Shadow Work: Who are you when nobody tells you how to act? — @belleartmovement

Shadow Work: Who are you when nobody tells you how to act? — @belleartmovement

By Alina Simu

How many times when you were a kid did someone tell you, maybe your mother or your teacher, to not act in a certain way because it’s not nice? How many times were you punished and how many times have you been told to think about what you did? Like any other human, you were probably educated by any adult who had an important role in your life. They tried to show the acconepted behavior in society, thinking that you’ll become a venerated member of it later on.

The concept of “shadow” is used in psychology for everything we can’t realize when it comes to our self. This shadow follows us everyday, we sleep and eat with it, without realizing that it exists. But what is it? The name of the term seems evil, although it is not. I evoked the motive of childhood because this shadow starts building itself within our self because of the rebukes we get and around which we built our character around.

Depending on our parents or on other adults with authority, we’re trying to be what they want us to be because we want to please them and because we have no other option. We repress our true emotions, regardless they’re positive or negative. For example, a girl who’s born to be talkative, curious and argumentative, can grow up into a submissive and quiet woman because her parents told her that a girl is to be seen, not heard, a girl should be beautiful and elegant.     

Shadow work refers to the understanding of your repressed self, who we don’t expose being aware of its existence. Most of the time, the quality or the flaw of someone who annoys us is what we are trying to repress. So, we are projecting our shadow on other people, as we do with insecurities. There is no guide for shadow working because we are all different, but there are some methods proposed by Carl Jung, the one who also introduced this theory.

First of all, we need to closely observe ourselves in the moments we react. We also need to study those who annoy us. Second of all, we need to start an inner monologue or talking out loud, regarding of the perception that only crazy people are doing so. In order to understand, we need to communicate, this thing applies even to us. Once we identify and perceive what lays in our shadow, we’re starting accepting ourselves, and we start understanding other people, without being blinded. We want to discover the mysteries of the planet, we want to know about everything that’s surrounding us and we want to understand people better. Then, you have to ask you yourself.

So, what is your shadow hiding?

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