You Are the SHADOW LOVER
The Shadow Lover is a powerful being, comfortable in the chaos, conflict, passion and dynamism of transformative sexual relationships. As a Shadow Lover, you often find yourself in relationships that are passionate, but turbulent. You may have experienced one or more relationships that were marred by emotional abuse, addiction, and power struggles. You grow through relationship, and you expect your partners to do the same. You thrive on excitement, emotional fire, and deep feeling. Your challenge is to choose and cultivate a sexual relationship that offers passion without so much chaos. You can have the depth and fire and dynamism without all the repetitive conflict, all the push and pull, all the emotional dynamics that ultimately leave you sad, alone, and stuck.
GIFTS OF THE SHADOW LOVER
Your gifts as a lover are passion, dynamism, courage to face the hard things, and a fire for life and connection that burns bright, as well as comfort (even a draw) towards the more watery, shadowy emotional depths. You are committed to and capable of the kind of transformation, honesty, and staying power that are often part of nurturing true intimacy, with all of the vulnerability and growth that it evokes.
CHALLENGES OF THE SHADOW LOVER
There are three core challenges to this archetype of lover.
You need your lover to embrace transformation and growth, otherwise you will lose interest and stagnate. This is just the truth. You must have depth and you love the growing edge. But you might miss an important opportunity for intimacy and mutual respect if you don't respect and allow for your lover's way of transformation to be as valid as your own. You tend to grow in a fiery, dynamic way, possibly pursuing healing disciplines, workshops, and other intensive, focused avenues of growth. Your lover may or may not share that particular way of being with you. They may grow in ways that are more stable, more quiet, more internal, possibly less articulate than you, but true just the same. Be aware that your need for shared growth and transformation may get hijacked by your ideas about how that needs to look, and you may miss a connection that can actually grow with you, instead of combusting or drowning in too deep waters.
You may resist the nourishment of contentment, and create trouble where there is none. Here is your invitation...can you imagine passion without chaos? Endless transformation, emotional upheaval, and the push and pull of a turbulent relationship is not sustainable. There is a such thing as an intimate relationship that is both secure, committed, stable AND erotically exciting, full of life, and yes, emotionally safe. Shadow Lover, what if you could have a sexual relationship that is an oasis, a garden, rather than a navigation of power dynamics and inner demons? Growth can happen in many ways, and sustainable, ever-growing passion must break free of emotional chaos in order to reach the heights and depths you are so beautifully capable of and deeply longing for.
You may find yourself in repetitive patterns of abuse, negligence, or addiction in relationship. There is a very tricky line between committing to the growth and the inevitable challenges of intimacy, and finding yourself bonded to a lover who is actually not yet stable or healed enough to responsibly and safely handle their own shadows, rages, inner fractures, and unconscious motivations toward harm, of themselves or others. It's nothing to be ashamed about—sexual intimacy is by its nature extremely emotionally and viscerally bonding, often regardless of whether or not the lover you're with is worthy and safe for such bonding. You may need to take some time, clear your heart and body from the impacts of these patterns, and reestablish yourself as an advocate and trustworthy protector of your own wellbeing.
KEYS TO THRIVING AS A SHADOW LOVER
There are three essential keys to thriving as this archetype of lover, and cultivating sexual intimacies that are emotionally safe, satisfying, and honoring for you.
DON'T SUFFOCATE OR OVERMANAGE THE TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESS OF INTIMACY. The depletion that comes from over-processing and essentially drowning in emotionally complex shadow realms is real. Growth, intimacy and transformation take time. They need space, they need peace, they need joy, nourishment and comfort. YOU need all these things, especially as a deep feeler. Notice any tendencies you have to fixate on "problems" and then define your whole life or relationship based on them. One of the shadows of the Shadow Lover, and most women in general, is that they tend to be secretly (or not-so-secretly) extremely hard on themselves. We are human flawed creatures. See if you can just let it be, and let yourself turn toward whatever of the Good you know, whatever nourishes your wild, tender being.
GET AND KEEP TRUSTWORTHY SUPPORT AROUND YOU AND YOUR INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS. When you meet big growth edges in intimacy, or challenges, it is extremely common to end up polarized and in a power struggle. Counsel that you both trust who can offer a neutral, third party reflection of what's going on between you is absolutely necessary. If you can find and determine who/where your support is before you begin sexual intimacy, that much the better. Your shadows may be both less intense than you think in some ways, more hidden to you than you think in others. A trustworthy intimate relationship is one of the most potent and potentially healing places to walk your own shadow lands, and bring love to the tender, passionate parts of you. Gathering counsel that you trust to guide the two of you through any difficulties or break downs in communication, and back to your love for each other is one of the most powerful ways to honor the relationship and help your intimacy thrive.
BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT IS GROWTH OR "SHADOW WORK" AND WHAT IS ACTUALLY ABUSE. This is not always as simple as it might sound, especially when you're in the midst of a difficult dynamic. Honor yourself by taking the time to reflect on previous intimacies and the ways in which challenge may have crossed the line into abuse and truly unsafe situations emotionally, physically, or mentally. How did you know? How did it feel? How did you convince yourself that things were okay, even though they weren't? This is a powerful and crucial time of self-care to prioritize. You will naturally evoke depth through sexual intimacy, and you have the staying power and the courage to create a remarkable relationship with the right lover. Let's just make sure that you're sharing all the amazingness that you are with someone who is truly worthy of it, who can truly walk beside you through the joys and the pain.
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