When you feel afraid of who you are or you are ashamed of things about yourself, this is part of your shadow self. Everyone has a shadow self. Shadow work is important to help you learn to know and accept all parts of yourself.
The shadow self is something that was termed by Carl Jung, a psychoanalysis. He believed that this is part of your personalities that you don’t want to see or others to see.
What Causes a Shadow Self?
You will get a shadow self because you feel rejected. This can go back to when you were a child. Your parents or your caregiver will show you how you are to act and when you are in trouble for speaking out about what you feel or because you are speaking your mind, it can cause you to feel afraid. This will carry on as you are an adult.
This happens because you feel that you have to be a certain person in order to be loved by others. This is a message that becomes internalized inside of you and it causes you to bury the shadow or dark parts of yourself.
If you have a shadow of yourself that shows up, it might cause you to feel embarrassed because you will be showing yourself how you shouldn’t. This can cause you to feel angry. You might also be angry at someone who is being outspoken when you feel that you aren’t allowed to be.
Who Has a Shadow?
Everyone has a shadow self but not everyone calls it that. The term shadow self is one that has been around for a while, but it can also be known as self-reflection or self-examination. No matter what you call this part of who you are, you are able to learn to accept yourself and it can better your life and your relationships.
Doing Shadow Work
How do you do shadow work? You can do this by making your mind aware of who you are. This is something that helps you to be mentally strong.
You need to ask yourself questions and find out what beliefs that you have about who you are and what you are meant to be. The more objective that you are, the more you can find out. It can be hard to accept this and sometimes it is a good idea to have a therapist.
You can find someone that works in mental health that can help you to look at your shadow self and to have help looking at your feelings and your emotions.
Why Do Shadow Work?
Shadow work has many benefits such as:
- Increasing Your Intuition
As you do shadow work, you can see that you can trust yourself and increase your intuition. The things that you were discouraged from doing as a child can become strong in you because you will see that this was something that you should have been allowed to embrace.
- You Can Free Yourself
When you let your mind see who you are and what controls you, you can face your shadow work, and this can bring you freedom. Even though the shadow sounds negative, it really isn’t, and it shouldn’t have to be hidden.
- Gives You Power
As you do shadow work it can increase your self-esteem. It can make you feel good about yourself and to feel worthy. It can also show you what gifts that you have that you were hiding.
Doing shadow work will help you to grow and it is necessary when you want to have self-actualization. This means that you become the best part of who you are.
What to Do When Doing Shadow Work
Here are some things to be aware of when doing shadow work:
- Notice Triggers
There will be some things that irritate or upset you. Notice when this happens so that you can understand yourself better. As you do shadow work, you will be more aware of things that trigger or upset you. Pay attention to those things and find out why.
- Give Grace
Like you would give others grace, give it to yourself. When you do shadow work it can make you afraid and ashamed of who you are. Give grace to these things. Learn that you are not as bad as you think you are.
- Get Help
Ask for a professional or someone that you trust to help you. This kind of work can make you feel pain or hurt. It can also bring out fear that you have hidden. Seek help from someone that can actually help you.
If you are doing shadow work, you need to feel accepted by others. Find someone that won’t judge you like a therapist. They can help you to accept who you are without feeling judged.
How to Start Doing Shadow Work
Here are ways to start doing shadow work:
What Bothers You?
Think of someone that bothers you or someone that is hard to deal with. These are people that are sometimes a reflection of who you are, and this is why you don’t like them.
Think of someone that upsets you or bothers you and find out why. Ask these things:
- Why don’t I like this person?
- Do I have the same traits that they have?
- What makes it hard for me to be around them?
- What parts of me does that person make come out when I am around them?
- How do I feel about those things in myself?
Look At Your Family
There are things in your family tree that you need to look at. Find out about your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other people that have been both good and bad to you. Be honest about things that your family does wrong. If you have an aunt that drinks too much, be honest about it.
Look at these things and see if they are things that exist in your life.
Face Your Shadow
You then need to meditate and face your shadow. Know that there will be things that you don’t like about yourself but once you get to know them then you can release them. After you release your fear and your doubt and your shame, you can become more secure.
Looking at your shadow self can bring healing to your life. This might be work that is hard but as you do it, you will see that you can live your best life and you can change and grow to who you are meant to be.