I am exhausted being a shadow
Posted: Wednesday 6th July 2022
With Level 2, BWRT helps discover your authentic identity
“I’m exhausted being a shadow.”
All of us are naturally inclined to do everything we can to get our needs met. The need for physical well-being, for emotional belonging, for security … these needs are all a part of the human condition. In an ideal situation, it’s our primary caregivers who ensure these needs are met in early childhood. But not every childhood is ideal.
When meeting our needs is constantly dependent on pleasing the adults who have power over us, we learn to strike a fine bargain. We meet their needs, so that they meet ours. It works. We survive. But inevitably the quality of life is compromised.
We become conflict-avoidant people-pleasers. In extreme cases, we may no longer be able to recognise our own needs, subsumed as they are in the constant search for security. We believe, falsely, that security can only be provided for us by others. Worse, that others will somehow know that we are not worth the security they can provide. And so, we become shadow people, always in the background. Always agreeable. Always putting others ahead of ourselves.
It's exhausting to constantly suppress parts of ourselves. And till very recently, it was a fairly long process to retrieve those parts from the dark shadows to which we have banished them. Luckily, there’s now an alternative.
With BWRT, changing the internal power dynamic is often a matter of just a few sessions of therapy. Conflict ceases to be so daunting, fading back into being just an inevitable part of relating with other people. Liking yourself becomes more important than finding ways for others to like you. Once you choose to risk stepping out from the shadows into your own light, it feels surprisingly easy and natural to reclaim your authentic self.
As my client said to me at our last session together: “I feel so free, now I’m finally me!”