The act of creation can be intensely frustrating and can give birth to some of your darker elements such as impatience, anger, blood-thirsty competitiveness, and self-doubt. At the same time, starting a project also allows you to experience feelings of fulfillment and joy. Using self-awareness and self-exploration during the process of creation, you will be able to reap deeper insights into your darkness. You will likely be surprised by what you find! For example, as a person who considers myself non-competitive, that assumption has been challenged by the act of writing this blog.
Thanks to this project, the Shadow within me of ruthless competitiveness has shown its face, allowing me to understand myself more deeply. Reading through your dark thoughts and emotions can help you to recover the balance you need in life by accepting both light and dark emotions within you. These archetypes are sometimes defined as:.
Here are my thirteen classifications which are based on my own self-observations and analysis of others:. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: arrogance, egocentricity, pompousness, inconsiderateness, self-indulgence, narcissism, excessive pride. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: paranoia, obsessiveness, suspiciousness, finicky, demanding, compulsive behavior.
This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: secretive, impulsive, frivolous, irresponsible, deceitful, unreliable. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: moody, melodramatic, weepy, overemotional, impulsive, changeable. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: suspicious, jealous, possessive, bossy, obsessive. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: negative, overcritical, patronizing, resentful, cantankerous. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: ruthless, vengeful, bitchy, quick-tempered, quarrelsome.
This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: uptight, intolerant, obstinate, uncompromising, inflexible, narrow-minded. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: superficial, cunning, inconsistent, sly, crafty. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: emotionally detached, distant, indifferent, uncaring, unexcited. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: masochistic, lewd, sadistic, vulgar, libidinous.
This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: weak-willed, passive, timid, fearful. This Shadow Archetype displays the following characteristics: puerile, childish, illogical, simpleminded, vacuous. Keep in mind that the above Shadow Archetypes are by no means exhaustive. But you are free to use this breakdown to help you explore your own Shadows. I understand if you might feel a twinge of skepticism towards this practice right now.
One easy way to practice inner dialogue is to sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, and tune into the present moment. Then, think of a question you would like to ask your Shadow, and silently speak it within your mind. Record anything that arises and reflect on it. It is even possible to carry on a conversation with your Shadow using this method. Just ensure that you have an open mindset. You will likely be surprised by the answers you receive!
Visualization is another helpful way of engaging in inner dialogue. I recommend bringing to mind images of dark forests, caves, holes in the ground, or the ocean as these all represent the unconscious mind. Always ensure that you enter and exit your visualization in the same manner, e. Or if you open a particular door, make sure you open the same door when returning back to normal consciousness.
This practice will help to draw you effortlessly in and out of visualizations. As we have learned, projection is a technique of the Shadow that helps us to avoid what we have disowned. For example, a person may be attracted to another who displays fierce self-assertiveness, not realizing that this quality is what they long to reunite with inside themselves.
Another common example this time negative is judgmentalism. The Mirror Technique is the process of uncovering our projections. To practice this technique, we must adopt a mindful and honest approach towards the world: we need to be prepared to own that which we have disowned! Being radically truthful with ourselves can be difficult, so it does require practice. But essentially, we must adopt the mindset that other people are our mirrors.
We must understand that those around us serve as the perfect canvas onto which we project all of our unconscious desires and fears. Start this practice by examining your thoughts and feelings about those you come in contact with. Or we might project our jealousy onto another who genuinely is jealous. Also look for things you love and adore about others, and uncover the hidden projections there. The Mirror Technique will help you to shed a lot of light onto Shadow qualities that you have rejected , suppressed, repressed, or disowned.
On a side note, you might also like to read about a similar practice called mirror work which helps you to come face-to-face with your own denied aspects. As passionate proponents of Shadow Work, we have created a free Shadow Self test on this website for you to take. No person is exempt. If you are looking for some serious, authentic and long-lived healing in your life, Shadow Work is the perfect way to experience profound inner transformation.
If we face up to our dark side, our life can be energized. If not, there is the devil to pay. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. Who has not at one time or another felt a sourness, wrath, selfishness, envy and pride, which he could not tell what to do with, or how to bear, rising up in him without his consent, casting a blackness over all his thoughts … It is exceeding good and beneficial to us to discover this dark, disordered fire of our soul; because when rightly known and rightly dealt with, it can as well be made the foundation of heaven as it is of hell.
Aletheia Luna is an influential psychospiritual writer whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people worldwide. After escaping the religious sect she was raised in, Luna experienced a profound existential crisis that led to her spiritual awakening. As a spiritual counselor and author, Luna's mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and find joy, empowerment, and liberation in any circumstance. We spend hundreds of hours every month writing, editing and managing this website. If you have found any comfort, support or guidance in our work, please consider donating:.
