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Recognizing the shadow self

Toasthead

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May 30, 2020
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It’s been a while since I posted on here, but I’m doing pretty well all and all. I’ve been hanging out with my friend a lot and we’ve been smoking weed together a lot lately and believe it it’s really reduced my anxiety significantly. I haven’t felt better in years, even when I’m not high I feel amazing, free even. I’m starting a full time job soon and I even have a plan for moving out. But despite all my progress a new issue has come to mind.

Recently my friend mentioned that I can be incredibly compassionate and thoughtful sometimes, but I can also be pretty cold and unfeeling sometimes. I tend to make jokes in private about addicts and homeless people sometimes that I don’t necessarily mean, but can sound cruel. Upon further reflection I realize that I have sort of this battle within me. There’s the part of me that’s kind and considerate and wants to help others. But then there’s the part of me that’s cynical and angry and vengeful and cruel and would call his ex an incestious whore to her face just to make himself feel better about the break up. I have said things to people in anger that would make a grown man break down in tears, not just “you’re a (insert swear)” it’s like I can always find the thing the person I’m angry with is sensitive about and exploit it. I once made a bully cry because he said “the condom ripped and the abortion failed” so knowing his parents had just gotten a divorce I said “well at least my parents are still together.” When I called my ex an incestious whore I said it knowing full well that an old boyfriend of hers (not me) had convinced her to make a sex tape with her own mother.

The point is that I’ve become aware recently that I have the potential to become a bad person. I remember hearing a psychologist talk about how we need to recognize the “shadow self” the part of our psyche that has the potential for great evil. The thing that scares me the most however is that it feels good when I let loose like that, when I hurt someone the same way they hurt me. I like it sometimes when people are afraid of me. No one ever takes me seriously, which I don’t mind most of the time. I like being the guy that cheers people up when they’re down, but when people ignore me or treat me like a joke or abuse my kindness, I like reminding them that I’m not someone to mess with.

That all being said, I do try to keep the balance between the kind and caring child of God within me and my vengeful and intimidating shadow self. However sometimes I wonder if I should let those parts of me go. I always liked the idea of “turn the other cheek” but never put it into practice. I was taught by my parents and piers growing up to never let anyone push me around. But naturally I’m actually a nice person that doesn’t like hurting people if he doesn’t need to and would rather understand why someone is hurting enough to hurt me than hurt them back.

I know this was all incredibly long winded and vague, but I wonder if this part of me is helpful or hurtful. If I am denying the world who I am because I’m afraid that if I let go of this demon that’s inside of me people will walk all over me. Or am I just being too self critical and this is just normal.


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Joshua1

Active Member
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Sep 20, 2020
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It’s been a while since I posted on here, but I’m doing pretty well all and all. I’ve been hanging out with my friend a lot and we’ve been smoking weed together a lot lately and believe it it’s really reduced my anxiety significantly. I haven’t felt better in years, even when I’m not high I feel amazing, free even. I’m starting a full time job soon and I even have a plan for moving out. But despite all my progress a new issue has come to mind.
Weed helps ease the mind, but it comes with greater problems. Its like a man that gives a dollar, but takes 40 dollars.
 
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