Shadow Work: Minding Your Own Damned Business

Whew, did I just cuss in the title of the blog?!

For good reason, of course. Shadow Work isn’t child’s play, and beginning the journey to discover what makes you tick is, at times, going to make you uncomfortable.

Yep, it’s another blog about Shadow Work. If you’d like, there’s a really good one here about what Shadow Work is and how to start preforming it, and another one right here about writing letters to Trauma.

This one, however, isn’t about doing things- it’s about not doing things.

Tonight, while out shopping, my husband informed me that I was body checked by another woman. If you don’t know what body checking is, it’s a polite term for someone looking you up and down and then immediately disapproving via facial or verbal expressions. Unfortunately, women find this happening to them most often from other women- but that’s another post for another day.

Anyway, when he told me, I immediately wanted to find out what her problem was. It took me a few seconds to realize that my outrage at her disapproval had absolutely nothing to do with her. And, boom, a post was born.

Have you ever judged someone? Have you ever had someone judge you? Then, witch, this is for you.

I was watching my darling husband play VR the other day, and to watch someone play is absolutely hilarious. In good-hearted fun, I laughed quite a bit as he swayed back and forth, making unexplained movements and jerks to things I could neither see nor hear.

I realized in that moment, in one of those “Aha! This is relateable to that!”epiphanies, that I was judging him without context. Sure, it was funny and light hearted, but often times our judgments of others aren’t so. Without seeing things through their lenses, or their experience, we project our expectations onto them and rank their value as either greater than or less than ourselves. And what is projection but Shadow at work???

That’s what the lady did to me tonight. She projected her shadow on to me, and immediately hated what she saw.

However, in the same aspect, I saw my own shadow in her judgement and I accepted her projection.

That’s right- bold and italicized.

Minding our own damn business is hard. I have been extremely conscious of my judgments and they come without warning. I saw a woman the other day, that was quite heavy in weight, wearing a tube top and shorts that were too small for her. Immediately, I passed judgement in my head- “Girl, you need to get a mirror.”

But who the fuck am I to tell someone, who’s obviously comfortable in their skin, what to wear? Who am I, in my small existence, to tell another human being to cover up because they’re making my own insecurities flourish?!

No one. That’s who. And you know what I did, I smiled at her- complimented her on the color of her bomb-ass mermaid hair, and went on about my damned business.

Because my Shadow, my projection on that woman, had absolutely nothing to do with her skin showing, or her weight- it had to do with my skin showing, and my weight. It has to do with how sexy I feel in clothes of that nature- or rather, how sexy I don’t feel. Which, boiled down even farther, is a projection of how I’ve reduced my value to being “sexy”. We’ll get into that in another post later.

I will always snap judge. Humans are debased that way, and if you’ve read anything on my previous posts about Shadow Work- judging is a primal instinct that goes back to our survival as a superior genome. We judge, we all do.

It’s whether or not I allow that judgement to surface, to tint or tinge my view of that woman (or anyone else), and whether or not I accept it as my own business.

My Shadow- my projection is my own. That woman has no need to know about it any more than I have a right to tell her what to wear.

At the same time, minding my own businesses isn’t just about not passing judgement, but it’s about not accepting other’s either.

That’s right. You heard me!

We carry other’s opinions, thoughts, feelings, and projections with us constantly- when, in reality, it has absolutely nothing to fucking do with us. It stems from their own shadow, their own insecurities, their own denial, and I don’t know about you- but I have enough of my own to last me a lifetime, I don’t need to be carrying anyone else’s shit.


The question we need to ask ourselves when these events occur is “WHY?”

Why do I feel the need to judge another woman’s attire? I don’t do it often to men, so why women? Why is her outfit, and her size, an uncomfortable subject for me? Why not when it’s a man?

The answer, for me? Because I couldn’t do what she did.

Read that again.

I. couldn’t. do. what. she. did.

Of course, I have the capability, but not the confidence. I judged another woman based on my own lack of worth. Whereas that woman tonight probably did the same to me.

And why did I feel angry at her judgement tonight? Why did I automatically want to know why she was disgusted with me? Why did it bother me the entire walk through the store?

The answer? Because I allowed her projection to dictate my worth.

Her disgust was a reflection of my own with myself, and in seeing it- it angered me. Reflection is a bitch, and when we don’t want to see it, we will punch the mirror to shards before recognizing it is ourselves we are shattering.

So, what did I decide to do instead?

Mind. My. Own. Damned. Business.

What about you?

Until next time, my friends…