Shadow Hugging

by silrakk

Sangha friends,

Regarding shadow work, mine in this case . Very recently I got into two heated situations here with different friends who have similar communication style. After the first one I knew that I was somehow half the picture, it took a repeat scene for me to go deeper into how I could be creating this, why I’m creating these unpleasant shadow boxing scenarios

The content below is on shadow-hugging, it’s excerpted from a piece of writing I found on the internet. I’ve done some major cutting and pasting from the original. I’ve perhaps changed the intent or the author for it to fit my more narrow informative or educational intent. I further divided this Shadow chapter into 3 segments that I’ll post separately. I did this to keep them short as I’ve heard that some of my blog readers don’t wish to spend much time on emails and such. I’ve rearranged the order into what seems to me the most useful first, rather than the original order that it was written in. I did this as perhaps there will be a few people who read only this post and go no further and I believe this was the most important of the shadow materials.

Also the additional bold and italics in the text are mine emphasizing some ideas I really agree with.  

 If you are interested in the rest of this material, the shadow chapter, or the rest of the short excerpted book, write me and I will attach your request in an email. The rest of the Shadow material will be in the next 2 postings.

 Shadow-Hugging. –or the light-shadow.

…shadow-hugging.  Just as we can repress or disown negative aspects of our personal stories, we can also repress or disown positive aspects.  Shadow-hugging happens as we disown positive traits or attributes and then project them outward as “others.”  We then feel a strong attraction to those others.  A classic case is the spiritual seeker who disowns the love, peace, and wisdom inherent in her true Self (i.e., awareness) and instead projects that onto a teacher.  The teacher then seems larger than life, “enlightened.”  Another example is sexual or romantic obsession.  We idealize others in various ways, not realizing that these others are really just repressed and projected aspects of our own story.  These positive aspects are too powerful, too beautiful, too loving to own.  It becomes easier, so we think, to project them onto others.

Victims stay victims by constantly idealizing (shadow-hugging) others who seem more fortunate or who seem to possess great qualities that are lacking within the victim identity.  In doing shadow work and re-owning these projected positive traits, it is impossible for a victim to remain a victim. 

… In shadow work, both the good and the bad (and all other opposites) come fully into view as equal appearances of awareness.  There is no more idealizing.  No more shadow-hugging.  

Other examples of shadow-hugging include obsessing on another’s intelligence, personality, success, or wealth.  Envy and jealousy are classic projections.  We find ourselves fixated on other people who seem to have everything we would like to have within ourselves.  …  Good and bad, attractive and unattractive, nice and mean, spiritual and unspiritual, and all other opposites are seen to be equal appearances of awareness.  The “other” you are hugging is seen to be none other than what you are. 

These traits may still appear.  In other words, some may appear more intelligent or more attractive.  It just won’t bother you as much.  It won’t be personal.  

“You know we have some people in the school who shine and we also have some blockheads. If it weren’t for the blockheads the ones that shine perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to shine as brightly. And sooner or later we all trade places…” -KK