Where prior to you did not have one, you are starting to develop a “shadow” which I believe is best defined as your “ego”. Many may argue in favor of an ego, after all, a sense of pride and ambition are built into the definition which are considered by many in society as a positive trait, but I will argue that the “ego” is your shadow and usually is the main cause of your anxiety and depression and rage and jealousy and the seven deadly sins of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
As we mentioned, an ego involves often “an exaggerated sense of self-importance”, “pride”, “self-esteem” and “conceit”. As you grow and acquire skills and put forth effort, you grow this “ego” which sprouts like a plant in the soil. You begin to get better in certain areas. You may have been born with a better ability to writer, so then society holds that as your “talent”. Maybe you were born really good in math. Then you would be told to focus more on that subject and be in an accelerated class. Or, you may have been built with a strong body, so you were told you are a “gifted” athlete. You next joined the Varsity squad. Maybe you are good at playing a musical instrument, and thus joined the school’s band. Anyway, you are being encouraged and praised in the areas where you are “better” than the average. Therefore, you can see how the programming and shaping starts right from the beginning.
When your ego grows because you start to put lots and lots of effort and time into training in your “talent”, you acquire naturally a sense of pride and excellence and also a sense that you are “better” than the ones who don’t have your talents. If you were pushed and appeared to have a knack for playing the violin, you may become “first string” in your school’s orchestra, and maybe then you will go on to compete at the state level. Before any of this, you did not even know what a violin was.
The same can be said for sports. Let’s say you were the fastest runner in your class. You are praised by everyone and you beat everyone in the 100 meter dash. Somehow, a sense of your feeling better than others develops, and you become conceited as well as you begin to beat others in the races. But all this begins with a sort of ridiculous basis. Why is society even caring about some of these skills? Are we running after our food? Are we chasing rabbits suddenly in order to feed our families?
A skill set such as the spelling bee seems to be almost ridiculous because most of the words are such that a normal person would never have even heard of them in their entire lives. But as you progress, and excel, in whatever you are best at, society rewards you with “Certificates”, “Medals”, “Trophies” and other such “things” that you can put on your wall and which you can show your friends how good you are at something.
But, silently, like a cancer, something is developing. You are starting to get addicted and attached to your medals and what they represent. And as you are getting better and better, you become more and more attached and addicted to the attention you are getting as a result of your efforts and time into whatever endeavor you are excelling at. As the softball team lifts you up on their shoulders for your hitting the game winning hit, you beam with joy that is dependent on your talent for the aforementioned activity. But the seeds of disappointment have been sown now.
Since you are attached to your skills in the last example of hitting a softball, what happens one day if you sprained your wrist or otherwise injured another part of your body? Then what? That is when the tears will start. This is where the first real suffering begins. The more effort you put in and ended up excelling in, and the more time that you spent perfecting your craft, the bigger will be the disappointment when failure does visit your door.