An Inside Look into Shadow Work
The shadow self is a concept that was created by psychiatrist Carl Jung who used it to describe our unconscious psyche. Since the shadow represents the opposite of the “light” or the public self, it can be understood to contain all elements of us that are suppressed and hidden.
Private & Buried
Moreover, these private parts are often seen to come to the surface when we do something without knowing why. This can mean being disproportionately triggered by something, lashing out or even having certain habits that we cannot let go of despite wanting to change.
The shadow self is also where we have buried our deep carnal desires, our intense fears, and our suppressed insecurities. The shadow self can hold on to our memories and emotions, and influence the way we live our life without being apparent.
Digging & Unravelling
Shadow work is the journey or work put towards the exploration and reflection of this shadow self. This unravelling of our darkest layers leads us to acknowledge our true authentic selves. The process allows us to recognise habits and parts that come from a place of wounding, and survival as opposed to be chosen consciously.
Even more so, these are parts that actually you might have rejected, shunned or deliberately pushed away. The truth of shadow work allows us to see our whole self, as with time we slowly learn to bring our subconscious parts to the surface to form a fully integrated self.
Test of Time And Trail
In the end, shadow work requires us to ultimately suspend our judgment and shame. This means we have to surrender and accept parts of ourselves instead of attacking them or getting defensive. By centring ourselves with self-compassion for our experiences, shadow work allows us to take agency for the way they have shaped us and move on to grow. With practice and repetition, we will be able to uncover layers of our emotions and our conditioning to heal ourselves.