Life Lessons with Monica: Shadow Work in Unexpected Places

For the past few days I have found myself in my home, painting walls, moving furniture, getting items prepared for a garage sale, and brainstorming a variety of different products and offerings I want included in my business plan moving forward. Through this process I have also been binge-watching old episodes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette on Hulu, an activity that I couldn’t fully explain the premise of until this afternoon. Lo and behold, as I was thinking about it, thinking about the interactions of the women and men on the show, the emotional turmoil, the cattiness, the drama, all of it, I was also wondering, “Why am I watching this?”

In the past, I would watch this show, getting emotionally invested, solely because I was in an unhappy marriage and I desperately needed to believe in love. Believe that love, real, true love could be found in the most unorthodox of ways, in the fastest ways, and that it could be a true and lasting emotion. Part of this need to believe was because I was that one girl who had gotten married the first time at 19-years-old, having known my first husband for a total of five months and 11 days when we said “I do.” I can safely say now that it was not my proudest moment. I perhaps should have listened to my Mom the day I was getting married and just waited, but that was not how my life was meant to be lived. I do not regret it for I did truly learn from the experience.

Number One: Do not get married when you are still a child and you have another option. Wait. Grow up. Get to know yourself.

Number Two: Get to know the person that you are marrying before you marry them. If you don’t know yourself, you can’t know another person.

These two lessons, I took and ran as fast as possible from my first marriage with. I did not learn the first one the right way, but the second one I surely did. So, what does all of this have to do with a reality television show, and especially how in the heck do these things connect to shadow work? I’m so glad you asked, because I am actually really quite proud of myself for this understanding.

As I finish up the last of reruns for The Bachelor Season 20, I have noticed quite a few things. First of all, if there was ever an option to see a social experiment in action, this show, and it’s spin off shows certainly are prime research material. Yes, the argument can be made that well, it is edited, you don’t see everything, etc. Yes, those are valid arguments, but those arguments in and of themselves are part of this different viewpoint. Secondly, how I view the show, the reactions, the emotions, the behaviors, actions, and manner in which it is all presented, has dramatically changed. This could be because I am in a healthy, loving, supportive marriage, but truthfully, I believe this is because I have changed. In watching this, checking my own emotions, reactions, and even the thoughts I have about the people in the show and how I talk about it, I have seen a dramatic change in myself.

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