My shadow self, my samskara (pattern), my own personal hell. It feels like I switch to a different personality, a younger more fragile version of myself. Sixteen-year-old me to be exact. This was around the first time that I realized how poor my communication skills were and when my self worth was at its lowest. I thought that it was better to hold in my emotions because I felt like it was just a waste of time to try and get someone to understand. To help someone scrape past my walls and sadness to see my inner self.
When I shift, I try and take the least amount of space in my skin, feeling unworthy to breathe or make a ripple. My eyes are glassy with unshed tears, my tongue is thick in my mouth, my breathing gets shallow. It’s so hard to escape her once she takes control.
There are certain circumstances that trigger the shift into this weakened mindset. Usually it’s feelings of failure, silly mistakes or not being able to talk out my feelings properly. I feel bitterly alone and helpless to stop the ‘gear shift’. The grooves are so worn in from years of use that I sometimes change into my pattern without conscious thought, and then the spiral turns inward.
Something benign can be the catalyst to an intense flood of pain and always creates a bigger situation than is required. Countless misunderstandings and hurt pool together and the other person in the conversation is my captive, unaware of the emotions that lurk beneath my surface ready to be unloaded and felt again.
My shadow self is why I work so diligently to find self love, the patterns and samskaras that are toxic in my life and to root them out. I do not wish to live in the past. Reliving hurts long gone does nothing to create the present happiness I seek with my practices of self-care and meditation.
Every opportunity I have to speak my truth instead of pushing it deeper is a start on a new path. One away from the worn pattern that only leads to shame and sadness. I am worth explaining myself, worth taking up space, worth being understood completely. I have faith that I will continue my journey to self expression and acceptance. The loving people around me give me strength and push me along the new path that I have to choose everyday over and over again. Love will be my fuel and I will steam ahead knowing that I am rewiring my brain to care about my own well being.
To anyone who has ever felt like this, know you are not alone. It can feel like one false move will ruin your entire day, but don’t let it. I am right beside you. I see you and love you even if we have never met. You are worth all of the struggle to find some sparkle and light in your journey. When you feel your emotions and attention drifting to the thought ‘here we go again‘, stop immediately. You are stuck in your shadow self and you are stronger than you know. You got this, and we are all together on this path with you.
Love & Light from a former bipolar yogi