Shadow Work – What is it and Should You do it?

We all have a closet, an attic or a basement where we keep stuff for years on end, procrastinating a clean-up, forever more. And what about the storage of our dark secrets, the pain from bad experiences or relationships, the sad feelings, the anger, the hatred, the trauma, where are all of these feelings deposited? Is it time for a clean-up? Let´s talk about Shadow Work – What is it, and if and how you should do it?

The expression “shadow work” comes from Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.  Through Jung's work experience with patients, he discovered that people store their bad experiences or negative emotions in a separate part of the human psyche somewhere in the subconscious.  He called this area the Shadow or the Dark Side and to some it is felt as if it´s a part outside of themselves.

The uncluttering of the Dark Side or the Shadow is called Shadow Work.  

People tend to store unresolved issues in their subconscious mind, years on end because of several reasons which only they know, but it can be as diverse as:  - don´t have time to deal with them, or if they store them well, they are away forever(!)  or even, that part no longer belongs to them – it´s separate; and the one that is the most common – “the less I know the better for me”, or even “ignorance is bliss”!

All of these installed beliefs simulate an “out of sight, out of mind” sense of way of life, until there is a trigger that overblows everything, making it possible for all the anger, hatred, pain and trauma to come back very much alive into the conscious mind.

There is a tendency of playing “key repeat” of these situations until there is a decision to take this serious and do something about it. But one has to be ready!

Until one is ready to take the work to clean up and change, most of the times, it is preferred to drink the pain away, take medication or recreational drugs to numb out the subconscious.

While the conscious mind is numb or entertained, life goes on, passes by.

Are you here to see life pass by you, or are you here to pass by the life you choose to live?

Are you here to be numb, or are you here to be awake?

The more you procrastinate the deeper are the issues that have to be dug up from the shadow storage.

When you are finally ready to do the clean-up job, you go to a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst or a hypnoses therapist. Whatever you feel comfortable with is the best choice for you.

But before you consult a specialist you can start doing the shadow work by yourself in the calmness and comfort of your home, and this article today has the intention of helping you go through it.

I´ve had people tell me: - “I don´t want to go into that part of me, I can´t do it, the less I know the better”!

I´ve had others tell me: - “I can´t do it…maybe others can do it, but I can´t”!

These affirmations have been programmed and installed so well in the subconscious mind, that I know - they can´t do it… they don´t have to repeat it, and I know exactly why: - They are not ready for it. The hardwired beliefs have to be uninstalled first and the mind has to be reprogrammed, but I go back to saying:  anyone can do this, but only if and when they are good and ready.

Moving forward - assuming you are good and ready, what do you have to do?

1 – Make time and space for a one on one talk with yourself in a comfortable position and place.

2 – Meditate for a few minutes and bring awareness of your breath and relax.

3 – Ask yourself what triggers you into anger spouts and outbursts, or whatever “bad feelings” trigger you, like rage, trauma, etc. Ask what energy blocks you have because of those issues, observe them, analyze them, bring the awareness forward and if what you are seeing is painful, you may cry, silently weep or even yell, scream or do whatever is needed to bring that forward and out of the shadow.

4 – Now that you know, forgive! Yes, forgive, forgive yourself and others involved in those issues that were stored in your shadow. Forgive with all the compassion and understanding that no one is perfect and whatever happened, happened; its assumed, understood,  and is now part of your resolved  past experiences.

5 – Past is past, memories good or bad should not hurt, as long as the shadow work is done and its integrated into the whole being. So after the awareness, the forgiveness, integration should be done in a grateful mode. Thanking to be healed and integrated is important. To be grateful for the whole experience is also important.

When this is done, you no longer feel that you have “a storage”, outside of you, full of your dark side issues and that someday you have to clean it up. You are fully integrated with yourself, conscious with subconscious, and whatever the issues were, they are just plain part of your past experiences, not forgotten – but assumed, understood, resolved, forgiven and very much grateful for.

You will no longer feel the need to bypass the pain to avoid facing the truth, because you faced it, you felt it and are now healed.

You will no longer  accumulate issues and store them because you will deal with them on a daily basis.

You will no longer repress feelings or block energies, as bad experiences come your way, because you are no longer triggered. You face them naturally and deal with them in a calm manner.

An emotion is a creation of the mind – the way you create yours is different from anyone else – only you will know how to deal with them, but if you do it in a calm and confident manner, your life will be easier and there will be no accumulation of clutter.

Having self-knowledge is the key to be in control of the whole being – conscious and subconscious integrate in the mind and live harmoniously with the body and spirit, so only you will know if you need or want to do Shadow Work ; I for myself, have done it and feel lighter and brighter since then.

Much Love and Light 

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