The Shadow Knows

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”  Radio Show … The Shadow.

Over the span of my life I have had three nicknames. For some reason, I was called “Shadow” in elementary school. Only my best friends did this, and I’m not sure why or how it came about. But I do know the origin of it was the popular radio show, “The Shadow”. The Shadow had hypnotic powers, something I find ironic as a psychologist who uses hypnotism from time to time.

The second nickname came from my work as an Army Intelligence Officer. I remember in Vietnam, the General’s Aide opening the door to his boss’s office and announcing … ‘Sir … the Spook is here.” I used to think it a little funny and strange that a Lt. General would think of me that way. I felt their intention was good, they were having fun with me by calling me a ‘spook’.

And my third nickname, and a long lasting one, as a psychologist, I’m called a “shrink”. Because I shrink heads. This particular nickname is used with both psychiatrists and psychologists. A lot of people confuse the two. Some call me a psychiatrist. I usually don’t bother to correct them unless they start asking for a prescription.

Carl Jung taught us about another Shadow, a dark part of every person.

Why is it important to know and reflect on your nicknames? Your nicknames are a part of you, your identity. How other people see you. How you see yourself. I have been working on my shadow and the shadows of other people my whole life. What’s your nickname? What does it say about you?