How to Work with Your Shadow Self
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”― C.G. Jung
FEEDING THE SHADOW SELF
Disconnected from our empowerment the shadow (those unloved, unacknowledged parts of us) grows stronger and thrives on more of the same. Rather than interacting with life, we react. Reactionary living is acidic, corrosive and destructive. That is not to say we can live without reaction… It is a human response. It serves to keep us alert and alive. But, you can learn to interact with the world, befriending experience and still remaining safe.
First you must listen to the shadow.
You may say, “Well how do I befriend my shadow?” It’s simple, what are you afraid of? Go there. If you fear talking to strangers, take that feeling deeper and explore why. Maybe that’s why you’ve been unable to meet a partner. Maybe at your core you fear rejection. So take the power back, muster the strength and go talk to someone.
Be bold, be brave and step out there and walk the middle ground. Let your darkness show you something you never knew before, or never wanted to know. If you let it consume you, you become numb, you lose passion, and without passion nothing can live.
So you don’t know how to get past that anxiety. Leap before you think. In that in-between space is where passion lives. That is the instinctual part of you, devoid of ego and preconceived notions. You act from your center, where light and shadow come together like two great streams flowing into a river.
Begin asking, why?
Once you befriend your shadow parts, your pain, you find yourself dancing in the dark. You move into the sacred communion with your light and your shadow. Born of rhythm and fluidity. Because the shadow is not bad, rather it is the unwelcoming of the shadow that causes pain.
Take some time to express to your shadow all that you feel. Be open, honest and candied with your shadow. Express your deepest feelings of pain, disappointment and even resentment.
“What makes night within us may leave stars.” ― Victor Hugo, Ninety-Three
What do you feel about your shadow? What has she done to you? Where have you felt held back in your life? What have you missed out on? Why, and how do you feel small in your life?
Openly express this to your Shadow self.
Check Out: The Alchemical Path of Expressing the Shadow
LAYING YOUR GHOSTS TO REST
You have slipped into the Dark, and surrendered to her groove. Let her pulse through your heart, body and soul. You are losing old parts, and uncovering hidden ones. You are brave enough now for inner alchemy…Soul work!
In this dark, fertile place where transformation begins we must surrender ourselves to the experience. Which means we must move through our cycles of limiting thoughts, and crushing feelings… To get to the more inspired ones. You are detoxing from the high of resistant, fear based living.
“Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without our noticing, eats away at our souls, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Now is the time for honesty. Come to terms with where you are inside and out. You do not have to be frightened anymore. Don’t deny yourself your sadness, or your rage. Just move into the feeling so that it can be cycled out and returned to the Earth, and the Universe as fertilizer for new intentions.
MOVE INTO THE STORM OF YOUR SHADOW
After breathing into the chaos, the darkness… And asking these questions I find myself growing calmer, clearer and more able to move with the storm. The skies begin to brighten, and the world becomes more serene. My uncertainty and anxiety magnified the storm…. Because the Universe is a big mirror.
I like to move into the storm. Wrap myself in the water. And compassionately ask:
- What do I have left to learn here?
- How can I honor my highest good?
Check Out: Riding the Waves of Chaos and Confusion
WHERE TO GO FROM HERE?
Your shadow, your darkness, your forgotten hungry ghosts are your friends. They hold bright blessings and paths to healing. You have begun to cultivate awareness. Breathing life and sustenance into these arid, darkened places. Begin to cultivate daily time with yourself. Before the shadow can grow hungry and despondent… you can dialogue with the inner self to find what hurts, what feels wrong and what needs fixing.
The shadow is born when you allow something that opposes your goodness to become your truth!
Journal on the shadow. And your personal light.
Lay out a card for each.
Card One: My shadow self (the unexpressed, unloved, unacknowledged parts).
Card Two: My light self (the blessed, connected, wise, empowered self).
Card Three: My nourishment (what will feed my soul and grow my light?)