Have you fallen victim to self-sabotaging patterns? Psychiatrist Carl Jung described “the shadow self” as a place of repressed desires, emotions and impulses hidden from our conscious awareness. To break free of these destructive behaviors, it is essential to confront our shadow. This involves unveiling our unconscious desires so we can recognize, heal and integrate them to promote positive change in our lives.
Our subconscious and unconscious are responsible for a large portion of our behavior. They host some of the deep-seated belief systems that fester beneath the surface, which are normally seeded during our childhood.
Ironically, most people focus on what they are consciously aware of, instead of shining a light on the internal programs that are inspiring our actions and impacting our ability to manifest the life of our dreams. Many people are unaware of what is lurking in our shadow and these forgotten aspects are playing havoc with our reality.
The shadow self or subconscious does not know whether it’s sabotaging us or not but stops us from accessing our authentic power. That’s why it’s so important to bring the shadow self to the surface, to perform the necessary inner work to create a dialogue between you and your “dark side” to create positive change.
Why is it important to Integrate Your Shadow?
- Self-acceptance leads to becoming less judgmental and more accepting of others.
- Owning the shadow side leads to a greater sense of wholeness, balance and inner peace.
- Releasing exhausting repression increases energy and improves health.
- Befriending dark emotions dramatically increases creativity and a sense of freedom.
Here are four powerful ways to own your “dark side” to overcome subconscious blocks and stop self-sabotage so you can set yourself free…
Know you are worthy
The first step in overcoming your shadow self and taking back your life is to acknowledge that you are worthy of good things. When we are feeling low it is easy to continue to feel that way. Humans have an uncanny ability to feel sorry for themselves, and sometimes that is all we want to do and it serves its purpose. But sometimes, that self-pity takes hold of us and makes it very difficult for us to get out of the rut and get back to our normal routines, or even better, our best self.
Observe your feelings
Our negative emotions offer us a window into the shadow. Remember that none of them are actually bad. They help us understand our wounds and fears. When you feel an emotion, take a minute to examine it. Ask yourself what are you feeling and why are you feeling it? Then wait for what arises. Never force answers and jump into conclusion because they might be the wrong ones. Shadow work is considered soul work and it happens on its own timeline. Just be patient and know that in time, the answers will come.
Explore emotions compassionately
Avoid blaming others for the way you are feeling. Whilst it can be difficult to accept why people have hurt you, in order to heal yourself, you must forgive them so that you can let go and move forward in your life. Try to comprehend that they did the best they could do at that time or were simply acting from their own wounds. Also, try not to beat yourself up for having these negative feelings. Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. It’s important to accept our negative emotions and hold no recriminations against yourself for feeling them.
Investigate the shadow
Psychologists use art therapy as a way to help patients explore their inner selves. It is because art is a great way to allow your Shadow to manifest itself. Some alternative methods to express the shadow are through journaling, writing a letter, meditation, feeling and dreaming. You will never heal unless you allow yourself to face the emotion you’re scared of. So explore them, write about them and make art out of them.
The shadow is always motivated by fear. Usually, a fear of not being good enough, not being loved or our dark emotions.
So how do we end the cycle?
Step 1. Identify Your Shadow
Our shadows are located in our subconscious. We buried them there that’s why it’s tricky to identify them. In order to perform shadow work, we need to identify the shadow. The first step is to become aware of the recurrent feelings that you always feel. Identifying these patterns will help highlight the shadow. It is also extremely beneficial to use the Colour Mirrors to help you identify your shadows by simply select a selection of dual-colored oil bottles that represent your blockages. However, some common shadow beliefs are: I am not good enough. I am unloveable. I am flawed. My feelings are not valid. I must take care of everyone around me.
Step 2. Journal Your Shadow Talk
Write down all of your darkest thoughts without a filter to give a voice to your shadow. This will include any fears, difficult emotions you are feeling such as anger, resentment, shame and grief. Keep going until you reach a natural void. Recognize that despite this you are still a good person. Try and send love to your shadows as they are expressed and see if you can ‘feel’ them. Then delete or erase the content by either burning or throwing in the bin. This enables the energy to move through you and out of you which is an extremely liberating sensation.
Step 3. Locate and Feel The Pain In Your Body
Think of an emotion that you have been struggling with recently. Give yourself permission to feel it in your body as much as you can at this moment in time. Locate the emotion in your body to identify where are you holding onto it? How much are you feeling it on a scale of 1 to 10? Try and raise it to a 10. Don’t run away from it, feel it in your body. Breathe deeply into it. Then look behind it like you are looking over a tall wall or behind a door. Observe what emotion sits just behind that anger, sadness, shame…Breathe into that as much as you can. Observe any memories that arise and remember them for step 4. Look behind that emotion and once again locate where you are feeling it in your body. Feel it as much as you can. Look beyond it again. Locate and breathe into it…Keep going with this process until you feel a deep sense of release. love, joy or inner peace arise from within you. It may take several layers. Just keep going with it. Then when you feel the relief in your body, wash it up through the different layers of dark emotion and ask yourself, if it had a voice what would it say to that anger, pain, resentment, etc? See what comes up for you.
Step 4. Visit Your Wounded Inner Child
Our childhood traumas can be caused by the way we were parented or other people who hurt us. It can result in deep wounds that can create behavioral and emotional patterns that create our personality. Most of the time, our childhood wounds are the most painful. They haunt us and tell us we’re not worthy of love, or that our feelings are wrong, or that we have to take care of everything because nobody was around to take care of us. Nurturing your inner child involves traveling back in time to when you were hurt and give yourself love. You can do this by:
- Create a pleasant scene using your imagination that will offer a nurturing and protective space for you to chat with your inner child. This may be a crystal lagoon or a bonfire in a clearing in the forest. It’s up to you. Then imagine yourself in the environment as you are now and as you were then.
- Revisit the memory you discovered in step 3. This is likely to be a time in your life when you felt most vulnerable.
It can be a scene where you got hurt or felt betrayed or abused in some way. Hold that image of yourself in your mind. Ask yourself if there is anything that you would like to say to this younger aspect of yourself. Stay aware, taking in any messages that arise during that time. Keep the dialogue going backward and forwards between the two versions of you until everything has been said.\
Give the younger you compassion. While reliving the moment, give love to your younger self. Tell yourself, “I love you and I’m here for you. It will be okay, it’s not your fault and you did nothing to deserve this.” You can also give a hug to your younger self, visualizing your hearts merging back together again in soft pink light.
Step 5. Visit Your Future Self
After completing the above steps, take a leisurely stroll down your timeline in various increments and state how you are feeling and what you are doing in one day, one week, one month, three months, six months, one year and five years. It is a great way to project a positive avatar onto your future self, paving the way for this energetic integration to occur with ease and grace.
Step 6. Bathe In Your Colour Mirrors
Finally, intuitively select which of the Colour Mirrors you selected feels right and then set time aside to do the releasing of the emotion or trauma from your cellular memory by bathing in the contents of the bottle.
You may find it easier to get a professional Colour Mirrors Practitioner to help facilitate this process for you. Remember, to experience yourself as complete and lovable, you need to own up to your emotions. Remember that your shadows thrive in secret but they are an aspect of who you are. be brave and bring the hidden parts of yourself to light and bathe them in self-love and acceptance. Sometimes, the process hurts but it will make you a better person. Keep in mind that when it comes down to getting what you want, you have to not only confront your inner darkness but embrace it.
Leave a few comments below to let me know how you get on…