goal to criticize ourselves? Is the goal to move from binary thinking into accepting all traits? Is there a measurement spectrum that can be used? And though we should be embracing them, should we continue to perceive these traits as “weak” or “flaws”?

Something flawless is perfect, and I don’t believe seeking perfection is valuable; however, something weak by definition has the potential (ah!) to be made stronger, which is helpful on the path to enlightenment. Taking these ideas into account, I can rework my understanding of weaknesses into the following:

  • weakness =/= flaw
  • a weakness can disrupt my path toward enlightenment
  • not improving upon a weakness can cause me harm
  • not improving upon a weakness can cause harm to others

I also find myself reflecting on the difference between what others dislike about me vs. my weaknesses.


that being said, these are some of my “weaknesses”:

  • I don’t fit in anywhere. (Chiron in Gemini)
  • I haven’t been able to shake caring about what others think about me, (Chiron in Gemini)
    • while also not being able to care enough about adhering to certain social norms. (Sun in Aquarius)
  • I don’t believe I’m psychic, though there is evidence that supports I have some psychic abilities. (Chiron in Gemini)
  • I don’t believe I’m creative, though I rank very highly in creativity on tests. (Chiron in Gemini)
  • I feel uncomfortable interacting with people, especially in person or in voice chat.

finally, how could these weaknesses have potential?

  • Not fitting in
    • I can explore various communities which exposes me to various ideologies, knowledge, expression, and so on.
    • My self is in an uninterrupted state of constant evolution.
    • I am not a product of everyone around me.
    • Motivates me socially.
    • I can open other folks’ minds and make healthy impacts.
  • Caring about what others think
    • Social and behavioral accountability; prevention of harm to others.
    • I allow others and the universe to impact me.
  • Not caring about what others think enough to change myself
    • Stay true to self; maintain mental health.
  • Discomfort with others
    • Able to exist with my discomfort.
    • Taking learning opportunities.
    • Surviving if not thriving in social situations.

Additionally:

  • I need to accept I am creative.
  • I might benefit from accepting that I might have some psychic abilities. (Say might one more time.)
tbr: reading my wife’s books

tbr: reading my wife’s books

Today is my fiancée’s birthday! She is exactly two months younger than me, we were both born on the 11th day of our respective months. She expands my worlds and experiences on a regular basis. In honor of my love for her, I wanted to show off 4 of her owned-books I will be reading. I will be reading, like, 20 of her books this year, but I can’t imagine being able to hold y’alls attention for more than 4 books a post 😂.

I am currently reading Ishmael. It’s one of those works that you hear about in passing, but that I have never heard anyone really talk about. I relate it to works like Coelho’s The Alchemist and Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie where you know the book has a lesson, but no one will tell you what the lesson is. I did not expect for the teacher to be who they are so that was a fun twist, and I’m enjoying following along with the lesson even though the little punk in me wants to be like “bro, just get on with it, I’m READY.”

The shortest book on my future wife’s shelf is a book of poetry about Kali Ma. Kali Ma and Brigid are the first goddesses I ever prayed to, whom I believe found me, which is interesting because though Kali Ma found us at different times, Kali Ma also happens to be one of the most important goddesses to my wife. Isn’t that wild? I think so. Anyway, my wife and I are made for each other and I hope I understand the poems in this work.

I just realized today the person who wrote the poetry book is the same person who co-wrote this historical and spiritual account of the rosary and its significance outside of Judeo-Christian and Muslim right hand paths. Stand wrote this with his partner Finn who has written a lot of MY LITTLE PONY works. I mean. Is that synchronicity or what? If I’m going to listen to anyone’s opinion on spirituality, it’s definitely going to be the married couple in which one person wrote poems about my primary goddess and the other wrote My Little Pony books.

Lastly for this entry, I’m going to read Nergal’s biography. Nergal is a very important person to my wife because he is a Satanist and metal musician, he is very thoughtful and thought-provoking, and he creates music that respects his beliefs. Interestingly enough, he is Polish! This is interesting because I’m Polish too, so for me Nergal means a lot culturally, spiritually, and even politically as he continues to be sued for blasphemy as Poland is a Catholic-dominated country where you can get sued for sharing idea that are not Catholic, if I’m understanding some of the articles and videos about him that I’ve consumed so far.

Thank you for reading. ❤️