Sheelah, thank you for your thoughts, which make a lot of sense for me! I learned a while ago about the Shadow Self, as it applies to me experientially. My ‘aha’ was learning that I had packed good and assertive and skilled aspects of ‘me’ into the shadow. I fully agree that ‘softening and transforming’ my shadow self is the way to proceed. I think ‘softening and transforming’ is such a good term, because it respects a present that both anticipates and facilitates future integration. While my writing has reflected inner conflict; it is only because I am getting clearer that I can see what I see, and say what I say. There is great ‘behavioral softening and transformation’ in and growing out of the encounters I’ve shared, for which I am very grateful.