Shadow Self

I finished the book I was reading “Owning You Own Shadow” by Robert A. Johnson. I started to read this book because I wanted to do shadow work; I was finally ready to embrace the parts of myself that I had locked away for so long.  I didn’t know how to go about doing this though, as I was really just trying to reconnect with myself. This book was suggested to me and that it would be very helpful in my transformation. What an insightful read, it helped me see things from a totally different and new perceptive; which are often times just what we need.

When you think of the shadow you probably think of something dark, ominous, and perhaps evil. In my reading of this book and in my own experiences I found this to be only partly true. When we are born, we are born whole. It isn’t until we grow and age that we understand what parts of ourselves are socially and culturally acceptable. This is how the shadow is created; we take the bits of ourselves that we deem not to be acceptable and stuff them away for no one to see (not even ourselves). We lock the door and throw away the key and that’s the end of the story….right? Wrong.  Doing this in essence only makes the shadow grower stronger; and still shows it’s self from time to time. Our shadow isn’t all dark, most of the time there are traits that we hide away that are positive traits. Believing that having these traits will only hold us back in a world filled with curtly and hatred we lock them away.  Light and dark cannot exist without the other; the universe is all about balance; light and dark is how you keep that balance. If this balance is not given the universe will find a way to achieve that balance. There are ceremonies and rituals you can do so that balance is given to the shadow.  The shadow self can even be projected onto another be it a stranger, partner, or child.  I have seen often times when lovers begin to disagree it starts out as an aggressive talk, then slowly works its way into yelling at each other. This is when the shadow is out to play (so to speak) you are no longer communicating to come to a solution for the problem. You are yelling to be heard and for everyone to know you are right. I have often said “Just because you yell doesn’t mean you are right”. When a disagreement becomes a yelling match shadows are being projected onto each other. Nobody benefit’s from this exchange, you then just carry the weight of the other persons shadow with you. I have always found yelling to be a pointless and meaningless act, nothing gets accomplished and someone always gets hurt. It isn’t until we get to know our shadow that we can become whole again; that we can express our shadow self in a more beneficial way.  The path to loving yourself is not an easy one; there will be truths along that way that you never wanted to come to terms with. Loving who you are is all about first learning who you are, coming to terms with this truth, and then learning to embrace it. We all have a darkness that resides inside of us but that doesn’t mean we have to fear it, or to lock it away.  Darkness is a part of us for a reason, to learn the bigger lesson, to see beyond who we think we are, so we can see who we are. Love is forgiving, love is truth, and love is kindness. We must first be gentle with ourselves so we can be gentle with others. Acknowledging your shadow self is a step toward being one with yourself again. Once you do this you will find an inner strength and a certain beauty about yourself; and this is something no one can ever take away from you. Free yourself from the cages you were taught to build….stay strong, be free and radiate love.

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