A mentor is an experienced and trusted teacher, advisor, or counselor; they often lead us to the deeper truths of who we are. Ideally a mentor demonstrates the ability to hold both masculine and feminine energies. They are able to balance:
These days it is not unusual for people to talk about the ego—a term somewhat related to narcissism. When a person seems too self-centered he/she may be cited as having too big an ego. The fact of the matter is that ego has two important jobs: it is the internal organizer of our personality and helps us survive through its ability to think, evaluate, and prioritize. Furthermore the ego has as much growing up to do as our physical selves and research indicates this involves traversing ten stages. (Loevinger, J. & Wessler, R., 1970.)
Speaking one's truth is a hallmark characteristic of being mature. This isn't always easy. Children often lie in order to avoid punishment. Adolescents are known for stating falsehoods when bragging about themselves. Adults don't want to appear "less than" in relationships. Sometimes we don't even know what the truth about ourselves actually is!
Shadows occur in various ways: the sun casts a shadow on a clear day, and a bright moon casts a shadow at night—both of which are visible. On the other hand, each of us has a “shadow self,” whether recognized or not. Psychologically the shadow self is the unknown part of us—that which we can’t see in ourselves. It is the dark side of our personality and consists of emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and striving for power.
Strange as this may sound, the word contagious has both negative and positive connotations. When a person has an infectious disease, it is best to avoid exposure. On the other hand, when a person lends a helping hand to another, their compassion and connection can be transferred. Giving a ride to a stranded person; sending flowers to a sick person; responding empathically to another’s woes; or donating to a worthy cause are all examples of the upside of contagious.