Mirrors in homes are primarily used for individuals to see how good they look. Why not? For some, it is as an easy task seeing all of the good things about your body and self. That one little hair is out-of-place, “Oh, no!” Easily fixed. A smudge of mascara or eye liner in the corner of your eye? “Oh, no!” Easily fixed. Do these shoes go? Is my shirt tucked in evenly all around? Do these pants make my butt look big? Nobody in their right mind will tell a woman the truth about that age-old dilemma. Malls, buildings made of reflective material where you can see everything good about yourself. Ahhhh….isn’t that the life?
What about the mirrors that others hold up to you….for you….about you? An honest person will state that looking in THAT mirror is no fun at all. An honest person will look, listen, and learn because THAT mirror will show you your ugliness, your darkness, and your shame and guilt. We all have it. Not all of us admit that it is worth looking into, nor are some of us willing to admit that things need to be changed. Carl Jung made the idea of a “Shadow” come into light :). This is how Jung thought about an individual in this case:
The shadow is an unconscious complex defined as the repressed, suppressed or disowned qualities of the conscious self. According to Jung, the human being deals with the reality of the shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation. According to Analytical psychology, a person’s shadow may have both constructive and destructive aspects. In its more destructive aspects, the shadow can represent those things which people do not accept about themselves. For instance, the shadow of someone who identifies as being kind may be harsh or unkind. Conversely, the shadow of a person who is brutal may be gentle. In its more constructive aspects, a person’s shadow may represent hidden positive qualities. This has been referred to as the “gold in the shadow”. Jung emphasized the importance of being aware of shadow material and incorporating it into conscious awareness in order to avoid projecting shadow qualities on others.
So, I ask. Which you are trying to hide from people? I would take a wild guess and say that it is the one “who identifies as being kind may be harsh or unkind”. Trust me when I say that I have not always been willing to show my dark side to anyone. One person. One person on this Earth knows every single thing there is to know about me. She loves me because that is who she is. That is who God has led her to be. I know things of her other side she chooses not to show others. Choosing not to show that other side is not the problem. Individuals acting as if that other side does not exist is. My dark side includes many things of which I am not in denial, but I choose not to show them. I am not proud of them; however, I choose to look at them when that mirror is held up to me by one who loves me enough to raise it. I raise to her as well. It is give and take, after all. Reluctance is a natural thing when we choose not to see negativity, the dirt and grime of who we are inside or have become. People will either take you or drop you for your Shadow. That will show you their Shadows. I am willing to take good, long, hard looks at those negative, dirty and grimy things because I believe that if I do, I will keep the most important people in my life. I AM WILLING!