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Home is Where the Heart is…And Where Our Shadow Sides Lurk

This post was written by Anna
on December 3, 2013 | Comments (0)

Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tisha Morris, author of the new Mind, Body, Home.

Tisha Morris

We all know that home is where the heart is. Maybe this is why we tend to have such a love-hate relationship with our home. Our home gives us so many pleasures in life…and yet so many challenges as well.

It’s cozy. It’s messy. We love to cook in the kitchen. And then the dishes pile up in the sink causing us stress. You love your walk-in closet, but the clothes in the floor drive you crazy. You have your favorite spot for morning coffee. And there’s also the upstairs closet that you dread going into.

Our home represents all parts of us—the good, bad, and the ugly. In psychotherapy terms, it shows all aspects of ourselves—our personality that we show to the world as well as our shadow sides.

Our shadows are those aspects of ourselves that not only do we not want others to see, but even we don’t want to see them. In fact, we may not even realize they are there. That’s how much we don’t want to look at them! However, in doing so, we reclaim aspects and parts of ourselves that we need in order to become whole and step into our authentic selves.

Scary or liberating enough, our shadows lurk somewhere in our home. Without thinking about it for too much longer, you probably already know where some of those areas are. If not, let me give you a hint: Our shadow sides hide behind doors: closet doors, cabinet doors, and drawers.

Is there a room, area, closet, or drawer that you hate going into? It could be anything from a small drawer to your entire basement. What we don’t want to look at, we store away. We don’t even turn the light on in that space.

Think about where you have stored your shadows away in your home. And literally, the more storage options we have in our house, the more availability we have to not face these sides of ourselves. This is the dread much of the time with moving, especially if downsizing to a smaller space or going from a home with a basement to a home with virtually no storage. We are suddenly faced with everything we have not wanted to look at for years.

Here’s the good news, though: Our shadows are not really as bad as we make them out to be. (That is, unless you have some literal skeletons in your closet!) In fact, our shadows are actually quite useful. Maybe your hot temper that you hide behind your soft voice could actually be used effectively in a leadership role if it were acknowledged and then used appropriately. Instead, you appear meek until you can’t take it any longer and then blow a fuse.

Or maybe your shadows are actual talents and skills that you had as a child, but were told they were not useful or would never make you money, so you stashed them away in a Rubbermaid box.

Regardless of how we label our shadows, at the end of the day they are an aspect of ourselves that need to come back home. We all want to be a whole authentic version of ourselves—not pieces and parts, constantly seeking and pleasing for temporary fulfillment.

It wasn’t until I shifted my thinking and saw this time as an opportunity to connect with my dad’s spirit that I was able to accept the waning of his physical self, which I hope provided an avenue for spiritual growth for the two of us.

Where have you hidden your shadow sides? Consider uncovering them and embracing sides to yourself you haven’t seen in years. You may be pleasantly surprised and reduce the amount of storage space you need too!

Our thanks to Tisha for her guest post! For more from Tisha Morris, read her article “4 Ways to Put the Om Back Into Your Home.”

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