How We Feel Better by Owning Our Shadow Without Playing the Victim #185

in dsound •  2 years ago  (edited)

Jerry Banfield

How does owning our story of why we feel bad and what's going on with us, and sharing those feelings that we want to keep inside actually help us to feel happy more often?

Thank you for reading about day 185 of Happier People Podcast and I hope you enjoy it!

New episodes of #happierpeople podcast are published first at!/@jerrybanfield

Listen to this on @dsound at or read the edited transcript below?

How We Feel Better by Owning Our Shadow Without Playing the Victim

If that didn't make sense let's put it another way.

When we are struggling internally with things like fear, anger, frustration and resentment, but we think that we are doing well presenting to the world a "I'm fine" or "I'm good" face, meanwhile our thoughts are constantly plagued by fear and frustration, how can we actually get our thoughts out in a way that allows us to get back to being happy faster?

For example, today I got a bit frustrated at my limitations. I wanted to go out and do a video showing my garden, at the same time feeling my body, it feels like it is wanting to rest a bit more and to just sit around on the couch.

Now, if I try to just put on a happy face and act like everything is cool and that it doesn't bother me at all, then ironically I get even more frustrated. What helps me is to own how I'm feeling right at the moment, like my brother called last night and asked, "How are you doing?"

I replied, "Well, here's how I'm doing. I'm tired. I'm annoyed. I'm irritated. I'm not sure what's going on with my body. I'm afraid I'm getting sick and I'm not sure what to do about all of it, and that's how I'm feeling right this moment, and there's no reason, there's no cause outside of that in my life."

Now, guess what happened?

I owned how I felt with my brother right away instead of lying or acting like, "Oh, I'm good. I'm good. I'm good."

Doesn't it pain you?

It pains me to see someone who obviously is just wrecked with pain. Their whole body and face look tense, they look miserable and we ask, "How are you doing?" and what are we hearing back?

"Good! I'm good."

That's called a lie.

A lie is when we have a clear truth that's alive in us such as feeling angry, miserable, frustrated, whatever we are thinking about and feeling, and then we communicate something else.

I've been a big fat liar my whole life who consistently responded to, "How are you doing?" with "I'm great. Wonderful. Happy. Lovely. Joyful. Beautiful day today."

I rarely would ever open up about what was really going on, which is what was alive inside me right that moment.

Jerry Banfield

Like when my brother called last night, that was really opening up about what was going on at the moment, and what also helps is to separate out the rest of the world from having caused that, to realize it's not the world that causes how I feel, it's how I react to what I'm seeing.

Now, sometimes my reactions might be tied into something I saw and sometimes it can help to understand how I reacted to a certain stimulus, but most of the time it just comes down to how I reacted.

Sure, my wife and I were looking at maybe buying a house yesterday and that didn't work out, but that did not cause me to feel tired, frustrated and aggravated. That had nothing to do with me feeling how I felt.

What I chose to act upon and react upon, and which thoughts I chose to believe, my choices left me feeling how I felt, and the irony is in order to get through some of the feelings in my life that are challenging, I end up needing to actually go deeper into them first.

I think there is something, it was in the book "Tao Te Ching" by Laozi. It says that if you want to make something better, often it helps to make it worse. That's some kind of a paraphrase. The main idea is, if we want something to go away, often we need to dive into it and fully experience it.

What I did a lot of my adult life and what I see a lot of people doing around me, is living a life where there are constant attempts to avoid pain, to numb pain, constant attempts to seek pleasure, all the while there are all these stories and things that haven't been dealt with that need to be dealt with in order for the natural happiness and joy of life to be present.

My daughter at two years old, the natural joy and happiness of life, is always present within her, and occasionally it gets obscured by her wanting something, reacting and getting frustrated, and then as soon as she's done with that, she gets back to being happy and joyful to be alive.

Now, a lot of us as adults have got ourselves in this position where we are so afraid of dealing with our dark side and admitting our dark side for fear of how others will judge us and what other people will think of us, that we have got these lives where we have to be good all the time, where we have to always look like we have gotten it together.

Then, either we get into these negative behaviors like addictions or just working too much, or putting all of ourselves into something that truly doesn't matter like some reputation, or we get into often just taking it out on the people around us and playing the victim instead of owning our part in it.

