From time to time we should take a look at ourselves and work with our shadow self. We all have one and it’s the side of us that’s usually hidden in the dark. The side that is less than perfect, a side that is impulsive and wounded. It’s also a side that acts out of character, and that can wound others in an order to protect itself. It’s usually a side we hide and at times avoid to acknowledge. After all it’s painful to stare our flaws into the face, or is it?
Our shadow self might signify our insecurities, our poor behavior and how we react to challenges, but it might also close us up, unable to react at all which can do harm as well. In an article by lonerwolf it is mentioned that if you are truly honest about growing and living your life to the fullest, you will at some point come across many parts of yourself that you’ll find difficult, if not completely disturbing to accept.
These ugly and frightening parts of ourselves are elements of the shadow self: the darker side of our nature. Have you summoned your courage and met some of these parts yet?
The shadow self is an archetype that forms part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, desires, precessions, and embarrassing fears. It’s often what we perceive as chaos and it’s everything that leaves us vulnerable. Almost like judgement day, an attack on our character. This often leaves us wanting to defend ourselves. Surely we are not that bad, are we, “they must have gotten it all wrong, and why couldn’t they see our good intentions?”
So who is this shadow self? It is a part of us, although initially we are born pure, like a blank sheet of paper. But at some point throughout our childhood we learn to separate our experiences into two categories. Good and evil. From the moment we engage in this knowledge our shadow self is born and we begin to divide ourselves into multiple parts. The dark shadow traits accumulate just as much as the pure, light ones do, and it depends on our experiences which part weighs heavier. This happens in the unconscious mind and is never fully integrated into our conscience.
I say that we need to be aware and visit this side from time to time because a lack of awareness can be dangerous. As the dark side within us accumulates and goes without acknowledgment, it can actually take over and tip the balance. It can manifest depression as well as our inner demons. The denial can lead to physical, emotional, and psychological, as well as interpersonal consequences that last a long time.
There is much more that can be said and perhaps I will break it down into a series, should there is any interest. But for now I just want you to sit with your shadow self and try to acknowledge it. Can you recognize some of these traits that make up your darker side? Just be still and bring awareness to it. Be honest with yourself and don’t worry, only you will know this, and it’s your secret for the time being, for you to understand. It’s not evil or a bad part of you, but it is a part that carries a heavy load that consists of your hardships and negative experiences. And please know that your experiences do not make you a bad person. You are a survivor and you’ve made it this far.