is the “shadow?”

The shadow is that “ugly self” which we don’t want to be. The shadow is the hidden part of us that plays saboteur. It’s usually that aspect that we do not wish to see, that part of us that prevents us from fulfilling our dreams. Carl Jung named this the “shadow” as it is the part we wish to hide and deny. It’s the part that is deemed shameful, as we subconsciously fear rejection from family, friends and society if we reveal this hidden dark side.

It is this rejection that gives power to that which we reject – that which we disown, owns us.

Just like we give power to an enemy by making it our enemy. Or, we feed something by pouring our energy into hating it.

What we deny in ourselves, won’t let us be, won’t let us live freely. To set ourselves free, the shadow side must be integrated.

A spiritual life is founded on immanent integrity of desire and naked self-revelation. Jung taught that accepting our shadow selves was a gateway into wholeness.“To do this, we are obliged to struggle with evil, confront the shadow, to integrate the devil. There is no other choice.” (via Debbie Ford in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers)

Most of us have deep-seated fears and doubts related to ability to be okay, how lovable we are to ourselves and to others, how deserving and worthy we really are behind the identities we create and carry for ourselves, and behind the mask.

We believe that this hidden side would be rejected by others. We hide it deeply because we deem it unlovable even to ourselves. We don’t want to see this side, because we fear ourselves.

The path of transformation usually involves undergoing a rite of passage or initiation. The hero’s journey is always to face a great obstacle, a foe that makes us weak at the knees. In this battle, our “weakness” becomes our greatest strength, or at least we learn to accept it.

How we see the world reflects how we see ourselves; how we see ourselves reflects how we see the world. In discovering ourselves, ultimately we discover that our nemesis was always within. We were our greatest judge, persecutor and adversary. Our path to liberation lies in not only accepting this hidden rejected side, but also embracing it.

On authenticity, Jung said –“I’d rather be whole than good.

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna pronounces, “We cannot be anyone we want to be. We can only authentically be who we are.”

If we experience our wholeness, if we reveal all that we are, then we are the owners, we are the power and we have the responsibility.

This is the realm for magic, for dreaming the world we wish to have.


Photo Credits: Via Justin Swindle/ Flickr:
No Copyright Infringement Intended.

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David G Arenson, Australia’s Leading Soul-Coach – Spiritual Teacher, Naturopath, Energy Healer

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