I'm continuing a lovely, slow stroll through Ron Siegel's book, The Mindfulness Solution. As a therapist and teacher (Harvard for more than 20 years) his experience of life is a lot different from a priest or rabbi or Zen master. I'm appreciating his perspective (below).
Wise words follow...
Carl Jung described the parts of our personality that we don't acknowledge because they don't fit our conscious identity as our shadow. We all have one, made up of everything we don't like about ourselves.
By illuminating how we construct our identity, mindfulness practice helps us recognize and accept our shadow moment by moment. Every desirable and undesirable feeling, thought, and image eventually arises in meditation, and we practice noticing and accepting them all.
We see our anger, greed, lust, and fear along with our love, generosity, care, and courage. Seeing all of these contents, we gradually stop identifying with one particular set and rejecting the other. We eventually see that we have a great deal in common with everyone else, including those we are tempted to judge harshly. We see for ourselves why people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
It has been said that mindfulness practice is not a path to perfection but a path to wholeness. We don't wipe out the aspects of our personality that don't fit our desired identity, but rather make friends with these elements. This is humbling but also freeing.