Shadow Work Session 20: Ace Of Wands

I’m having a tough time getting started today. I don’t really know where to begin, and over the past few days I have had some stuff come up the is drawing my focus back to the lessons I learned last week about conflict resolution. However, I am going to keep pushing forward, because I feel that I am going to need to work on my self confidence and self expression if I am going to be able to hold my own in a conflict resolution with this person who is a TERRIBLE communicator.

To make getting started a bit easier, I think I am just going to work on answering some of the questions that I asked myself yesterday.

What holds me back from reaching for my dreams? After giving it some thought, I think that I am held back most by my lack of confidence in myself and my choices, my fear of failure, my fear of judgement, my fear of change (as I am just as afraid of being locked into something after being successful at it as I am of failure), and imposter syndrome.

Why don’t I feel that I am allowed to have big dreams? I feel that I am hesitant to allow myself to have big dreams because I was always discouraged from them when I was growing up. As I mentioned before, my mother dealt with a lot of rejection growing up. Every time I tried to go out for something big, she would snuff my excitement and confidence by trying to prepare me for failure. Additionally, I never saw anyone have big dreams and go after them when I was growing up. All of the adults just sort of fell into their roles as both breadwinners and care givers. As a wife and mother now, I tend to thing that having big dreams would be selfish of me, and I instead try to choose paths that make the most sense for my family. I also struggle with imposter syndrome here as well, feeling like I’m not good enough in comparison to others to turn anything into a “big dream.” Lastly, though I am working on this really hard, I have been conditioned to think that certain things are only accessible to certain age groups. When I look at other people, I believe that you and do anything at any age!! However, when I think of myself, I constantly have to fight against the notion that dreams are for your 20’s.

Why can’t I go for what I want without first thinking it to death? Again, I think this goes back to my fear of failure and judgement. Also, I feel that I have a major issue with change and permanence. I don’t like unexpected change that I am not in control of. Therefore, I feel like I have to plan and strategize everything I do to account for this. I feel like I have to be 100% sure before moving forward with something, because I tend to want things to become permanent fixtures in my life. I know that this may lead me to make negative things permanent in my life and that it causes me to miss out on a lot of amazing opportunities, so I really want to work on changing this.

Why don’t I trust my instincts? I feel that this originates with my mom in a lot of ways. As I mentioned in a previous post, she caused me to doubt myself when before I was filled with confidence all for the sake of protecting me from disappointment. Additionally, my inability to trust myself has a lot to do with my people pleasing nature. When my instinct is pointing me in the opposite direction of the crowd or the people I love, I tend to think everyone else must be right and I must be wrong. When my instincts tell me that a person or thing is bad OR that someone isn’t being honest or treating me right, I feel that it would be harsh for me to follow my instincts without first giving them the benefit of the doubt. This may sound all well and good, but even after being proven right time and time again, I still feel like I have to doubt myself to give the person their “fair” chance…..but at some point, this always becomes not very fair to me.

Why am I afraid of honest self expression? Though I value honesty, I tend to be dishonest in the way that I communicate by either sugar coating everything or by keeping my thoughts and feelings locked inside. In one-on-one discussions, I fear that the person I am communicating with won’t receive direct honesty in the same way that I would. I fear saying things that I can’t take back that will destroy my close relationships. I fear that if I were to say how I really feel, the people I am communicating with would be so offended/angered/hurt that they would rather just cut me off than to get to the root of things and try to work through it. When expressing myself in a medium where a large random group may see, like online or out in public, I fear judgement. I also feel that I lie in my communication in these areas to be liked and to make myself more agreeable to my “target audience.” When it comes to honest self expression that is only for me and me alone, sometimes I can’t even hear myself over all of the other people I am trying to be. I, like many others, use my self expression to try to cultivate an “image” instead of using as it should be used. When I try to express myself to myself, I struggle to sort through all of the fake “images” and find my true self. How do I really thing and feel without all of the noise? Lastly, I worry that if I honestly express myself to myself…it would be an injustice for me to pretend like I didn’t hear myself. I would have to listen to myself, honor myself, and make uncomfortable changes in my life which I am currently afraid of. I fear that to be honest with myself would make me realize that the only way to be fair to ME, would be to throw my fears of hurting/angering others aside so I can create a life that is more authentically me….if that makes sense. It seems like it is easier for me to push my self expression down than it is to pull it all up.

I will likely go into each of these and more and bit more in depth throughout the week. I will probably even do some activities and childhood exploration at some point.

These shadow work posts are truly intended for my own self discovery and improvement, but I thank those of you who took the time to read this. I plan to work with my shadow aspects relating to the Ace of Wands for the rest of the week OR until I feel that it is time for me to move on to another card/shadow aspect.

Love Always, AnxiouslyM

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