We all do it.
Things are humming along nicely, then — from out of the blue — something triggers us.
We lose our filter. Honest feelings rise and pop.
We say or do something that surprises or shocks us, and everyone within earshot.
Someone gets hurt, and we feel lousy.
When this happens to you, you probably spend the rest of the day scrambling to fix the mess. “I’m sorry.” “I wasn’t thinking.” “I’m under a lot of pressure.” “I just wasn’t myself.”
You beat yourself up, vow to get a handle on yourself and never to let loose again. You don’t want to be like that, ever.
The fallout of your sudden outburst can be a hiccup or a hurricane.
A sarcastic comment, a disgruntled rant, and a punch in the face will each elicit a different response. As will a teary outburst, a jealous accusation, and a racial slur.
Those caught in your line of fire may easily forgive you, never speak to you again, or see you in court.
If you weren’t yourself, who were you at that moment?
Where did the other you come from?
That other you is another part of you. It’s the unwanted you — the part you keep hidden, most of the time.
You keep this part of yourself hidden because you find it unattractive, unacceptable, or abhorrent. It’s not how you want your family, friends, and co-workers to see you.
The unwanted you corrupts your self-image and is a blight on your ego.
The psychological term for the unwanted you is the shadow.
Your shadow is the refuge for all the traits, behaviors, feelings and impulses that your ego rejects.
How Your Shadow Is Created
“Everything that is, casts a shadow.”
― Neil Gaiman, American Gods