The Secret Side That Everyone Has But No One Talks About…

Today I read The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. I appreciate this author because he doesn’t sugar coat things. He makes observations, researches theories and proves them in a riveting way by creating his own set of “Laws.” He studies history and dives deep into the why of people, personalities and things. Robert Greene is a leading voice in regards to psychology, power, mastery and persuasion. It amuses me to see people with such a keen interest in WHY things are the way they are because I too take a liking to this type of questioning. When reading these types of books I constantly remind myself that “it is important to be looking inwardly through a lens of personal development opposed to an outward hue of judgement upon others.” It can take a serious toll on you to start looking and everyone you come across and judging every aspect of them based on a book you’ve read. I want to take this post to write about something that I was able to relate with on a serious level, The shadow in Everyone.

Just about every person that walks this earth carries what Robert Greene Calls “The Shadow.” In the book he states, “People are rarely who they seem to be. Lurking beneath their polite, affable exterior is inevitably a dark, shadow side consisting of the insecurities and the aggressive, selfish impulses they repress and carefully concealed from public view. This dark side leaks out in behavior that will baffle and harm you. Learn to recognize the signs of the Shadow before they become toxic.” The natural instinct after reading something like this is to think of some machiavellian type of person in your life while trying to relate these words to their personality type. I admit — these were my thoughts after reading the passage. I then began to think of these words in regards to myself and my mind started cranking, working to bring up the recent memories of personal tidal waves of emotion that had crash down my reality. A few came to mind. My next thought: These bursts or outbreaks seem so outside myself and don’t happen very often but I must not discredit them from existing. Somewhere later in the chapter he explains that our naturally reaction in these moments is to say “I was so out of my character” or “I’m sorry, something came over me” when the cold hard reality is that these emotional waves are who we really are at the deepest level, at the core. Usually these triggers are tied to childhood and most times we don’t even know they are there, somewhere deep within our sea of conscious. As humans we always seem to forget this side of us. I think it is because we don’t like to see ourselves in this dimmed light, or because it’s hard to swallow the fact that we have fault within our makeup. Often times this version of ourselves cannot be communicated into words as it is more of “a feeling” rather than anything else. The challenge I have set for myself is to identify when my shadow appears and over time, tame it like the wild beast that it is. It is possible to control but the first step is awareness and finding holes within yourself caused by life’s many forms of trauma. To anyone reading, I challenge you to seek out your dark self and to work with opposed to against it. Thank you Robert Greene for another great chapter.

-Kal Rich