Do you know your Shadow Self?: How to Understand and Heal All of Ourselves
What's the worst thing you have ever done? What the worst thing you ever thought about doing? What's the one thing about yourself that you'd never want to admit to anyone? Our "Dark Side" if you will. Wanna know where it comes from? You might already know or have an idea. It's been following you around your whole life. That's right, Your Shadow Self!! But, what is a Shadow Self? Do you remember Peter Pan and his Shadow?
We were all born with a Shadow Self. IT is and always will be a part of us. Now, at first I know the idea of having a Shadow Self may sound strange or even scary. It is exactly what it sounds like. The "Worst" or "Dark" version of Ourselves. The part that carries and drives all of your insecurities, negative thoughts and behaviors, hidden sexual fantasies or any other parts of Ourselves that we may feel some shame or guilt about. They are the thoughts, desires, fantasies, and behaviors that We All try to hide from others and deny within Ourselves. We tell Ourselves we shouldn't have these things in us. We say "that's not Me!!!!" But, how would you feel if someone really close to you pretended you didn't exist? Seriously, if a significant person in your life completely ignored your presence, comments, input, etc., how would you feel or react? You may feel anger or sadness perhaps. And that is normal and okay. Now imagine that person was attached to you at the hip, literally. You'd probably figure out some ways to make sure they acknowledge your existence after awhile. Well, that is exactly what your Shadow Self does. Unfortunately, it often times manifests itself in unhealthy ways when we are unaware of or ignoring our Shadow Self. But, it does NOT have to be that way! Included below are a few great sites and youtube videos to help you to begin to understand Our Shadow Self, Working With It, and Healing It! But, don't stop here!!! You are in control!!! Find and Read more articles and books, engage in workshops or communities where you can ask about the Shadow Self, find more youtube videos and channels devoted to it, or Simply Continue to Follow This Blog!!
Articles and Quiz:
Many believe or think of Enlightenment as this state of Eternal Bliss and Happiness by Understanding we are ALL connected to ALL things. Being Only of LIGHT and LOVE, some say. However, being connected to ALL means being connected to the Darkness and/or Shadows as well. Ultimately meaning we intimately know the DARKNESS and HATE Within just as well as we know LIGHT and LOVE Within us. When we commit, witness or experience negative things in some way, we learn from it. We have the opportunity to change in both negative and positive ways. As both the individual and as a society. For example, we are inspired by stories of the survivors of war, abuse, and violence and we strive to emulate their courage and resilience. We cheer for these people and their triumphs over "Evil". Yet, we are also equally fascinated with the stories about the people committing the "Evil" acts. We have grown used to this experience, this desire for negativity and evil to be a part of Ourselves and the World. We all have this inner Dark Side. Trying to pretend we don't have these parts of Ourselves can be dangerous or at the very least life-complicating. When we try to ignore or repress Our Shadow Self we are only denying parts of Ourself and of the World. These Dark parts of Ourself and the World deserve the same attention and love as the parts we prefer and enjoy. The SECERT to UNLOCKING the path to Loving and Healing our Shadow Self is remembering or realizing it was created by our Inner Child or Inner Self as a way to Inspire, Protect, and Teach Us!
Fear is a natural experience for most people. Sweaty palms, racing heart, feeling tensed up, jaw and fists clenched, adrenalin pumping, etc... FIGHT OR FLIGHT!!! We have all been there at some point in our life. This is a healthy and natural response to present dangers. We can benefit greatly having this innate response. Sometimes the Triggers for these experiences are obvious and/or merited. Like being physically, emotionally, or mentally abused or threatened, or getting into an accident, or any kind of real impending "doom and gloom" situation. However, sometimes we can feel like this for seemly little or no reason at all. Even when the issues we may be faced with are something relatively small and insignificant. Like, getting into an argument with a loved one, needing to pay a bill, or simply sitting in your own silence throughout the day. Thoughts, regrets, and worries of the past or future, self pity, feelings of being lost, etc... We all have these moments from time to time. Again, these moments are natural!!! They can be intense for some people. However, if we let them, these "Doom and Gloom" moments in life can be rather Enlightening. Furthermore, these moments provide opportunities to acknowledge, understand, and heal Our Shadow Self. Many of us have tendencies to associate Darkness, Negativity, and/or Our Shadow Self as something to avoid or destroy at all costs. However, we forget that Our Fears, Hatred, and Darkness comes from Within. As does, Our Hope, Love, and Light. In fact, the modern day perceptions of Light and Dark, Good and Evil can be misguiding to say the least.
