On the Spiritual Journey we try to be good, kind and compassionate people. But sometimes the ‘bad self’, also known as the Shadow, rears its head at the most inconvenient times. It can say hurtful things to others, participate in unhealthy behavior, and sabotage our journey.
You can see the Shadow at work in the media. The wholesome sports star caught in numerous sex scandals, the anti-homosexual lobbyist caught in a secretive same sex relationship or the wealthy politician caught shoplifting.
The ancients taught that the Universe is in perfect balance and, as such, we live in a world of duality. Everything you see in the world has its opposite: light/dark, up/down, male/female, hot/cold. The mental image that you present to the world (EGO) also has its opposite (SHADOW).
The shadow is at the root of feelings of guilt, shame and self- hatred. To truly experience happiness it is key that you accept ALL parts of yourself – warts and all.
5 Ways to Work with the Shadow
1. Identify the Shadow
The shadow is the part of us we deny and repress. We can only truly see our shadow in other people. Who in your life creates a strong emotional charge within you where you become judgmental and self-righteous? Bingo – that is your shadow. Describe the qualities you see in that person. Take responsibility for these qualities within you – no matter how hidden.
2. Bring the Shadow into the Light of Awareness
Shadow energy thrives in secrecy. Write in your journal or talk to a trusted friend about your secret desires and thoughts. This will discharge the energy and the power the shadow has over you.
3. Talk to your Shadow
The shadow energy comes up when your life is becoming out of balance. For example, if your self-image is hard working and responsible your shadow will call in sick – play hooky, go to a movie and let important work deadlines slide. In this case, the Shadow may be communicating that you need more play and creativity in your life. Listen to your shadow before it explodes and creates chaos.
4. Know your True Identity
Know and realize your true as an expression of the Infinite. You contain within you everything that you can see in your world. You are only experiencing YOU! The shadow aspect is only part of the rich diversity which is you.
5. Acceptance Meditation
When you deny your Shadow Self you create conflict within you and thus lose your power. It is not healthy to make parts of yourself wrong. Even Jesus was in a fit of anger when he kicked the money lenders out the temple.
Only when you allow your shadow energy to be consciously expressed and merge into all that you are, can you claim your infinite power. Your outer state will reflect your inner state and relationships will become more harmonious and you truly CAN LOVE all of creation for you love yourself !