I'm grateful that now if I feel bad, I let it out as soon as possible. I let it out with the realization that I'm not the victim of what the world or anyone else has done to me, and if that story starts playing in my head I describe that story.

I say things like, "I'm playing the victim right now."

I'm pretending, acting or feeling as if someone else or something else caused me to feel the way I am, but the truth is, I know that this is a decision I've made to feel this way.

Jerry Banfield

This anger, this frustration right now, is a product of my own choices to disagree with what life has given me.

I went bowling with my friend Jason a few weeks ago and I threw the bowling ball down. It hit nine of the pins, but one wobbled and stayed up.

I said, "I disagree with that. I think all the pins should have fallen down," and therein is the exact cause of any of my troubles. I look around and decide life should be different from how it is.

Now, it helps me to speak that story and to get that out there because once I've spoken it I've fully embraced it, I've fully accepted the reality of that story at the moment, then it makes room for a new one to come in. If I go around and keep saying, "I'm good, everything's fine," meanwhile, inside my head, I'm thinking this person did this, and this person said that, and this shouldn't have happened.

If I'm going around with misery in my heart and saying, "I'm good" on my lips, then that doesn't benefit anyone. In fact, a lot of the best opportunities I've found to connect are when I speak my painful truth.

I moved to a new Alcoholics Anonymous group in St. Petersburg, Florida, and I found it a bit difficult to connect with people at first because I had gotten sober at a different Alcoholics Anonymous group in Sarasota.

Of course, there were lots of the superficial, "Hey, how are you doing?" conversations.

I felt like I got really connected the day I said I'd had been having a lot of thoughts about suicide because I just was disgusted with myself.

Actually, the day started with me trying to do a Tony Robbins challenge. I failed that and went into this spiral of judgment where within just hours of failing the challenge, I had given up on myself as a person, never going to be able to have a happy life, I'm the victim, poor me, everyone would be better off without me.

I got into all these old stories that I'd been telling for a lot of my life and for the first time I owned up to it.

I said, "I've been having a lot of suicidal thoughts today. Now, I have no intention of acting upon them. The fact is I've been having a lot of those thoughts today and I don't want them anymore and that makes it that much worse."

Jerry Banfield

I told my wife and I shared that to my entire AA group, probably 30 or 40 people, in the middle of the meeting. I raised my hand as soon as I got in and shared that, and that day is when I started feeling connected to the group. That day is when several people reached out and were there to help me and opened their hearts to me.

What makes it safe then to approach me on a bad day is that when people are hearing me share thoughts like that, others feel safe to approach me and say, "Jerry, you know I'm having a bad day today," whatever it is, "I'm thinking of leaving my job, my wife or I'm struggling with an addiction."

When I'm willing to share my shadow and get my shadow out there in the open, a shadow being things like suicidal thoughts, a shadow in the past for me having been addictions, and today if my shadow remains secret the addictions have very much come back on quickly.

When I'm willing to share and own my own dark side, then that gives me the ability to live a life filled with joy. When we shine a light on the darkness, it tends to shrink and it tends to not have the ability to grow. When we try to hide our darkness away in shame, when we promise we will never tell anyone about these things we have done, when we are struggling with things like suicidal thoughts all day and we feel like there is no one we can trust to talk about it, then the problem is we lock part of ourselves away, and then we have to start living double lives.

Double lives being we go into work, we act all fake nice, "Oh, good. I'm doing great and all my family's nice," and then meanwhile, at my desk, I'm sitting there thinking of blowing my brains out all day. That's a double life, that's a lie, and the misery comes from living a double life.

I know because I've lived a lot of a double life. I used to have thoughts filled with violence and addictions a lot of my waking moments, and yet I rarely if ever talked about it in a way that was honest, a way that expressed how much I hated living like that.

I would often try to glamorize it and play video games, drink and get in situations where I could glamorize it, yet I hated that internal reality.

I love my internal reality today and what helps me to get out of my shadow when I have a thought, because it's not like I never get a thought about suicide, when the thought comes I know that it's not the truth and I know that I'm willing to tell everyone about it.

