Me and My Shadow

Nov 6, 2009 by

By Lisa Campion

Recently I witnessed a spectacular thing. I watched someone try and talk herself out of being angry. She was pretty pissed off and had good reason to be, but unfortunately this poor woman had enough New Age Brain Washing to believe that having a “negative emotion” was going to kill her chances of manifesting her Life’s Dreams and piss off the Universe.

She had worked up a good head of steam, but totally couldn’t own it. So she just repeated to herself, “I am full of light and love!  I am full of light and love!” As if she could will away her anger with her magical love wand.

“Maybe you are just having a feeling. Maybe it’s ok to be angry. Maybe your anger is telling you something important about yourself,” I ventured.

She looked at me like I had three heads. It wasn’t even Halloween, so I only actually had one head.  The other two were at the cleaners. Sheesh.

“I am a VERY spiritual person. I NEVER get angry.”  She looked like one of those cartoon characters, steam coming out of her ears, and horns growing out of her head.  Or she was about to pull her best Linda Blair imitation.


The ironic thing was that her anger was totally righteous and was telling her something she needed to see and do to get the Life of Her Dreams.  Once she convinced herself she wasn’t really angry, she told me her stomach hurt and her IBS was kicking up. I raised an eyebrow. Gee, I wonder why?

My diagnosis was Unconscious Irritability Syndrome.  Her anger, relegated to the darkness of her unconscious, had her by the short and curlies, and it was going to take it’s pound of flesh.

It was her Shadow.

I love writing about The Shadow. You have probably already figured that out about me.  But before you run screaming and thinking “Ack, another one of THOSE blogs!” let’s just get clear and what the shadow is, cuz it might not be what you think!

Besides, you need The Shadow. And when you don’t see it, it owns you.

Let me put this Shadow thing into perspective for you.  We live in a dimension that is 50% light and 50% dark. If you have any doubt about that at all, just watch The News for five minutes and you will see what I mean. But it’s not ALL bad, we get  50% light!  There is also joy, wonder and love here too. Thank God, right?

The joy, wonder and love part is usually not the part we have trouble with. It is not understanding the nature of the darkness that causes us angst.

The amazing thing about being in 50-50 dimension is that it creates conditions that makes our world prime real estate in the Universe. It’s the particular combination of frequency and vibration that creates solid matter.  Planet Earth (Planet Dirt?  Doesn’t sound as good….) is one of the few places where we get solid matter. Location, location, location!

If we didn’t have that pesky darkness here, we would be one-dimensional or something.

Plus we have this totally groovy Universal Law of Free Will.   Free will is responsible for a lot of the fun we have, and most of the trouble we get ourselves into, but it’s the best great learning experience. It’s WHY WE COME HERE, to this particular address, third rock from the sun.  If we didn’t have half light and half dark and no free will, we would just be on one of those boring Light Planets

You’d think the Light Worlds are all fun and games. Angels sing, no one’s sick, everything is in harmony all the time. Sheesh. It’s all one big smooshy love fest. 85 degrees and sunny everyday, everyone’s beautiful, there is no gravity to cause sagging and wrinkles and everything is a perfect Skinny Latte. Oh wait, that sounds like Southern California!

Or we might have ended up in one of the scary Dark Dimensions.

I’ve been to one of those, and believe me, you don’t want to go. It’s one continuous strip mall, neon lights and pavement. Every store is a Tire Center, or a Dunkin Donuts, that is perpetually out of coffee.  (Gasp!)  The only music they have is one song by Barry Manillo. I think it’s “Mandy” but fortunately I had ear plugs. Everyone drives rusty Ford K cars.  They have TV, Gilligan’s Island reruns and the 700 Club. That’s it. On Evildays, (anti-Holidays) they show your favorite sports teams, losing spectacularly and inevitably. All you can eat is Taco Bell and they are all out of Rolaids.   Shudder.   Oh, wait, that sounds like Southern California!

If we didn’t have a full spectrum of light and shadow, how could we use our free will to choose?  There would be nothing to choose between.

So we have the shadow of the world, that let’s face it, is usually caused by the crazy things that people do!  The shadow is actually just US!  If Planet Dirt had no people here, would there even be a shadow?  Not so much, more just the circle of life. A predator isn’t EVIL for killing prey, it’s just hungry, right? But people, who can choose good or evil and take a walk into darkness, that is really scary.

