Shadow Work

The innate duality of man means that there is a side to us which we keep hidden. A side to us which we have been taught to keep under wraps, a side which we should repress and be ashamed of. A side which is “too intense”, “too sensitive”, “too open”. We figure we’re too much of the wrong thing and not enough of the right thing.

We have been taught to hide these parts of us because those around us have had to set boundaries, perhaps we were conveying these traits in a way which was uncomfortable to them. This is fair enough, we can’t rightly channel our anger towards others for simply telling us that we are making them feel bad. Unfortunately, what we tend to do as a result is resent this hidden part of ourselves and ignore it. We wear masks and run from our demons, and it all comes crashing down.

We keep up an act for so long and then all of a sudden we realise that we aren’t living a life which is true to ourselves, and go crazy. we have emotional breakdowns, we develop life ruining addictions, the parts of us we run from take over and we are left lost in a sea of mess and despair, and the worst part is, most of the time we don’t even know how we got like this. We hate ourselves and we’re not entirely sure how to stop, we desperately want things but feel like we aren’t worthy of them, we’re entirely blocked and hopeless.

Breaking this cycle is far easier than anticipated, provided you do what needs to be done and don’t just sit there like “huh that sounds like me” and just allow it. Do something about it and start living better.

The shadow parts of ourselves which we have labelled “bad” are in fact not bad at all. They’re a part of us, they’re worthy, they don’t lessen us. Embrace that which we do not like. Instead of running from it, ask, how does this set me apart from everybody else? How can I use this for good?
Though it’s scary to be different and break patterns, it’s the only way we are destined to be happy and live in truth. Summoning the courage to simply follow what feels right is a life changing move which will save you from yourself. Instead of hiding your authentic behaviours, modify them in a way which betters them.

Intensity can be channeled into a force to change things. Instead of using your intensity to fight with everyone, be at every event, doing the most all the time, pick your battles, choose to pour your intensity into an outlet.
Sensitivity can be channelled into empathy, connecting with people in a rare way which us humans are so regularly deprived of. Instead of always interacting with people using intense emotional language and behaviours, become mindful of what reaction the situation requires and use your sensitivity where you see fit. Relate to people by understanding their emotions using your sensitivity.
Openness and oversharing can be channelled into stopping people feeling alone, and inspiring people to tear down their walls and start speaking and living authentically. Instead of having every conversation being uncomfortably deep, use your ability to be open where it’s needed.

Every shadow element needs to be embraced and integrated into your being, self acceptance is the only thing which will tame the fire within you which consumes and withers your soul. There is nothing wrong with accepting yourself. It is the state we were supposed to be in. There is nothing to be glorified about being bitterly unhappy. If it’s change you’re seeking, if it’s a better life you’re after- this is where to begin.

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