How many times have you felt there was just something not quite right with yourself? It was as if something that was a part of you was in the shadows but was attached to you at the same time. That shadow seemed to have darkness to it yet felt familiar at the same time. That particular piece of you remained odd for it was as if it really didn’t belong to you, yet there it is. What can it be you wonder?
Just reading the above paragraph causes many of us to cringe. It is creepy and strange even though most people can relate at some level. So what the heck is this thing? It is the Shadow Self.
The unconscious mind can have both healthy and unhealthy aspects and it is the unhealthy aspects that are often called the Shadow Self. The Shadow Self is responsible for creating our unwanted experiences. Therefore, the only meaningful way to prevent unwanted experiences from taking place is by getting to know the Shadow Self and then to help it heal. These Shadow Self feelings take on an identity of their own, retain a great deal of energy and are intent on expressing themselves.
Recognizing that you have these Shadow Self traits within you can be anxiety producing as most of us want to think that we are kind, decent people. A Shadow Self just doesn’t seem kind or decent. One important insight is that the Shadow Self is actually created by the way we deal with our unwanted feelings and thoughts. Learning better coping skills allows the Shadow Self to be less intrusive consciously as we go through our day to day life.
Bottom line: It is necessary and important to get to know all aspects of self at all levels of consciousness. This is so worth the time and energy it takes. Then the Shadow Self doesn’t see so frightening.
“A man is whole only when he takes into account his shadow.” — Djuna Barnes