So if the shadow actually exists in us, what is it and what do we do about it?

Jung describes it as the un-owned, denied and repressed parts of the self.  The Shadow is all the parts of you that you really are, underneath, but wish you weren’t. It is all the parts that you judge as not being ok.   The person you wish you weren’t.

I just want to remind you, that we are basically animals, with a soul inside, right?  Our “lower self” – the first three chakras, are like the animal parts of us, and they want to do animaly things.

You can really see this when you look at human brain development.  Our most primitive brain, the brain stem, is our reptile brain.  It ain’t pretty, but it gets the job of staying alive done.   Think of it as a big old Gila Monster. (Loves those freaky dino throwbacks!)

How does a reptile like that move through the world?  First of it, it is not too bright. Not very high on the Consciousness O’Meter. It breaks the world down in some pretty simple ways. Warm=good.  Cold=bad. If it encounters another creature, it acts on instinct. Do I eat it? Kill it?  Mate with it?  All of the above?   That is about it.

That is in YOU!

Your Shadow also holds your primary feelings and emotions, the really raw stuff like rage, lust, anger, greed, envy, jealousy, sloth, gluttony, those “Seven Deadly Sins” that we are told are a big no-no. Just because we know we are not supposed to act them out, doesn’t mean they aren’t there! They drive your shadow, along with your basic lizard instinct to live.

What happens when we repress these suckers?  You know the answer, they sneak out sideways.  We can’t repress them, it doesn’t work. Repressing your desires and feelings creates all the real sins of the world.  This is the preacher who talks about God on TV and spends his free time with hookers, or worse.

John Bradshaw talks about the shadow as the ravening wolf in the basement, the more you suppress it and try to be a “nice guy” the stronger the wolf gets, until you are literally split inside, like Dr Jeckle and Mr. Hyde.

Guilt is what we feel when we think our own pleasure needs are bad and wrong. When we try and stuff these away, they come out sideways in the form of addictions. Sex addictions, drug and alcohol addictions, food, shopping, all stemming from disowning a primary need.

My lower self has the morals of a cat. It’s a giant appetite and it wants what it wants.  RIGHT NOW.  It doesn’t want to wait. If you think that this part of you correlates to your brain development at about two years old, you will get the picture. A two year old wants it wants and doesn’t feel bad (yet) for wanting it. They have no impulse control, they just take what they want.

I am certainly not advocating living this way, that is not how we bring the system into balance. Except when you are in Vegas!  The key to unlocking your shadow comes from acknowledging your desires and letting the energy pass through you without acting on it.   You can WANT to smash someone’s face in and actually enjoy the feeling of anger without moving a muscle. You can WANT the 20 year old hottie without doing anything about it except perhaps enjoying a happy little fantasy about it.

When we release the energy of WANTING  and enjoy it without judgment, we get all the juice back in our life. I want a lot of things. I am pretty lusty person. I want chocolate chip cookies. Whisky. A massage. A million dollar house. coffee, Paris, plane tickets, a new wardrobe, I want LIFE.  I could even want to smack someone, I quite often do!  Doesn’t mean I am going to. But repressing the desire to whack someone just creates a kink in the system, like twisting a hose. Talking ourselves out of our real feelings because they aren’t “spiritual” or not in alignment with our manifesting beliefs just causes problems.

Finding safe expressions of these desires is the key.  Smacking the couch with a pillow takes care of that energy and the hose remains unkinked.   Even LOUISE HAY says she whacks things with pillows and she has got to be the sweetest person on Planet Dirt.

If I let myself WANT it without feeling bad, guilty or evil then it just feels like life force energy flowing through me. I am not going to actually do all those things. But lord knows, when I do choose the cookie, I am really going to enjoy it! What I am trying to say is The Shadow is where all the fun in your life is! And it is full of your power.

This is the gift of the Shadow.  It’s your motor, your power and your life force energy.   Each aspect of our interior shadow has a gift for you, if you could just relax about it.  Homicidal Harry, your inner mafia leg breaker,  has a gift for you. What is it? Can you see it?  Can you own it?  So does Whining Wanda and Psycho Sam.  They all do. Who is in your shadow and what power do they hold for you?

Time to find out!

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