Having a thought about suicide and knowing that I'm willing to tell everyone about it generally makes it unattractive to keep thinking about it. I get a thought here and there sometimes, "Well, everyone would be better off without you."

Then I think, "Well, let's talk about that with everyone tonight."

If that's the case, then I will talk about that at my AA meeting later, I will talk with my wife and my mother about that, and then the thought usually won't come back after that because thoughts like that want to be secretly harbored.

Thoughts like that do not want to be brought out to everyone, especially if they are brought out in a loving way. I had a lot of suicidal thoughts about nine years ago and I brought them out in an honest, but very hurtful way with my parents.

Today, when my shadow comes out I've learned to bring it out in a loving way, to see that I'm having this thought and my struggle with it is, I don't like it, because one thought is not the truth.

One thought is a collection of many thoughts and if I have a thought about wanting to end it all that's obviously just a passing thought, and yet when I bring that out in the context then that's a thought that bothers me, because I love my family so much, because I love my life so much, that's why the thought bothers me, the thought passed through my mind and I then felt ashamed of it.

Bringing a thought out in a context like that helps everyone else to relate and say, "Well, sometimes I think about divorce, or sometimes I think about quitting my job, or sometimes I think about running away."

It helps others to feel safe.

This has been an extremely valuable skill that I've learned by reading "Power of Vulnerability" or listening to the audiobook by Brené Brown, and reading book after book about effective communication, nonviolent communication and loving myself.

That's why I've shared this with you today with the hope that it's useful to show an alternative to just secretly harboring these thoughts, faking "feeling good" to everyone all the time, and then being miserable, needing to take pills, alcohol and other drugs to change how we feel.

I'm grateful today to have so much joy and happiness to share with you, especially because right before this, I was just feeling annoyed with my body communicating that it’d like to relax.

So, here I am relaxing.

Jerry Banfield

I made this video by owning my story, accepting the reality that if my body wants to relax, I think it can handle relaxing and talking on the couch.

So, there we go.

I appreciate you joining me here on day 185 of Happier People Podcast.

I love you.

You are awesome.

I hope to see you again soon.

Final words

Thank you for reading this blog post, which was originally filmed as the video below.

If you found this post helpful on Steem, would you please upvote it and follow me because you will then be able to see more posts like this in your home feed?


Jerry Banfield with edits by @gmichelbkk on the transcript from @deniskj

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@jerrybanfield. Thanks for this post!

Golden Words...

I need to spend time and think on the statement below which you made;

"When I'm willing to share my shadow and get my shadow out there in the open, a shadow being things like suicidal thoughts, a shadow in the past for me having been addictions, and today if my shadow remains secret the addictions have very much come back on quickly."

Thank You

how we can think ahead for better, when we are in a state of anxiety, because that thinking depends on the beliefs of each, I think religion is the best way.

Thumbs up

Thank you for posting this article. It is indeed so important to own our experiences of the world. It is so much more empowering then thinking that something has been "done to us". My boyfriend and I recently did a Non-violent communication course - which was also talking about how we approach our emotions and experiences in a way that is taking care of ourselves and others. I also read an article here on steemit yesterday about how we use our words for instance instead of saying "I don't have time" or "I can't go to your party" we can say " this is not my priority" and "I chose to do something else" that has more meaning to me - in this way we are honest, transparent and empowered with our words and actions - while giving others the permission to do the same in their lives. Thanks again! :)

[email protected], i would love to have a peep into that course. I just learnt something from your post now and this is what i actually need to hear.

Was making lots of emotional decision few years back and just realized that last year, decided to make amends and some friends read the wrong meaning to my actions and words, i now see that i hadn't communicated it well to them.

Now, this makes so much sense to me and also help put me on the right track.

Thank You dear

Thanks. I really recommend you to check out NVC (non-violent communication). I am in total awe of it, and keep learning a lot through it. :)

So beautiful your post...very good


I need to spend time and think on the statement below which you made

Well @jerrybanfield that's your own philosophy that you should say how you feel but it may surprise you to know that not everyone think this way. Some believe that telling it out will not solve the issue.

Great post. I love when you just call a spade a spade.

That's a lie.

