How to Face Your Shadow & Overcome

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lauren love
Dear Readers,
Please find below an incredible blog post on raising self-esteem by our very very Fav Lauren ‘How to Face Your Shadow & Overcome’.  Please read this with open mind. We hope you’ll enjoy this.
 Lauren Love

As I sit here in my office this morning writing my daily blog, I contemplate what to say to you.

It has been a while since I sat down to address you, heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul, in the way that I always have for years now.

You see, writing this newsletter and being on this journey with you has been the single most challenging and rewarding thing I’ve ever done with my life.

This is the seventh year that this Newsletter has been in publication.  Can you believe it?!  I am so grateful that you are here with me and I am especially grateful for you if you’ve been following me and on this journey with me over the years…

I have been sitting here this morning writing for about an hour already.  I’ve already written a few thousand words, and yet nothing that I have written feels adequate to express to you how I’m really feeling right now.

Truth is… I don’t want to be honest with you.

I don’t want to be open and vulnerable.

Maybe that’s why I’m having trouble writing anything meaningful right now because my entire purpose behind writing this newsletter is to reach in and grab you by the soul, deeply implant truth and wisdom in your heart and your soul that allows you to have deeper realizations in order to facilitate your transformation in this life… 

I suppose I am an idealist and I want my writing to always be heartfelt and meaningful and make a lasting impact…

But today, I am struggling to find the words to inspire you.

SO instead, I’m going to be brutally honest.

I feel like I have been going through the ringer over the last 3 years, and I am tired.

Do you ever feel like you just keep grinding on forward and things just keep on happening again and again that challenge your resolve, your mindset, your willingness to continue getting up again and again?

I know what it’s like to feel completely beat down by life.  I’ve felt like I’ve been wading through mud for the last few years without really any relief or any indication that it’s going to get easier.

Ever since I uprooted my life and moved to California almost 3 years ago, my life has been constantly changing, chaotic and somewhat stressful.

I have had more stuff come up for me than ever in my life.

I have been triggered beyond belief.

All of my deepest fears have come true.

I have been humiliated, beat down, exposed and felt completely worthless and weak.

I have failed over and over again.  Disappointed people.  Made mistakes.

Quite honestly, these last few years have been the hardest of my life.  Arguably even harder than they were when I went through my eating disorder recovery 10 years ago.

And the hardest thing this time around did not have anything to do with anyone outside of me…

The most difficult thing has been facing MYSELF.

Over the last few years I have had to get really fucking honest with myself and take a cold hard look at my life.

I had to allow all my deep dark truths to surface.  The truth about who I am.  With all of my weaknesses, all of my insecurities, all of my doubt and fear and anxiety— I had to stare all of it right in the face.

And yet this time— I couldn’t ignore it.  I couldn’t pretend like it wasn’t there. It wasn’t going to go away until I faced it.

But the hardest part was actually realizing that I created it.  Every last bit of it.

I couldn’t change what had happened to me.  All I could do was take responsibility for it, and take control of changing what I could.

Only this time— I had to do it differently.

10-12 years ago, my biggest challenge was turning away from the negative and becoming a positive person.  I thought that in order to recover from my eating disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD and addiction— that I needed to ONLY focus on the positive thoughts I wanted to create, and it WORKED(!!!) but almost to a fault— and here’s why:

Because what happened was that I trained myself to become a positive person and was UNABLE to see the negative side of me.

I just couldn’t see it.  I wouldn’t allow myself to.

I thought that the negative side of me created all the disorder, the disease, the dissension and inner chaos— and so what I needed to do was create a mindset that didn’t allow any of that to arise.  It was unacceptable to me, and so I didn’t accept or even acknowledge it existed.

This worked for a while— but what happened was that the pendulum swung to the other side.

I had gone so fully into the light side of me— that I was completely ignoring the shadow within me.

What happens when we deny the dark side is that we swing to the other side of the pendulum.  We become what we hate the most.

My old “positive” mindset caused me to be in denial of some of the truths about who I am and what I needed to accept in order to move forward.

And because I could not see it, I stayed stuck.

It was REALLY REALLY hard for me to admit my weaknesses.  I mean honestly, I REALLY RESISTED this part of my journey.  I did NOT want to admit my faults, my failures, and shortcomings.  Mainly because I felt weak.  Not good enough.  And I feared these things taking over me and the possibility that I might never return or be the same ever again.


What I discovered is that my power actually came from embracing my light AND my dark.


I could not move forward in my life until I learned how to fully go into the dark side to ACCEPT and EMBODY the truth… while not allowing it to overtake me.

That is the problem I see so many people struggling with— that they have so much pain, so much rage, anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt, judgments, and shame— and yet they will not allow themselves to go there for fear that it might overcome them, and that it will never go away.

Well my mission over the last few years has been to truly ALLOW myself to go there.  Fully.

I gave myself permission to follow my soul wherever it will lead— and it took me straight into my shadow, diving deep into corners of my mind and taking me to places that I wouldn’t dare wish on my worst enemy.

As I sat with the pain, I struggled to make meaning out of my suffering.

“Why do I have to go through this?  Why is this so hard?  Why is this happening?  Why me?”

