What is the Shadow Self? What is our darkness, exactly? A lot of us define this as our insecurities, our triggers, our inner demons, our ego, etc. Psychologist, Carl Jung, defines this concept as the unknown or unconscious aspect of our personality. I’ve noticed a lot of people are naturally programmed to reject this side of ourselves for various reasons, but in my opinion, that is possibly the worst thing you can do for yourself. Whatever you define your Shadow Self as, I encourage you to embrace that side of you, rather than reject or despise it. You may ask, “How do I know what my dark side is?” There are various ways to identify it. Sometimes you’ll discover it through meditation and deep self-discovery. Sometimes you will notice your shadow erupt during a very minor or severe argument, disagreement, comment, specific scenario, etc. We can sometimes come to know our shadow self when we find ourselves judging others or when we feel an irritation towards someone’s actions/beliefs. Although our feelings and emotions that flare up during a specific trigger may sometimes appear insignificant, they actually hold immense value and deeper truths about yourself.
The dark side or your shadow self can be the side of you that wants to scream in anger or despair. It can be the side of you that acts out almost like a child when you are emotionally triggered by someone or something. It is the pain or discomfort underneath our emotional dysregulation; and if we dig deep enough underneath that pain, we will discover the root or source of it all. Let it be known that there is no such thing as spiritual ascendance without addressing both the light and dark. Moreover, there is no such thing as elevating in your relationships, career, and self-growth journey without addressing your shadow self. As we come to understand where our anxiety, depression, and/or anger is stemmed from, we are then capable of gaining a deeper understanding of our Shadow Self, or unconscious side of ourselves. However, before seeing or understanding where it is rooted from, we must gain awareness. If you have no self-awareness of your emotions, thoughts, actions, or feelings, how can you heal or ascend? Awareness comes first. Healing and/or spiritual elevation follows.
Our dark side is not inherently bad or good… it just is. It is the unconscious or suppressed side of ourselves and with no awareness of this aspect, there is no true growth or self-discovery. As we gain this deeper understanding of ourselves, we can then learn how to nurture, love, trust, and listen to ourselves appropriately and more compassionately. When we learn how to love, nurture, and embrace our own wounds, we will then learn how to nurture the shadow side of others as well with no judgement and with pure love.
As we increase our ability in seeing through emotional triggers by understanding that it is simply pain buried underneath veils of illusion, we can then learn how to transcend it appropriately with pure compassion and light. We cannot fight our darkness. It will get louder. We cannot push it to the side hoping it will disappear. It will roll back over. If we wanted to see better in a dark room, we would turn the light on. It is the same thing with our soul, our emotional body, or our conscious Being. We learn how to find the light and we learn how to nurture the shadow side of ourselves that was restricted from authentic love at one point in our life or for our whole life. In result, we heal, we see, we know, and we transcend into a deeper level of peace and higher level of consciousness/being.