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Cruella & the Shadow Self


"Everything that exists somewhere in the world also exists in us"-Deepak Chopra

Last night on television I saw an advertisement for a new Disney flick. Being a product of the Disney generation, I tuned in. Cruella it was called.


For those not with said Disney addictions, Cruella de Vil is the villainess from the movie 101 Dalmatians. In it, the evil Cruella attempts to kidnap and exploit the dear dalmatians.


According to the new movie, and in the tradition of Maleficent, there is more to the story than initially appears…


And speaking of stories. Did I mention my sister had an evil twin growing up? Her name was Leah. Whenever my sister would get in trouble she would always say ‘Leah did it!’. And so it was. Bad Leah.


What do Leah, Maleficent, and Cruella have in common? Doppelgangers. Aka shadow selves. Doppelgangers are what I like to think of as the less pleasant parts of a personality. The disowned people or characteristics that are not acceptable in polite society.


It’s pretty easy for me to look at a person like Maleficent, Cruella, or, heck, even Leah, and say they are pure evil-loving, puppy-grubber, pulling-my-socks-out (thank you Leah), kindov peeps. No exception. People are good. Or they’re bad. There is nothing in-between.


But as these movies (and my dear sister) like to kindly remind me, there is more to a person than their worst mistakes. If I can take the time to look past an action (see said sock-pulling incident above), to find the beauty within, I’m often pleasantly surprised by what I find.


You see, I believe we all have a little Cruella within our hearts. A damaged little one that expresses itself in some less-than-awesome ways sometimes. But what also lives there is the good. The kind. The innocent. And this lives also in the villains of our own life’s stories.


So I’m kindov in love with the newer, less perfect versions of our heroes and villains. Perhaps it will help us learn to love the shadows within ourselves that have never been healed. And maybe, just maybe, lend us a little more tolerance for one-another.

With love and forgiveness (I’m looking at you Leah!). Namaste.

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