GIVEN UP SHADOW
“I’m OK”“One cannot get everything you want – be reasonable”
Core Fear: If I care, feel passionate and commit fully, I will hurt and lose everything again. I am afraid that I cannot survive that kind of pain and loss again. I have to stay safe by not risking.
Strategy: I avoid devastating pain by refusing to put my heart into anything of my own. No emotional risk means no emotional pain. Instead, I will operate with reasonableness, and make the best out of a heart-less life. At least I will feel safe that way. Because I know that my passion and purpose involves risks of pain, I will sacrifice my own passion and purpose, and simply support someone else’s passion and purpose. It it doesn’t work out, at least she/he is the one who will have to deal with the devastating pain and loss, not me.
Power Game: I maintain control over life and people by operating with great reason and diplomacy. No one can attack me because I agree with them. I am everything to everybody – to attack me is to attack yourself. I am safe.
Key Problem: If you have this Shadow, you are probably wondering why on earth anyone would say that you have ‘given up’! After all, you do not sit in a corner crying and waiting to die! On the contrary: You are highly efficient and functional. Indeed you are. However, your life is dictated by reasonableness. Your heart – passion, purpose, sparkle – is in a coma. It is true that you have everything organized and working efficiently. The problem is that you are too efficient and safe. There is no room left for true happiness, joy, excitement, or any of the states that come from taking risks. You have opted for safety and sacrificed your soul’s desires in the process. There is no sparkle in your eyes. You support other people’s passion and visions, and ignore your own. You have temporarily lost your real place in the world.
Your say that “When I have done this or that, then I will have the money and time (security) to do what I really want’. That future point in time never arrives. The more you structure your life around being secure, the more you fear any change or risk, and the more difficult it becomes to make the changes and take the risks you need to be truly happy. Don’t confuse ‘Contentment’ (safety) and ‘Happiness’. You have settled for ‘OK’, instead of risking reaching for ‘Wonderful’.
Body Impact: The most prominent indication of this Shadow, at a physical level, is the absence of sparkle or aliveness in your eyes. In behavior, this Shadow creates frantic eye movements and physical tension in situations which involve disagreements. Usually, to alleviate this anxiety, you back down if the other person persists. The saying ‘Don’t Rock The Boat’ was invented by the Given Up Shadow.
Outcome: In your desire to protect yourself from pain, you eventually suffer the greatest pain of all: Realizing that you have lived a life with no purpose. You did not make the difference you wanted to. No risks means no joy. No joy means no fulfillment. Tremendous sadness and heart-ache results, which is the very thing you wanted to avoid at all costs.
Development & Decisions – Several Ways
Unlike the other Shadows, this Shadow typically does not develop in childhood, although
it can. Instead, it tends to develop later in life, as a result of one or more very painful
experiences of loss. To put it simply: There was a time when you were vibrant, willing
to take risks, determined and excited. You had an idea of what you wanted to achieve in
life, and the difference you wanted to make in the world. Then something happened to
change all that, typically one of the following kinds of events:
- Devastating Loss of a Loved One
- Devastating Pain Due to Caring for Something
- Failure to Achieve an Important Goal in Life
- Overwhelmed by Reasonable Person
The bottom line with this Shadow is that you believe that it is impossible to actually fulfil your heart-felt dream, and that you have decided that it is too risky to try. So, you settle for striving for a ‘comfortable’ life, with it’s odd bit of excitement. You suppress your desires and passions, and refrain from experiencing the pleasure and excitement of taking your dreams and following them through. ‘After all, it will not happen’. You establish ‘reasonable’ goals, compromise to ensure your comfort, and support other people’s passions. You become afraid of choice, and prefer to make reasoned decisions. Indecisiveness surfaces: Procrastination and the delaying of decisions.
You typically appear effective and efficient, particularly in enhancing someone else’s life and career. But when confronted with sudden change, or authority, you tend to passively submit. Reason is the only authority. You would rather support someone else’s passion and goals and experience second-hand satisfaction. Therefore, you tend to always be behind the scenes.
This Shadow remains largely quiet and latent for some time, until you experience the failure or loss of something or someone you secretly or openly care about. This event reinforces the initial belief system of the impossibility of fulfilling and deserving passion and joy, and you subside into numbness and quiet desperation.
You probably justify this Given Up Shadow as a good trait: ‘If everybody did what they wanted to do, there would be chaos. There have to be people who are level-headed, reasonable, and objective’. Sadly, you confuse ‘doing what you want’ with destruction of other people’s realities, when in fact Passion and Purpose are fundamentally creative and enhances other peoples worlds.
The ‘Big Lie’ of this Shadow is that you believe that by avoiding risk and choice, and thus refusing to change you will avoid pain. Instead, numbness and the destruction of your aliveness and joy occurs. By fearing loss, you lose everything worth living for.
Health: Low energy. Low insulin or sugar levels. Hypertension. Headaches
Creativity: Creativity requires expansion and surrender to change. Given Up is stagnation.
Presence: Fear of Change = fear of what is going to happen next. No contact with the vitality of life. Creates sense of heaviness. Perceived as boring and depressing by others.
Relationships: Very destructive of relationships. No excitement. Partner seeks excitement elsewhere. You become dependent upon their partner for their joy and pleasure.
Spirituality: Given Up shuts off the vitality and spontaneity of Spirit. Spirituality requires expansion, curiosity, passion.
HOW TO DEAL WITH THE GIVEN UP SHADOW
You have one task, and one only: To re-ignite your Passion for life
- What is your true passion? What did you dream about doing as a child or a young adult?
- Ban the following phrases from your life:
If you cannot get what you ask for, go somewhere else. Do not settle for just anything.
- Learn to say “Yes” or “No”, without giving a reason. Be unreasonable. “Because that is what I want”.
- Every week, do three unreasonable irrational activities. Laugh a lot.
- Waste some money on frivolous, impractical things.
- Play with small children. Do not tell them what to do. Do what they do. Find the child inside of yourself again.