This morning I found myself sitting on my couch, scrolling through Facebook, and thinking that I may put off blogging about my shadow work for the day. However, while I was scrolling I happened to come across some pictures that were recently posted by an old acquaintance. These pictures were of her and her family gathering wild plants and herbs and using them to make syrups, oils, and teas. I was really put off and frankly embarrassed by my first reaction to these photos. Instead of thinking, “Hey, this person is into things that I’m into. Maybe I could reach out to her so we can talk and connect over common interest.” I reactively started critiquing all of her photos in my mind. I picked out all of the things that I would have done differently, mentally affirming to myself that my way was better. Just for good measure I also critiqued her work space, making a mental note of the fact that her house in the background was messy and unclean. I felt competitive with her just by looking at her photos. Instead of being happy that someone was into the same things that I am, and instead of trying to reach out to develop a sense of kinship with her, I tore her down in my mind. Why did I do this? After sitting with the feelings for a while (because I am trying to check myself when I do messed up shit like that), I decided that by tearing her down in my mind, I was indirectly trying to validate my way of doing things by discrediting hers. Additionally, I was somehow trying to maintain a sense of “ownership” or “possession” of the hobby in question…so I didn’t have to share it with anyone else. Even though I am aware that millions of people engage in this hobby and lifestyle all around the world, I felt that the fact that I was the only person that I knew personally who actively engaged in the hobby somehow made me special. It was as if I was trying to make the hobby part of my personal identity and seeing someone else do it made me feel like I someone was trying to steal a part of me. Lastly, I think that the fact that I am only getting started with the hobby and she is much more knowledgeable and experienced triggered some insecurities central to my fear of being seen as unintelligent. After reflecting on this…I feel pretty ridiculous, especially since I am only just starting the hobby myself. I am trying not to judge myself too harshly as I work through these triggers and trauma responses, but sometimes being so aware of them now makes me feel silly…like I am a terrible person. I wonder if other people have fucked up petty hang ups like this. I’m sure some do.
Through my shadow work and mindfulness work, I am making it a point to go back and replace all of my negative thoughts with positivity and support. After working through this a bit I went back through the photos and pointed out all of the things that I liked about them. I vocalized that I was proud of and happy for her for finding something that she loved to do. Lastly, I added a heart under each picture as a show of support.
Before all of the drama on Facebook happened, I was planning to spend the day evaluating my personal relationships to determine if there was a fair balance of give and take. I also wanted to look into my personal relationships to evaluate if there was a healthy level of communication and to examine my own behavior within each relationship dynamic. I think I will still work on this throughout the day but I don’t think that I am going to blog about it. I will likely go into it a bit more on here tomorrow. However, to get me started, I am going to list my most important personal relationships here. These are my close relationships OR the relationships that I feel SHOULD be close but aren’t. I don’t think I am going to branch out to evaluate my passing acquaintances at this time.
Brent | Gail | Ross | Ross’s mom/parents | My mom | My best friend Angel | My cousin Lindsay | My friend TT | My friend Jacklyn | My Mema | My aunt Shandra | My dad | My Brother Wayne | My siblings/nieces/nephews on my fathers side | Ross’s siblings/nieces/nephews.
(I may or may not also evaluate my relationships with my 3 youngest cousins and my other aunts & uncle. However, I don’t know if it is super important to me for those relationships to be close.)
These shadow work posts are truly intended for my own self discovery and development, but I thank those of you who took the time to read this. I plan to continue my work with the 5 of Wands for the remainder of the week OR until I feel that it is time for me to move onto another shadow aspect/card.
Love Always, AnxiouslyM