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What is shadow healing?

When you are on your healing journey it can get overwhelming with how many paths you can take. There is inner child healing, chakra healing, forgiveness work, mirror work, shadow healing, and more. I thought I would help you understand more about shadow healing today and provide you with some questions to reflect on.

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality. You cannot become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspect of your personality as present and real. This is an essential condition for self-knowledge, and it is often met with considerable resistance. Who wants to admit that they have less-than-ideal qualities?! These shadows are repressed elements of the personality that we choose not to be identified with. We suppress or reject these aspects of ourselves but they are always following us around like a shadow.

Shadows lurk in the deep recesses of the psyche. They are buried in the heart, in the mind; they are part of us. They follow us, they frighten us, and they come to us in different ways, but they always appear somewhere. The shadow is not a mere concept or a matter of perception. It is very real.

Just as there is light, there is also darkness. It is not possible to deny the shadow element. It is usually the worst side of a person. The courageous person may have a cowardly shadow. The kind, gentle and caring person may have a cruel side hiding behind all that softness. Even among the most benevolent, the most respected personalities and leaders in every field or endeavor, part of their shadow element peeks through their eloquence. Do they really know themselves, or have they denied their shadow element? They may find their views, their words, and their actions in conflict. This is not intentional and the internal shadow conflicts they fail to deal with come to the surface at the worst moments.

I think we have all heard stories about at least one married republican politician that is against gay rights getting caught in a gay sex scandal. Actually, when I googled to look for an example of this I found a list of 20 different republican politicians that have been brought down by this. This is what happens when we repress our shadow side. Our words and actions are not in alignment, there is an incongruency in our inner and outer worlds.

Is it possible to ignore or avoid the shadow? When we are at the lowest point in our lives, shadows haunt us. It is that part of ourselves that we leave in the closet as we face the public and put our best foot forward. Hide them, deny them, suppress them, they will not vanish. Our actions may end up attracting these shadows into our lives in other ways.

Shadows come in many forms. They can come as temptations, obsessions, addictions, co-dependency, and other forms of indulgence. Shadows appear in the darkness cloaked in fear; shaking us at our core. Shadows can also be shown as projections. It can be a dislike of certain traits in people, unjustified and unexplainable. We don't like what we see, but more likely than not, it mirrors parts of us that we choose to ignore or may not even be aware of. I'm sure you are familiar with the phrase "It takes one to know one." Well, where is that judgment coming from within you?

On the healing journey, we learn it is not wise to deny the shadow element. It is better to confront it, deal with it and work through the conflicts it creates. Each person has their personal demons to deal with and to face, otherwise, it follows us in less conscious ways. There are lessons from the shadow element. To become aware of it, we need to go deeper into ourselves. We can take the good, work with the bad, see the light, and let the fears and insecurities buried deep within come to the surface. Confront the anger seething under the skin.

Here are some journal prompts to help you begin your shadow work:

In regards to the last question, if someone is a murderer, then you may have a hard time finding a relatable quality but break down their actions until you do find something you have in common. They may have been impulsive, unable to control their emotions, cold-hearted, severely depressed, felt alone in the world, etc.

If you take the time to reflect on these questions and allow yourself to be vulnerable and answer honestly, you will begin to understand your own shadows much better.

We are not perfect. No matter how many dark clouds hover above us, no matter how long the dark night is, the light will surely come. These dark nights offer a chance to enrich and nourish our spirit, our soul, and our lives. It helps us to align ourselves with our highest purpose. By striving for greater balance, endurance and perspective, we generate more personal power and strength. We are able to heal on an entirely different level.



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