It may be difficult to accept at first for some but, there only Is or Is Not, Do or Do Not. The distinction between Good and Evil is subjective. This alludes to the idea that Our Negativity and Darkness is a part of us individually and collectively. These Shadows are a result of Our Experiences and Observations of Individual and Collective Traumas. Traumas however, is another term people often misunderstand. Yes traumas can be severe and easily identified. They can also be minuet and more difficult to identify. Yet, still act as powerful hidden motivators in Our Life and World. For instance, holding on to a memory from your childhood about being made fun for a now outgrown physical feature can have long lasting negative effects on us. The Traumas we all carry and their effects can vary from person to person, and situation to situation. Maybe it's not something we consciously think about. Maybe we can't ever seem to get it off Our mind. Either way that "Negative" version of Ourself, Our Story, and Our World that we create Within, is the Shadow Self and Shadow Reality, and Shadow World. However, when examining the source and/or origin of these Shadows, it becomes easy to see they are as a result of all the Pain, Shame, Guilt, Humiliation, Doubt, and other Negativity found in Our Experiences and Observation of Ourselves and the World. Which it is save to assume, we ALL want to Heal and Be Free of these Shadows. This is possible! However, the first thing you must accept is that you will always have a Shadow Self. The Darkness and Negativity you tell yourself isn't there, IS and Always Will be. But, that's OKAY!!!! You want it there. I often think of the Native American Cherokee Proverb about the Two Wolves. A grandson tell his grandfather, "There is a battle within me". The grandfather replies, "Within all of us is Two Wolves. A White Wolf ("Good") and A Dark Wolf ("Evil"). They are War with One another". The grandson asks, "Which One will win?". To which the grandfather replies, "Which ever One you feed". Now, many see the meaning of this story as, we should starve the Dark Wolf and hope it dies. But, we have TWO WOLVES Within us!!! I don't know about you, but I want Two Wolves and I want both to be strong, healthy and loved!!! Which is why I suggest we learn to Embrace, Love, and Heal ALL of Ourselves, including Our Shadow Self.
This concept of having a Shadow Self has been expressed countless times in various forms of media. You can see some modern versions of this Shadow Self concept above. Whether it is represented as a Nega Version of Ourselves or the classic Angel and Devil on Our shoulders, these visual representation help illustrate and explain the basic concept, purpose, and meaning of our Shadow Self. Some of these interpretations of the Shadow Self lead to similar conclusions or climaxes. In which, the Two side battle. (Like the Two Wolves) Yet, neither one is Wins or is Defended. Rather, the Two Side realize the demise of one results in the demise of the Whole. At times we feel at war with Ourselves and the World. Within us All is both the Light and Dark Versions of Ourself. To put it another way, We have the capacity for Great Good and Great Evil Within Us ALL! True Peace and Happiness comes from embracing and balancing the needs of both versions of Ourselves. This can be difficult to understand and achieve. As we can see in the last image in the collage above, the Shadow Self appears larger and behind the Light Self. This is because Fear is a much Stronger Emotional Motivator than Hope. Furthermore, Fear is also Great at Hiding Itself and remaining behind Us. Think about it for a second. Think about all the countless times Fear has caused a reaction in Our life's and in the world. We are kinda Scary and Dangerous. Our World is kinda Scary and Dangerous. Is that really unexpected? I mean isn't it the overcoming of Fear and Danger that makes All stories and adventures really inspiring or motivating. Fear is meant to not only protect Us from Danger, but to also Inspire US TO HOPE!! Going back to the last image in the collage above, notice the eyes? The Shadow Self Sees Hope and Fears Being Hurt by it! The Light Self See Fear and Hopes to Heal it. We Hope for Better Times, Good Things, Love, Freedom, Acceptance, Abundance, and Everything we deem positive because we know what it feels like or fear what it may feel like to not have any of those things. We Fear because We KNOW All Good Things Must Come To An END!!!!
I understand when we see or hear the word END and think it means the story is over. Whatever the Story is, End means over. Especially when that story is about Ourselves. Our habits, friendships, marriages, careers, jobs, goals, or any aspect of Ourselves and Our Life. We Fear the END means who or what we are/have as a "Person" is no longer going to exist once we reach the END. We have forgotten, we are NOT Human Beings seeking and having spiritual experiences. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS HAVING HUMAN EXPERIENCES. There are no Ends or Beginnings. We have and always will exist as we are. While, simultaneously as everything, nothing, and anything we can and can't imagine is also happening. IT(US) is all happening NOW(ALWAYS & FOREVER)!!! The magic secret is, we wanted to forget this about Ourselves and BE in "this" Moment RIGHT NOW!!! Think of it as the Greatest Most Complex RPG or Simulation to ever be Played. We are the Player, the Control, the Console, the Game, and the Screen ITself. We are on the Quest of Self Discovery and Development on both an Individual and Collective level. We ARE the Creator of All Existence pretending to be mere drops of water in an ocean. Ignoring the fact, WE ARE THE WHOLE OCEAN!!! We as the Creator are Challenging Ourself to become "More". More Complete, More Whole, More Pure, More Everything..... Which means the ways and places we can find the answers we are seeking about who and what we truly are ENDLESS......
