The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort.
Carl Jung said, “to become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspect of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for self-knowledge, and it therefore as a rule met with considerable resistance. These shadows are repressed elements of the personality which we choose not to be identified with.”
Shadows lurk in the deep recesses of the psyche. It is buried in the heart, in the mind; it is part of us. It follows us, it frightens us, and they come to us in different ways, but always, fits our lifestyle, our beliefs, or thereof. The shadow is not a mere concept or a matter of perception. It is very real!
Just as there is light, there is also darkness. Is it possible to deny the shadow element? It is usually the worst side of the person. The courageous person may have a cowardly shadow. The kind, gentle and caring person may have a cruel side hiding behind all that softness. Even among the most benevolent, the most respected personalities and leaders in every field of endeavor, part of their shadow element peek through their eloquence and their elegance.
Do they really know themselves, or having denied their shadow element, they find their views, their words, and their actions in conflict. This is not intentional, the internal shadow conflicts they fail to deal with come to the surface at the worst moment.
Is it possible to ignore or avoid the shadow? Some call it demons that stick around every dark corner, every perilous turn, in every struggle and conflict. When we are at the lowest point in our lives, shadows haunt us.
It is that part of ourselves that we leave in the closet as we face our public and put our best foot forward. Hide them, deny them, suppress them, would they just vanish?
These actions may end up attracting these shadows into our lives in other ways.
Do shadows impact our lives? Do they mean anything? Shadows come in many forms. They can come as temptations, obsessions, addictions, co-dependency, and other forms of indulgence. Shadows appear in the darkness cloaked in fear; shake us at our core.
Shadows also show as projections. The shadow can appear to us as a distaste of certain traits in people, unjustified and unexplainable. We don’t like what we see perhaps, it mirrors part of us that we choose to ignore or may not even be aware of.
Are you comfortable with your friends? If not, ask yourself, why do you hang out with them? Do you judge them harshly? If so, why do you share your precious time with them?
Do you tend to make a compromise that you can not meet? What about the times you get angry at the slightest provocation at times by the same person.
There are times we look for our shadows in the face of other people. We even attract them into our lives. Buried deep, these shadows may drive us to places we dare not go.
Pundits would say it is not wise to deny the shadow element. They believe the only way is to confront it, deal with it and work through the conflicts it creates.
Each one has their personal demons to deal with and to face, otherwise, it follows us in less conscious ways. There are lessons from the shadow element. To become aware of it, we need to go deeper into ourselves, be all that we can be, assuredly.
We can take the good. Work with the bad, see the light, face the darkness without fear. Go deep within; let the fears and insecurities buried deep within the surface. Confront the anger seething under the skin.
We are not perfect. No matter how many dark clouds hover above us, no matter how long the dark night is, the light will surely come. These dark nights offer a chance to enrich and nourish our spirit, our soul, and our lives. It helps us to align ourselves with our highest purpose.
By striving for greater balance, endurance and perspective, we generate more personal power and strength.Published in