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  • SuePattonThoele

Being Amused and Educated by Shadow



One of the most fruitful connections we can make is with the shadow aspects of our personalities, for they often represent unhealthy roles we’ve fallen into or strengths we are not fully expressing. A great way to become acquainted with active shadow sides is through subpersonality exploration. I’ve already introduced you to two of my shadow aspects, Brunhilda and Miz Perfection. Brunhilda, whose quality is the strength to stand up for myself, is the shadow side of Strong Adult Sue. I needed Brunhilda to show up in her dramatic warrioress form to grab my attention and help me balance her counterpart, Terminal Nice Girl. Miz Perfection is the shadow version of Madame Reliable-Responsible, and not surprisingly, her qualities are reliability and responsibility. In shadow form, however, those beneficial qualities become compulsion and perfectionism. Anxiety, nervousness, and stress alert me to Miz Perfection’s presence. Knowing she’s in the driver’s seat allows me to take over the steering wheel and make more self-supportive choices.

When we are connected to the magical essence of feminine energy, we feel spaciousness, generosity, joy, love, and all the other good stuff. Contrarily, when immersed in our shadow selves, we feel constricted, miserly, depressed, manipulative, victimized, ashamed, bitchy, and sometimes downright mean.


Getting to know and appreciate our shadow sides is enlightening and life-enhancing; however, acting directly from them can be iffy and possibly destructive.


We all have shadow sides. They are invaluable teachers, natural and educational parts of being a multifaceted human being. They can also bring a lot of fun, spice, and excitement to our lives. Given their helpful nature, it is appropriate to greet shadow aspects with open hearts, amusement, and gratitude for the valuable insights they offer about our attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs.


During your day...

  • Tune into what you consider a shadow aspect of yourself. Someone you might call a bitch, whiner, drama queen, or possibly something others have labeled you. If you can be amused as you get to know this aspect, that’s great.

  • Delve a little deeper and find out if this shadow aspect has insights about you or a current situation or concern. Ask how she can help you.

  • What about her appeals to you?

Welcomed into our awareness, shadow aspects can

be a wellspring of wisdom and entertainment.

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.


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