by: Alissa Sige Weisman
There is someone I would like to introduce to you.
Meet Your Shadow.
Your Shadow is all the parts of yourself that you don’t like. It is the darker, repressed, and denied aspects of your being as well as the light. Your Shadow was formed when you banished these parts of yourself from your conscious awareness in order to be accepted and liked.
Like Yin and Yang, your darkness or your unconscious, negative self-image and your light, your conscious, positive self-image, are complementary opposites that comprise your whole being. When you only identify with your positive self-image, you live a lopsided existence because you deny your hidden other half. Conversely, when you face and embrace your shadier aspects, you bring your life into balance by giving your whole being permission to exist.
According to Jung, who introduced the Shadow to the field of psychology, the psyche is always striving towards wholeness. Whether you are conscious of it or not, your Shadow is always showing you your forgotten parts to help you remember who you are. As the saying goes, “If you spot it, then you got it.” Think of someone you encountered recently who triggered a strong emotional response in you. What characteristics did you find so repulsive about that person? There’s a good chance that the very qualities you despise in others are the exact opposite of what you believe is true about yourself. You can continue to unconsciously project your disowned negative aspects onto the people around you, believing, “I am NOT like you”. Or you can welcome this person as a messenger who has come to remind you who you are. You may ask yourself, “How AM I like you?” The first response likely breeds hatred, suffering and isolation. The second response may offer you an experience of deeper connection and self-awareness. What to do you choose?
Your perceptions are colored by how you see yourself, your likes and dislikes and what you think is right and wrong. You judge others for what you cannot face in yourself. Now think of someone you admire or feel really drawn to. The same principle applies here as well. What characteristics do you love about this person? Again, you can unconsciously project your disowned positive aspects, the light part of your Shadow, onto others. Or you can learn to see the beauty you admire in them as your own. The tremendous power of this work is realizing that you cannot see an aspect in another that you do not possess yourself. You are everything that you experience in this world.
As you can see, confronting your Shadow is like turning shit into gold! Facing and embracing your disowned aspects is essential for balancing living, self-awareness and an experiential understanding of the principle that we are all ONE.
10 Reasons To Face And Embrace Your Shadow:
1. Wake up from the spell of your ignorance, delusions and projections.
2. Release huge amounts of energy that you otherwise expend to keep your shameful parts hidden.
3. Stop living in fear, pretending that you are someone you are not.
4. Start choosing whoever and whatever you want to be at any moment.
5. Recognize that the people who trigger you are mirroring back aspects of yourself that you have forgotten.
6. Remove physical aches and pains in your body that are manifestations of blocked energy or repressed emotional material.
7. Find the gift in each of your Shadow aspects and learn how to use them for good.
8. Admire the greatness you see in others as your own.
9. Manifest your full potential by reclaiming the parts of yourself that you’ve denied, hidden or given away to others.
10. Finally really get what those spiritual people are talking about when they say “We are ONE!”
by Alissa Sige Weisman, MFTi
Artwork source: http://www.nurturingart.com
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