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Archive for July, 2009

The Shadow Self

Posted in Uncategorized on July 20th, 2009 by carol – Be the first to comment

“Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” 1)

Turning our attention inward can be difficult because of our trepidation over what we may find. We all have characteristics we are more proud of,…and those of which we are not. Sometimes in close relationship to another, these parts sometimes referred to as  ’shadow’ will emerge. Sometimes the shadow appears when we enter the job market, or take a risk. Life has many ways of bringing up that which is submerged.

Exploring the self can lead to new life, but often the road is dark to get there,..the way not clearly marked.

Shadow self is an aspect of ourselves we repress because we are uncomfortable with the weaknesses within us. But  unless we encorporate the shadow self  into our awareness, we cannot work with and transform those pieces of self that we might wish to.

Imagine that you want to change  a part of yourself that is afraid to enter public places. How can you go from this place of being in fear to one of tolerating the distress of public places without an acknowledgment of this very anxiety? It is only possible by seeing where you are and accepting that you have this fear. From there, it can be an energy worked with, or compensated for, and transformation can begin.

Mapquest will only give you directions if you give a starting point,…otherwise, there is no direction to start out in. The end destination may be clear -but what are the steps to take to get from here to there? Defining where we are right now, with all our good and all our not-so-pretty aspects is a necessary evaluation to take. And that begins by taking time to go inward.

In giving yourself time to withdraw into self and explore, there will be fulfillment that is possible only in the self. It isn’t ‘out there’ somewhere. It’s within you. And it starts with an honest inventory of what you have to work with right now in your journey. Accept it all and take it with you lovingly into the future.

1) Jung, C.G. (1938). “Psychology and Religion.” In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131