Tonight I wish to discuss with you your 'shadow self'. Carl Jung spoke of the shadow part of the human psyche and suggested it was the unknown aspect. I agree we all have a shadow self, but I disagree that it is unknown. If we look carefully enough, we can see and recognize our shadow self.
We, each of us, are products of light and love and all of the beautiful aspects of the divine soul. But once we enter a physical body, we are also given the opposite side of the coin, the darker side. Everyone has a shadow side, everyone. Even those who after death were deified, such as Jesus or Ghandi or the Dalai Lama. If you are in a physical body you have a shadow side. Knowing this, is the first step to dealing with it and learning to control it, rather than it controlling you.
We, many of us, wish to personify the love and light and beauty of our higher, spiritual side. But as humans, we often struggle with the side of our personalities that exhibit guilt, jealousy, anger, bitterness, deception, hate, judgment, pettiness, or any emotion or behavior that is not of the highest and purest of our soul.
Understanding we have this side of us, is the first step. Many choose to deny it, thinking "I'm a good person, so this doesn't apply." But the very best person has a shadow side, and denial will only delay the work you need to do, to get to a higher, more beautiful level of human understanding and interaction with others.
The work of dealing with your shadow side, is first to recognize your issues. Perhaps you tend towards passive aggressiveness, or you might try to manipulate others in your life. You might tend towards anger and fighting to get your way. Maybe, you tend toward avoidance and simply turning your back and hoping it will all go away. Look closely into your heart and soul and see what your shadow self is in relation to you.
The first step is listing some of the qualities of your shadow self. Sit down, get a piece of paper or your computer and start a list. A list of some of the 'darker' qualities of you. Maybe qualities you wouldn't be so proud of sharing with others. These are your shadow qualities. Once you have identified them, then you can sit back and think about these qualities.
Do not jump to the conclusion that because you have recognized these qualities, and now know you have them, that you must work on eliminating them. Not at all! No, these qualities can assist you in your day to day life, but you must go through them one by one and see if you allow them to assist you or if you allow them to get in the way of your happiness and your interactions with others.
The shadow self does not at all mean, bad or undesirable. All aspects are divine, but how does it serve you? Perhaps as a rule you are timid and shy. You can dig deep and pull up another aspect that might be anger, but which gives you strength. It might not benefit you to interact with people on a regular basis with anger, but if confronted or threatened it can come out and protect you and give you the strength needed in an emergency situation.
Perhaps you wish to have more interactions with friends and loved ones, but you avoid people and focus totally on work or business, ending your week tired, exhausted, resentful and unhappy. You just want to hide away and not be around others. By digging deep, and pulling out the qualities you desire, to go out and spend time with friends and you end up having a great time.
Oh, is the shadow self in these above examples hard to pick out? Could the shadow self be on one side or the other? Exactly. Living in the light, which brings you happiness, strength, courage and confidence is the opposite of the shadow self. The more introspective you get, the more you might realize that you awake with your shadow self and walk with him/her for your entire day or week. Allowing the light within to peek out only occasionally.
Yes, that's right. The shadow self may be your normal persona, the place where you feel most comfortable. I see this in people who are automatically on the defensive, as soon as anything slightly controversial is presented. The people who pride themselves on getting in people's faces, being loud, obnoxious, rude, insulting, demeaning and offensive. They are proud to give people the finger in traffic, they will start screaming and yelling before even considering having a civil conversation. They attack easily, criticize as if it were expected of them and simply do not care if it affects others or not. This is the shadow self on a power trip!
The one thing Jung did not touch on, at least to my knowledge, is a concept I have noticed and continue to marvel at. The shadow self likes company and looks for and seeks to engage the shadow self of others in their sphere. This explains groups that form and become an entity of hate and exclusion, such as gangs and hate groups. Many times when someone gives their shadow self full reign, they often find others who are attracted to the shadow and they become close friends feeding off each other's darker energies.
When this happens and you recognize this, you have a choice to make. You can either stay away completely from those whose shadow selves are given full reign, but if you live with or work with people like this, it is your work to work on your bright side, your blessed side, and try not to be drawn into the darkness, if you can help it. And if you do not succeed today, tomorrow is another day to do the right thing for you. Whatever that may be.
Working with your shadow self can be a life time endeavor, but it helps make your life more fulfilling and rewarding to have all the aspects in play and choosing which aspects to use rather than letting them use you.
Those that wish to do serious work with their shadow selves, may choose to have a dhadow self book or journal, where you can record and journal your feelings, experiences and interactions with your shadow self. Over time, this unique magickal tool can be very useful in understanding you and the path you walk.
Peace and Happiness
© 2010-2016 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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