Dealing with your psychological shadow
It would seem now more than perhaps ever, or certainly in recent history, we as a society, are faced with our shadow; the parts of ourselves, as individuals and a collective, that we have shamed, shunned, and hidden away into a dark corner.
When we reject or shame something it goes away into the dark, and we try to convince ourselves that it’s not here, not around, simply because we’re choosing not to see it. But that is very far from the truth. In the dark those things are gaining power, they grow.
When the parts of us in the shadow gain power they leak into our lives. And the best answer to that from the level of psychology that created it, is to shame it further and hide it even more.
All this does is give more power to those parts of us we want to shame, which continue to act out in ineffective ways, keeping us in that cycle of shame and self-rejection.
This idea of the shadow isn’t a new one, but the actual reality of it is much older – as old as humans have been evolved creatures, yet it only seems to get stronger the more we have a world of divisive tribal ideologies and rhetoric creating more and more ‘us vs them’.
This look into the shadow is what I wanted to explore on the podcast this week with my guest Connor Beaton.
In this Episode:
Connor is a men’s coach, the founder of Mantalks, and a great man with a wildly interesting past and wholly impressive present.
His work is similar to mine in that he works in supporting men in exploring the parts of themselves that have been pushed into the dark corners, bringing those dark parts into the light. so that they can reclaim agency of their lives. He does a lot of focused work on the shadow, and so this was what we explored in this episode starting squarely with his own story.
This story is one ranging from international opera singer to living out of his car and having a total moment of rock-bottom leading into a personal transformation of sorts, all the way through to the amazing work he does now.
We also take this topic into an area I think we need to continue to explore when it comes to addressing the state of men and masculinity, and that is the way in which man men across the globe, but most certainly in the USA exclusively tie their masculinity to their religion and their patriotism.
Connor has spoken about this before, and it was a topic I wanted to cover with him on this episode so we waded in to explore why and how men tie their masculinity to anything external to them, including country and Christ.
Where to find Connor:
- Website https://connorbeaton.com/
- And find him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mantalks/
- And all podcast platforms at Mantalks: https://connorbeaton.com/podcast/
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