Have you met your Shadow yet?Apr 19, 2021
Did you know that we all have a shadow that follows us through our life?
Some people call them life traps, demons, or if you want to use psychology terms, you could also call them maladaptive coping strategies, schemas, negative core beliefs, and trauma responses. It is what Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung called the shadow. It holds all the parts of ourselves that we have tried to deny or hide and have learned to reject. This rejection is often out of fear of judgement, abandonment, and criticism. It consists of those dark aspects that we feel are not acceptable…not acceptable to our family and friends. But most importantly, we don’t find them acceptable. The shadow side is often deeply buried in our consciousness, hiding away. It is a cage where we hide away our emotional wounds, our unmet needs, our scars we have collected in life, our unhelpful coping mechanisms. And over time, these hidden parts take on a dynamic on their own and combined, feel like a creature that has power over us. They are like a caged animal that we don’t want the world to see, despite us never having had a proper look at them, or at the most just catching glimpses every now and then. But we know this shadow is there and assume the worst…it impacts us and our life path. A lot of the time, the stronger it becomes, the more effort we put into avoiding it, and putting even more, locks on that cage, shoving into deeper into our consciousness without realising.
Unfortunately, quite often people have to reach a point where the consequences of ignoring their shadow side is unbearable and painful. The roar of the creature is then too loud to ignore.
Controversially, instead of giving the hidden creature what it needs - acknowledgement, fulfilling needs that have gone unmet for a very long time, offering ways to heal, creating a space for purpose and visibility, offering compassion, love and guidance - we do the opposite. Until the cost is too high to keep ignoring it, or we are living a life without ever truly living and being whole. It is very sad, but often people have to reach a point in which the consequences of ignoring their shadow side are unbearable and painful. If only they knew how beautiful this caged creature can be…it’s an incredible asset that has been misunderstood all along. Sometimes for decades and many family generations. Your creature hiding in the dark is roaring because it is hurting, wounded and wants to heal.
‘Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’
Shadow work can feel overwhelming and can sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. What if I told you, that this shadow side, this creature, that you have been avoiding for so long, is completing you? It has buried strength and resources in there that you have not tapped into yet. It is literally a treasure trove that is waiting to be discovered under a big pile of dirt in the dark and once nurtured and released…will complete you and show you talents, gifts and strengths you had forgotten about.
Soulful coaching is a great way to help you start digging in this unconscious pile of dirt in the dark for this amazing treasure. Because let me tell you…it will be so worth it and give you your power back. Yes, it is sometimes hard work, and life can still be challenging. That’s just life. But so very worth it. It’s part of your life purpose to integrate all these parts and become this incredible being that can overcome their trauma response and heal. I’ve seen it many times… once you start embracing your shadow side, you will feel a sense of empowerment and internal strength, even in the face of difficulty. Ideally, you will show up in life, ruled by your own values, purpose and essence, not driven by your unhelpful patterns, open wounds, and unaware of your conditioned responses. After getting to know your dark side you will make different decisions, and your choices in life will not be based on fear and avoidance, because you understand your patterns, you have healed your wounds and are practising responding in a different way. You feel like you have the reigns of your life in your hands as you are conscious of where you are going and you are active in the decision making of your life’s journey, which brings a sense of vitality, calmness and freedom. Committing to shadow works means that you will learn about your authentic self, you will be more in touch with your true essence, and you no longer have to waste energy on avoiding these aspects of yourself. Essentially, you will have the opportunity to feel at peace and being whole.
If you would like to find out more about this process, feel free to get access to my soulful library for free resources and start having a look at your own shadow.