These questions my mind came up with as I allowed all the shit to come up in my consciousness that needed to be addressed, processed, dealt with and released.

I judged myself for EVERYTHING!!  I judged myself for being a bad person.  For seriously thinking there was something wrong with me.  I judged myself for my selfish choices and decisions in life.  I even judged myself for being in the position I was in — having to face myself head on, and wanting to escape or deny or numb out, because it sometimes felt like too much to handle.

There have been days where I haven’t wanted to get out of bed.  When I didn’t want to “do” life.  When everything has felt so meaningless and purposeless.  I questioned IT ALL.

But in this breakdown, I discovered who I truly was.

I was able to tap into a source of strength, wisdom and power that is beyond me.  Beyond roles, recognition, and any external validation — not needing anyone or anything to define me or accept me, because deep down inside— I found what I was looking for.

I received so many gifts through all of my pain and suffering.

Maybe you don’t believe me — but my happiness in life now is only because I have endured so much pain.

My level of satisfaction and acceptance that I have for myself now is directly related to how willing I was (and still am) to be brutally fucking honest with myself — and then also do whatever it takes in order to change it.

It wasn’t about not feeling good enough, or needing to change myself or my life in order to be happy.

What it was about was learning to ACCEPT ALL OF ME.

When I gave myself permission to be all of me, I had to learn to how to find acceptance for EVERYTHING within me— the light AND the dark.

Even those parts of me that have been terrified and afraid.  That would rather hide and stay safe, in the comfortability inside my little cave within.

It’s not about denying these parts of you (we all have them)— but rather, what I’ve found is that my strength lies in my ability to EMBRACE them.

Now, I’m not so afraid of what other people think of me.  Because it has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with how I feel about myself.

If I don’t accept myself then no one else will.

What I reject about myself will show up outside of me.

The things we can’t stand about other people are actually those shadow parts within ourselves that we haven’t learned to accept yet.

Everything I see outside of me is a reflection of my internal world.

What I’ve learned is that I need to stay completely aware and in harmony with the light and dark within me in order to stay sane.  Literally.

Because the moment that I’m over-identifying with one thing and rejecting something else— I’m out of balance.

My kundalini awakening in the fall of 2017 created an extreme energetic need to have these two parts of me balanced — otherwise I start to manifest shit that REALLYYY doesn’t serve me.

Every day I take stock of the qualities within me that I am embodying.

Am I being honest with myself?

Am I balancing the masculine and the feminine energies within me?

Am I allowing full expression of all of my thoughts and feelings?

Am I acknowledging the light and the dark within me and giving myself full permission to be ALL OF ME?

And quite possibly most importantly of all— am I in control of my mind?

The hardest part for me about going into and accepting my shadow was the massive FEAR I had around feeling out of control of my mind, and being afraid that it would send me into a massive downward spiral.

The reason my life had gotten out of control for so long with the eating disorder, depression, anxiety, and addictions was because I didn’t trust myself that I could do it on my own.

In working with my shadow— the #1 thing that I HAD to learn— was how to TRUST myself to a deeper degree and in a more embodied way.

Paradoxically– I had to let go of control in order to gain back control.

Letting go of control meant I had to trust that I would be okay.

It meant that I had to trust myself to go into the darkness without becoming it.

It meant that I had to trust myself that I could overcome anything that was thrown my way.

Trusting that no matter what, I would NEVER give up, no matter how long it took.

Each and every day I had to take CONTROL of my mindset and remind myself that “this too shall pass” and trusting that it was only a season in my life, and that there was a greater reason why I needed to go through it.

Because life is  hard sometimes.

The only way we grow is by facing our challenges head on.

Not being afraid of what will happen — but by fully accepting the mission and making the DECISION that you will OVERCOME.

No matter what it is.

No matter how long it takes.

I know that whatever you are going through today— you are strong enough to handle it.

You are not alone in your pain and suffering.

There IS a purpose to the pain.

And when you choose it— it will be painful, it will be messy, and it will downright SUCK.

But when you hold your mindset to ACCEPT ALL OF IT— to go deep into your shadow and all that shit to come up— that this is the ONLY way through it.

I believe in you and your dreams.

Remember that the reason all of this shit is coming up for you in the first place is because this is the emotional and mental baggage that is BLOCKING YOU from living your best life.

It’s not here to spite you or make you suffer…

Rather it is here to HELP YOU.

It is here for your HIGHEST GOOD, and when you realize that— you can become unstoppable.

The only way to overcome is to surrender and just. keep. going.

Believe in yourself and all that you are becoming.

And know that these are the times that you will look back on — that will ultimately define who you are and the legacy that you want to leave on this planet.

So CHOOSE YOU.  Choose to be uncomfortable.  Choose the pain and allow the struggle to make you stronger.

It is all here to teach you more about yourself.

Because at the end of the day, you are the only one who has to live with yourself.

For me?  I would rather say that I did my best, and even when I fail, fall down and make mistakes, that I get back up.  I allow my struggles to make me stronger, and because I know who I am, I can look myself in the eye and say I am PROUD of who I am today.

That is the ultimate definition of success in my book.

That is what makes me happy.

Just.  Being.  Me.

In love & to your massive success,

Lauren Love xo


king lauren






About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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