Understanding your inner shadow

Now that we know what shadow work is, let’s delve in deeper to understanding more about the shadow self. We previously learned that the shadow comprises those aspects of ourself that get hidden into the subconscious mind.

As defined by our psychologist friend, Carl Jung, there are eight archetypes in your unconscious mind, each being a part of your shadow that influences your behaviours, thoughts and feelings.

  • Self = your conscious awareness
  • Shadow = your unconscious awareness
  • Anima = your ideal feminine self
  • Persona = your masked self of protection
  • Animus = your reflective self
  • Hero = your brave self to fight evil
  • Wise = your wisdom
  • Trickster = your inner child seeking gratification

The parts that make up your shadow are quite often those that you have subconsciously rejected within you, such as negative self-talk or behaviours that were influenced in childhood. When these archetypes are triggered and present themselves to the world, they can threaten the ideal self you present to the world.

As you can see your shadow self can affect you negatively – if you let it.

When you ignore your shadow or reject the parts of you that you don’t like, it can trigger an unexpected response that presents you in a less than favourable way. Thus, impacting on your wellbeing – emotionally and physically. There becomes a disconnect between the shadow and the ideal self you want to become.

Ignoring the hidden parts of you in the shadow may lead to you unknowingly projecting onto others the things you subconsciously recognise in yourself. As a result, you may end up projecting yourself as self-sabotaging, an inflated ego or lack in self-esteem and other negative personas that may lurk in your shadow.

To identify and unpack your shadow self will involve some deep soul searching and shadow work. Next week we delve in to how to do the shadow work.

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