I recommend everyone read the Bhagavad Gita at least once in their life. Without giving away anything from it, I will ask few questions. Questions that I found the answers to within the Bhagavad Gita. However, it is not the only source I have personally found the same answers to within my life journey.
What is Our Purpose in Life?
How Can We Find IT?
How Do We Know When We Found IT?
What Does IT Mean to Have A Purpose?
What Stops Us From Achieving Our Purpose as Individuals and as a Society?
Here are some links to summaries of the Bhagavad Gita. You never know, maybe this is the first step you take to a New Understanding of Life, Good and Evil, Love and Hate, and Purpose.
Quick Summary: https://www.gradesaver.com/bhagavad-gita/study-guide/summary
In Depth Summary:https://www.litcharts.com/lit/the-bhagavad-gita
DON'T STOP THERE!!!!! AGAIN, I AM NOT CLAIMING THAT THE BHAGAVAD GITA IS THE ONLY SOURCE TO FIND THESE ANSWERS!! SIMPLY ONE OF THE SOURCES I FOUND THEM IN, THAT I TO THIS DAY HAVE A STRONG CONNECTION TO. IN FACT, THESE FORGOTTEN TRUTHS ARE HIDDEN WITHIN ALL RELIGIONS, ART, AND MANY OTHER FORMS OF "HUMAN" EXPRESSION! WHERE EVER YOU FIND THE ANSWERS TO THOSE QUESTIONS, IS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU TO FIND THOSE ANSWERS!!
In the End one of the things holding many of Us back is the relationship We have with Our Shadow Self. The Darkness inside All of Us is not going to go away. We can however Learn the process of Transmutation, in relation to our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences. Learning to work with our Shadow Self allows us to Transmute our "negative" Energies into "positive" Energies. That way they no longer result in seemingly "negative" effects in Our life and Our world. The KEY to all things in life is Balance. What We Fear as the individual along with what We Fear as a society comes from the exact same source as ALL of Our Greatest Hopes. Ultimately, Our ability to Know what Love and Fear is, comes from WITHIN!! However, often times our Shadows (Fears) seem to be much larger or seemingly more real to us than our Light (Hopes). This is a perception of Ourselves that is out of alignment with Our True Nature and Being. We have evolved in a manufactured society built upon Fear being used as a Tool to Sell, Convince, and Control. As a result, more and more people are reporting feeling disconnected from the world and other people. Loneliness is one of the Most Common Feelings People have Reported having. Here are some links to reports about the various people experiencing loneliness.
We, Ourselves are the Ones that have allowed Ourselves to be Sold, Convinced, and Controlled by Fear. We have learned many lesson from it and garnered several experiences from it. Perhaps it is time we start to Transmute these "negative" experience and observations into "positive" ones. My path to being at One with my Shadow Self and Fears was not by eliminating it or avoiding it. Instead, I face them, embrace them, and heal them with Love and Understanding. I accomplish this through mediation, rituals, life alterations, and many other techniques found online. By understanding our Shadow Self, where/why it (you) feels the ways, thinks the ways, and acts the ways, it (you) does; we are able to gain the ability to better shape Ourselves, Our Life, and Our World in healthier ways. By healing Ourselves and freeing Ourselves of Our own individual Fears, we are then one step closer to being able to Help the Rest of the World Heal from Our Collective Fears(Shadows). Essentially, once we are able to Freely connect and disconnect from our Shadow Self through learning to be at Peace and One with All aspects of Ourselves, we allow the Shadow Self to Work for Us, and for the Light, instead of against Us creating more Darkness.
I hope this as been informative and enlightening for those seeking to be more at Peace with themselves. I again want to reiterate, DO NOT STOP HERE, KEEP RESEARCHING THE SHADOW SELF OR ANY OTHER CONCEPTS YOU FEEL DRAWN TO! No one person has All the answers. Yet, together we can and will have All the Answers to our challenges and things we call "problems". Follow facebook page The Awakening Academy to Learn more about the Shadow Self, Healing, and many other ways to Find OneSelf. Also check out our Services as well!! Namaste! Peace Be With You, You Are Within, and You Are Loved!!! Heal Yourself, Heal the World!