We would love to hear from you:. To customize your avatar, you can upload an image to gravatar. Receive our latest posts in your inbox! There are quite a lot of things I was unaware of until actually taking the time to read this in depth and pay attention. This was certainly not an easy read for me the first few times and I have tried to deny it until I realized something must change for the better.
Have learned a lot from you guys. Been not working this past week but will donate soon when I get back to work. Am coming out of my dark night phase and you two got me through. I am most thankful for your insight. Sincerest regards Tighe. I have known my shadow for almost half a year now without knowing what it was!
I just thought my shadow was a soul connection in which in my past life, I made a promise with my shadow and now I have to pay the debt. But either way, I still have lots of fun with my shadow! His name is Timber, a lone wolf that walks dreams. Sometimes I ask him about myself, once I asked what is my life goal? He said for my dreams to come true and for me to design a whole universe!
Of course I have a daydream world which has now become my project , but I never thought that I could make a whole universe! After some thought and research, I realized that by writing, I could express my shadow in his own universe! Now my life goal is set to making DragonTree, that universe come true. Thank you finally someone shine the light on these so called forbidden subjects; rape, molestation, homicide, torture. Yeah in my earlier days, I experienced them often, I believe I am a Crystal starseed which I found recently.
I came from a difficult childhood and with a fairly large shadow self.
I am grateful that there is an article on this, otherwise if I keep repressing it, it will get bigger and like you said, Explode. Again, thank you for being a light in my path, Fellow Wolves. Best ones, Wen X. Thank you so much for writing this. I spent most of my life socially isolated. Indeed all of my 20s were basically devoid of any kind of close social contact.
I never gave much direct thought to this despite being extremely aware of my depression and anxiety which eventually led to substance abuse. These at times often accompanied with misogynis thoughts despite my professed views been downright feminist in nature. The freudian analyst in me would also say there is likely repressed resentment at work here towards my mother who has always been a controlling influence in my life.
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How does one go about exploring their sexuality and need for intimacy in their late 30s with this chaos in their head. Especially with zero experience with intimacy at this late age. I would like to think I would never act on the darker thoughts in my head as they represent the polar opposite of everything I stand for.
Probably along with childhood wounds getting mixed into the baggage of it all. I see a therapist luckily. It is disheartening to discover this work surfacing after making such good progress in the years before. Hi there Smilax.
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Today, thankfully, I have the time. You are making the unconscious conscious through your inner work and therapy.
One of the best ways to work through these thoughts is through artistic self-expression. You may also like to journal about them or even dialogue with these parts of you. This is an important distinction to make. You possess them, but they are not you. Often darker sexual thoughts mask repressed emotions that seek to be expressed such as rage, grief, jealousy, etc.
So my advice is to creatively express and release these thoughts, and if you want further therapeutic help, try a Jungian analyst. Also thank you to Smilax for your post. Helped me feel more normal.
It has all the answers I was looking for on how to start this journey. So thank you for that. By playing the guitar and singing, I found that I had previously pushed certain voice frequencies of my own voice back into my unconscious as if to silence them.
I raised those frequencies up and let them each sing on their own so that they could let go of the strong energy they had built up. I think the most powerful outpouring of energy was when this angry, raw, child-like voice was released. I was yelling lyrics to even lovely songs very vitriolically, and yet it was so satisfying and felt so right. So much anger was released, and as I continued of the next few days, the voice relaxed. It transformed into not so much anger, and much more pure, raw, emotional truth.
This article definitely helped me along the way. It felt like I was getting a really bad migraine. But the second I opened my eyes it was all gone. Sounds like your shadow was manifesting physically, Rylee. That is totally normal. But after reading this article I was filled with a crazy desire to celebrate my shadow side by dancing around a fire at night, and to actually become my shadow self.. It scares me but also thrills me… Is this normal? I also found that the idea of projecting onto reality actually added mental fuel to my shadow side — for example, I get jealous and competitive with a particular girl, and I suspect that she is in reality quite competitive, so in this situation I am probably projecting onto reality, and whilst reading the article I got the urge to dive in to those competitive feelings and actively be more competitive.
At this point would I be aiming to observe these feelings with compassion and understanding without acting them out, directing that energy elsewhere or conserving that energy for what is truly nurturing to myself? Thank you for this guide and for your website, I stumbled across it in perfect time. If you want to safely step into the shadow self role, I recommend different forms of therapy like psychodrama or Gestalt therapy that are under the guidance of a trained professional.
With the competitive feelings you have, it depends on the context. Competition is useful obviously in the realm of sport, job hunting, etc. So you need to see whether this feeling will be used constructively or destructively. This article of psycho-spirituality might help. We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
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