This month we feature a special article from Dr John Travis, MD, whose career has had him realise "the currency of wellness is connection". Here he speaks on the strains that can emerge with family during the emotionally charged festive season, and how we can see these as opportunities for growth.
It’s the people closest to you that can drive you nuts—especially with the increased contact during so-called festive times. Not only might you painfully compare yourself with the culture’s idealised relationships promoted by the media and Facebook, but the increased time that you’re getting reflections of your own shadow from those closest to you can be taxing.
A key concept in wellness is “owning your projections will increase your connections.”
Owning our projections requires confronting the deeply embedded cultural conditioning that we carry from early infancy. We are conditioned to find someone/thing to blame for our problems, along with suppressing our inner feelings. Deconditioning ourselves is the ultimate test of resilience, and relies on our recently discovered neuroplasticity.
Owning our projections is the key to taking full responsibility for ourselves and experiencing more self-love. It’s also a great shame-voider.
Our shadow contains the opposite of all of those qualities that we define ourselves to be (“a caring person,” “a careless person,” etc.). “Within the appearance is its opposite.”
We project both our dark shadow (criticising/blaming), and our light shadow (admiring/idolising) and until we own every aspect of ourselves, light and dark, we’ll continue to project them onto others, thereby decreasing our ability to connect. Thus learning to “eat” of our shadow brings liberation from shame and greater connection.
The Five-Minute Relationship Repair--SusanCampbell.com
Re-evaluation Counseling (Co-counseling)--RC.org
For more exploration of our shadows, and how to deal with them, catch our interview with Dr John Travis in this podcast (below).
We also spoke with Dr Travis earlier this year about how our shadows can show up during times of enormous personal change, such as when a baby arrives. Catch that interview here (below).
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