I see places in my life that don’t make me feel proud. Places that I have been completely blind to are coming into the light for examination. It has been a fairly uncomfortable couple of weeks (months, perhaps). From speaking with close friends and colleagues, I understand I am not alone in my reflection. We can grow the most by being willing to examine what lives in the shadow. The challenge is to allow myself to be uncomfortable during the examination of traits or behaviors I deem unattractive. I am learning to be kind to myself during the unlearning, as Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, do better.”
If this process resonates for you, I believe the key is not getting stuck defending or hiding from our ugly parts. The parts of us that we are unconscious of are our beliefs and behaviors established in early childhood from parents, school, and community. Transcending these parts requires that I become conscious of them, avoid the shame game, and decide I will do better. Remembering that perfection is not possible and mistakes are par for the course.