I heard an interview recently about learning to have integrity in how we respond to questions like that. It was focusing specifically on how we will not be honest with someone if they do something that offends us or makes a mistake that really impacts us.

Hi! Thanks for your support, @growingpower just upvoted your comment ;) Hope you have a great day

I would really love to become a partner
I will pay when I get the rewards tomorrow bro
Thanks for this opportunity @jerrybanfield

Your an amazing person. It is completely true that we only tell people what we think they want to hear. If instead we told the truth we would know our true friends from the frauds long before we need to have true friends.It is not a easy thing telling people that you love and care about that you want to just give up sometimes.

Sometimes I feel like @jerrybanfield is a single man..sometimes after reading his comments,I felt like @jerrybanfield is a congelomoration of a group of people..At times I felt like @jerrybanfield is nothing but a Robot!

Its been almost a month on steemit.Yet,I don't understand what actually @jerrybanfield is!

actually what does this account @jerrybanfield represents??

(Indeed this post is exceptionally great! I don't really want to become a fat big should be happy in outer world only if he/she is happy in their inner world!)

Its a dude who uses his account for many things, his personal blog, his steemit projects such as his writing competition and he also runs a upvote bot that helps to fund some of his projects.


There is no greater freedom than being honest with yourself and with others around you. I had a similar experience at work last week. I was feeling very badly and a coworker, in casual conversation, asked how I was doing. I took the opportunity to let it all out. After I told him exactly how crappy I was feeling, I started to feel better. It was sooooo liberating! Great post. Thank you.

@cryptofanatic98 thank you for letting us know the same strategies work for you also because we can hope that more of us will continue to do the same!

Be happy is not just material, but happy if we can make people happy because of us, thank you very much writing @ jerrybenifield 🙏

I want to make a collection for children with cancer in my country. Does someone help me?

Good posst

Bless you azimarliona

@jerrybanfield This Post is to reflect and try to take the situations that are presented to us with more calm, because if you live with anger, resentment and discomfort! and we do not try to overcome them, we're really going to get sick.

Life must be carried with joy, enthusiasm and much love. All the barriers that come our way can be overcome.

Thanks for sharing. Always love you posts.

You can feel happy whenever you wantو When you want, all you have to do is be happy to enjoy the rest of your day

Thanks for making transcripts of your video's they are really helpful. Interesting choice of words, You mention Shadow, have you read any Carl Jung on the archetype of the shadow? It makes for interesting reading.

YOU ARE EXCELLENT @jerrybanfieldGOD CONTINUE BLESSING AND FILLING WITH WISDOM AND SUCCESS. Thanks for all the valuable information you give us. I would like to one day follow your steps

Wow Jerry thanks for sharing

good. godd.

Happiness is not the answer, I think you could use experiencing allot more grief, pain and real loss. Otherwise you wouldn't throw such a dog-shit word around like happy.

I like it its so nice

Only the truly strong can show their vulnerability. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration.

I must learn to live a happy life.
And not just project myself to be living a happy life

thanks for the post

a very good life is to be yourself and never be someone else, a very good post title, success always @jerrybanfield

You are my super hero as you are so brilliant and keep moving forward and thumbs up for your project 😊

appreciate your post todays world where everybody is involved in a rat race ...there s hardly time for people to empathize with others ...nd thats why believe so many people are suffering today from depression and liw self confidence ...feelings of anger frustation worthlessness are so i believe needs to take time from materialistic gains nd concentrate more on the real world and problems related to it

Nice bless you

Your presentation is very good quality ..... hope you always give us good quality work

When you copy/paste or repeatedly type the same comments you could be mistaken for a bot.

Tips to avoid being flagged

Thank You! ⚜

Nice video jerry, but some points i would like to disagree with is speaking out your limitations or you are not feeling good etc.Remember Your words are seeds.when u speak out something actually you give that a chance to manifest again and again in your reality.Unfortunately this is the truth.Its not about making a false image before others when u say ur are doing excellent.Its about manifesting that state, i mean 'excellent' in your life more often going forward.Remember its about you not about others.This is my take on it, however we are two different individuals with different point of view.So this is not an argument but my opinion.when you say I am not good, you are affirming that you dont want any good in your life.if youbdont choose to feel good this moment, how can you create goodness in your future moments ?as you mentioned the term big fat lie in the video, it is not.It is more of living with an intention to be happy or productive or whatever.when you live with intention you create your life rather than accepting it.

