Understanding Your Shadow Self: The Importance of Integrating the Hidden Parts of Yourself

Lisa Campion


What’s up, my fellow seekers of self-awareness and growth?!

Today, we’re diving into the shadowy depths of the psyche to explore the concept of the inner shadow self, as coined by renowned psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung.

First, let’s define what we mean by the “shadow self”. Simply put, it’s the part of ourselves that we reject and push into the unconscious and subconscious mind. These are the traits, behaviors, and desires that we deem unacceptable or “wrong” according to society’s standards and values. These parts of ourselves don’t fit with the “domestication process” (a process Don Migel Ruiz talks about in his amazing book “The Four Agreements”). This is the process of how we get molded into civilized humans by our families, school, society, and religious institutions.

This process requires us to disconnect from our lower self needs and experiences. This is not always a bad thing. Actually, it’s a necessary part of life. Otherwise, we would be prime to operating in evil mode. Which might be sort of fun sometimes, but pretty bad for your karma!

It’s important to note that the shadow self is not inherently “bad.” It’s simply a natural part of being human. We all have aspects of ourselves that we’re not proud of or that we don’t want to confront. It’s natural to want to push those parts of ourselves away and deny their existence.

However, here’s where the real work comes in: it’s crucial that we acknowledge and accept our shadow selves without acting on them. This is known as “shadow work,” and it’s an integral part of the process of self-discovery and personal growth.

By doing shadow work, we can learn to heal and integrate these hidden parts of ourselves, rather than projecting them onto others or acting them out in harmful ways. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. Trust me, I’ve been there.
So, how do we do this shadow work? One way is through various forms of therapy, such as Jungian analysis or other types of introspective work. It can also be helpful to journal, meditate, or engage in activities that allow us to connect with our inner selves, such as art or nature.

Another tip is to pay attention to our dreams and the symbols that appear in them. These symbols can often represent aspects of our shadow selves that are trying to surface and be recognized.

I also highly recommend the book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford. It’s an excellent place to start if this is a new concept for you. Believe me, it’s going to blow your mind.

We aren’t trying to get rid of our shadow selves completely. We’re trying to learn to embrace and integrate all the parts of ourselves – even the parts we may not like or understand. Luke Skywalker always knows he has an inner Darth Vader and it’s a moment by moment choice to stay in the light- one that doesn’t come from rejecting and denying, but from choosing.

Let’s get real with ourselves and do some shadow work. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it will lead to greater self-awareness, authenticity, and overall well-being. Happy exploring!

Xoxo– Lisa

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