To Hide and seek was a typical elementary school game that most kids enjoyed. I remember playing it at my house once and I found an awesome hiding spot inside a cabinet. This was such a good hiding spot that no one found me. I heard my mom calling all of us down for popsicles and I was the only one still hidden. My first thought was that I was so clever at hiding that I out-smarted everyone. As I continued to sit there while everyone else was getting their popsicles, my thoughts started to change. I started to think that I wasn’t important enough for everyone to continue searching for or that my absence from the popsicle circle was not noticeable. At this point I yelled out, “Come and find me!” and I soon heard the pounding footsteps of my friends. I did give a couple more shouts before they finally figured out my location. They all congratulated me on my hiding spot and then we all went back downstairs so I could claim my popsicle.
Even though my hide and seek game is not as evident as before, trust me, I still play this game. Let me give you an example. The other night I was working on my website and I was trying to add something that kept freezing up or it would change language on me. I worked on this for about an hour. At one point, I gave my computer a few choice words and left the den in a fit of anger. From there I went into the kitchen and saw that my husband had failed to put some leftovers in the refrigerator. I went into our living room and asked if my husband put away the food in the kitchen (even though I knew he hadn’t) and he said that he didn’t even think about it. I tried to make him feel bad for not even considering it and then he became defensive. I then stopped myself. What was I doing? Was I actually angry about the leftovers? No, I was really angry about the computer so what was going on? I was playing hide and seek. I was hiding a feeling behind my wall of anger. What was really behind my anger? Most of the time we try to hide our feeling of inadequacy behind an emotion like anger or behind an emotion of aloofness. I really tried to look beyond my anger to see what emotion was hiding behind that wall and I finally found it. It was the feeling of not being smart enough, not feeling smart enough to make things work out the way that I wanted. This little shadow emotion made me feel vulnerable and so he preferred hiding behind anger. He wanted to hide but just like my hide and seek game of my childhood, he also wanted to be found. I took this shadow emotion by the hand and led him into the light of truth. I asked him if I really wasn’t smart enough and if that was true, where was his proof. He said the proof was that I couldn’t get the computer situation figured out and then I asked him if the computer freezing was something that I could have controlled. He answered “no”. I then asked if I had control over the language changing and again he answered “no”. I then listed many of my life successes and showed him that I was intelligent and that this “not smart enough” feeling really was not true. At this point my little shadow emotion smiled and faded away. I know that he still exists but the more often I can show him the light of truth, the less often he feels the need to play that game of hide and seek.
Anytime we feel that we are not enough, that is a very vulnerable feeling. We can feel that we are not smart enough, not pretty enough, not talented enough, not respected enough, not thin enough, not loved enough, not sexy enough, not successful enough, not liked enough, not valued enough, and basically anything that makes us feel less than the awesome person we actually are. This shadow emotion is really like that small child that needs to be shown the truth. Most of the time we prefer to act like it doesn’t even exist and keep it well hidden. In truth, he really wants to be found. Feeling anger or aloofness doesn’t feel good and it keeps us from feeling our true worth.
In closing, are you still playing hide and seek? If so, your little shadow emotion really wants to be found and shown the light of truth. Love yourself enough to look at that vulnerable emotion and question his claims. Let that wall of anger or aloofness down so that you can shine as your authentically awesome self!