Best one

Letting things bother me just because it should bother me haven't worked ever. now, i just carry a straight face and look like it never happened. Can't let it get to me, not like you.

Nice post.Its always good to be very sincere it more like a basic thing to do for progress.inspiring post thanks for posting.

I think that all of us need that kind of deception, in order to withstand those moments of fraud that life puts us as evidence.
We came to be happy, to grow and to prosper, but we lost the route and it seems that we have neither a map nor a compass to get back on the right track again.
Creo que todos nosotros necesitamos ese tipo de engaño, para así soportar esos momentos de dolo que la vida nos pone como prueba.
Vinimos a ser felices, a crecer y a prosperar, pero perdimos la ruta y parece que no tenemos ni mapa ni brújula para volver al camino correcto nuevamente

Good posst

Very good post thanks for my story @jerrybenifield @nazarhasyimi native Aceh-Indonesia 🙏

You make a very good post, good experience! Thank you very much

Please VOTE let me add the spirit to make his post

by my experience, i always fell better to say whati have inside my heart , i feel released and relaxed after that and make the stress power down and its affection on me , but i cant speak with anyone there for sure some special close persones that i can speak with

good post

You are a wise young man. Creative you success and new achievements! Thank you for your reflections!

After I translate and read your post, I realize that you are one of the people who are very concerned with the development and progress of this community.

Thank you for sharing this post. Very inspiring. Greetings from Aceh, Indonesia.

Great post
I need to spend time and think on the statement below which you made;

I do not understand why we insist on that attitude of hiding as we feel, maybe it will be to give us encouragement that we will soon abandon that situation and, often, we have many tears, we keep saying that we are well, the recognition of the reality that you are doing is courageous , and I think there is an answer, we are not brave when we have to tell the truth ... thanks Jerry friend for sharing your courage ...

Hello, I'm Oatmeal Joey, and ownership of emotions is fundamental to progress, socially speaking, psychologically speaking, emotionally, in our developments, and it is an illustration of physical freedoms of ownership rights or lack therein through civil assets forfeiture for example.

Nice post! Thank you for sharing. You are awesome too.


This Post is to reflect and try to take the situations that are presented to us with more calm, because if you live with anger, resentment and discomfort! and we do not try to overcome them, we're really going to get sick.

Life must be carried with joy, enthusiasm and much love. All the barriers that come our way can be overcome.

good, I know you are happy person..

Labelling the emotion is the first step to changing the emotion.Often we hear I am Ok or why do I feel this way.Or we are in a lousy mood. Taking note of and labelling the exact emotion help you to be corrective clear and primed to change your mood.

Damn this really hit home.
I've struggled with suicidal thoughts and addictions as well so thank you for this.
Something beautiful happens when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. You are worth infinitely more than you allow yourself to believe, brother... infinitely.

In moments like the ones you described, I find its best to breathe... take a moment to experience all I'm geniunely grateful for.

I think if these were my final moments, who and when would I like to remember, remaining conscious of how difficult or easy it is to breathe... then, I'll completely dive into those feelings of hopelessness, fear, doubt, disbelief... and surrender those feelings of angst, need, and worry to the divine love that lives and emanates from within me, that I AM. I'll talk to God, my higher self, whatever you feel comfortable calling it, and meditate while breathing this truth throughout every fiber of my system and visualize it flowing in and out of me. Being patient and kind with myself.
It's so easy to judge ourselves in this moment, so even being patient and kind with myself for judging myself helps too.

I might cry, I might laugh, might do both.

But it feels nice afterwards.

Thanks again for sharing, Jerry. I had a similar momentum wave hit me just this pass weekend and reading as well as responding to it is doing a lot to reinforce the belief that I am not alone and that we are provided for infinitely more than we think we would like to provide for ourselves. But like you mentioned, first we must be honest with ourselves.

Its the real world.

This is great!!!!!

