The Shadow When we think of the shadow, our first instinct is to think darkness, fear, shame. And while the shadow self does consist of these characteristics, the shadow also has a desire to see the light. It is our minds that keep the shadow where it is. We have spent our whole lives keeping the shadow self hidden from the outside world and even ourselves. Or so we thought. In reality, the shadow self is rearing its head out every day. We think if we can keep this other part of ourselves that nobody will see our dark side, but it just simply is not true. The shadow manifests in how we speak to ourselves and others, and how we go about our daily lives. The shadow manifests as anger, depression, selfishness, greed and more. It is manifested from unresolved trauma that has happened from the time you were born to the time you are reading this. But it doesn’t also have to stay like this. When we sit back in the seat of self and let go of our ego we allow the shadow to come out in healthier ways. It takes time and practice to recognize when we are having these low vibrational outbursts. It takes time to not only recognize them but to stop take a deep breath and let that shit go. Our minds have a tendency to want to store all the drama and the pain and circle round and round on every little thing that went wrong that day. It says things like "my alarm didn’t go off this morning, oh great now I am going to be late for work. This is such a stupid day. My whole day is ruined now. I don’t even feel like going to work to begin with.” Wow, that escalated quickly, didn’t it? Guess who is helping your mind come up with this garbage? Yes, you guessed it, the shadow. They joined forces up there and have you - you the conscience being actually believing your day is the worst. So, you will go about the rest of your day looking for negative things to really piss you off. Don’t you? I think it is important to recognize that that mind is not you, you are the one with front row seats to the show called life. The shadow will look for attention in any way it can get it and when we are not training ourselves and shadow, this is the type of behaviour that you will deal with for the rest of your life on planet earth. In psychology, the shadow is the darker side of yourself that you mask from the world as its desires are socially unacceptable. If you are one with a conscience mind, you have a shadow self, regardless of how enlightened or healed you become. Rather than suppressing our shadow and not giving it the air it needs we need to learn how to integrate it into our lives in a healthy way. The more we work with shadow the more balanced we become. There are many types of therapies in the world that focus on shadow work without necessarily calling it that. But something they all have in common is looking within and asking yourself; what am I avoiding? Yes, I know not something that sounds like a fun time to confront, especially with your two little sidekicks Shadow and Mind throwing temper tantrums behind you. But when we start here, we begin to understand where these thought patterns and behaviours stem from. Regardless of your upbringing; rich or poor, stable household or dysfunctional, there will always be something in common. That is that life happens to everybody. Will the challenges we face be different? Absolutely. Some beings will have a narcissistic parent, maybe they will live with food scarcity, an abusive partner, the loss of a child. All these experiences will manifest the shadow in different ways. People-pleasing, binge eating, etc. Life will look different for every single human and some may very well be objectively worse than the person beside them. At the end of the day, we all have the same responsibility to make room for our shadow to stand beside us every day. How do we make room for the shadow instead of ignoring it until it comes out in a negative way? There a few things that no matter where you are on the economic ladder, you can do daily. In our next post, we will discuss some ways to start healing your shadow self.