Travel me crazy on the ground haha

iam support you brother @jerrybanfield 😎😎
sir,please my status upvote✌

Hi Sir, I just want to ask why I did not get a confirmation message after I send you 1.500 SBD. what's wrong? I saw others who sent you SBDs too and they get their reply...

Wow, guess what? I also use the same strategy, i think its cool

Sorry for offtopic, but Jerry, could you please check this transaction - was made 50 minutes ago and still nothing. Thank you!

Thank you - now everything is allrigt! )

Thats a huge article!
i'm gonna read it now!
wish me luck! 😁

Excellent you are motivated by perseverance, and dedication to create quality and original content, thanks for both. God bless you

Cuando fingimos nos estamos engañando a nosotros mismos, pero muchas veces nuestro entorno nos obliga a hacerlo para no causar pena o daño alguno. Gracias por compartir tus vivencias.


This is great

You are an inspiration of positivity @jerrybanfield, just like the quote:

Whenever our mind goes, our body follows

I agree with you I think we have the power to set our own happiness.

@jerrybanfield i must say welldone;we really need to own up to how we feel in life because i realized that the more truthful you are to yourself, the sooner you get your problems and worries even fears solved and defeated.

Hello @jerrybanfield ! I'm sorry to speak to you. You have Steemit authority and maybe you can help me. Almost all my posts inadequate user puts flags. I do not break anything. It's very unpleasant for me. Help me please. I just do not know who to turn to.

Leaving comments asking for votes, follows, or other self promotional messages could be seen as spam.

Your Reputation Could be a Tasty Snack with the Wrong Comment!

Thank You! ⚜

Where in my comment do I ask for voices? I ask that someone help me deal with the fool who puts the flags for me just like that.

Nice post @jerrybanfield

Vulnerability is so important. If we can't open up to our troubles, first with ourselves, and then with the world, we will always be struggling against what is bothering us.

This is something I've been working on in my own life: First of all, opening up to pain, sadness, and hurt and really feeling them all. Really being able to feel hurt, express anger and sadness, instead of bottling them up inside. Whenever I would bottle emotions in the past, they would just build up over time until I blew up, or I'd have to run, leave a relationship or a place or a job.

I'd also hide from my own darkness. Whenever I'd do something wrong I'd justify it in my mind instead of owning it as a mistake, apologizing, etc. It's a hard thing to get past, to know that you aren't acting as you think you act, to really take a hard look at the darkness inside and shine the light on it. It's painful and uncomfortable at first, but relieving after.

Thanks for posting :)

I wish you health and a beautiful life

Mantap post nya.

Bes postingan nya.


I'm really happy that I've found your feed! so informative and also made me think... ! thank u for sharing those.... :)

True i thank you for sharing this am so happy and blessed

Sharing feelings is not something I am very good at. If I need to let it out, I try to usually seek out someone going through similar experiences and vent with them. It usually helps us both.

Good post

Yeah, truth and lies are a more difficult topic than apparent.

There's still a big difference between "truth vs lies" towards your brother (in your example) and true "truth vs lies." It sounds like you've gone a bit too far. When people ask you "How are you?" this is generally not a question, but an initiation of friendly-ish conversation, and this is what civilization expects. The difference is that this question requires a much higher threshold of your pain to be answered with "No, I'm not good." I.e. if you're not really feeling really high pain, answering "No, I'm not good." is actually the lie. (or you accept to be "the boy who cried wolf")

This has also been a quite a famous study, where the researcher (can't remember the name), otherwise a university professor, started playing with answers to people's everyday question. Something like this:

What up?
Lol, no really, how you doing?
Horrible, my left shoe is too small.
Ohh, hmm maybe I have spare shoes in my office!
Nono, I'm fine. Cya.

I believe the end result was that they sent him to a psychiatrist. (In the end he cleared everything up, and this later became an important study, to put a happy end.) The point is, they tought him crazy. I don't generally promote my posts in comments, but regarding truth and lies, the real, deep question of what is truth at the bottom of the soul, I've written a post some several days ago, so if you're interested check it out. It's titled Mythology and lies, and in it I take some time to connect mythological, psychological and practical levels of truth vs lies.

Suara yang indah.

So true ! Jerry you'll always surprise me. Thanks !