Gazing at the Shadow

The deeper you go into understanding who you are, the more you are likely to encounter “the shadow.” The idea of a shadow sounds predictably ominous, as it evokes a dark, mysterious, possibly dangerous entity. Well…that’s only part of the story. Dark…not necessarily. Dangerous…not necessarily, and more often, not likely. But, mysterious? Yes, that’s the part people get right.

The shadow is exactly that, the parts of us that we can’t readily see. The parts of us that we relegate to the deeper recesses of our psyche, where we don’t have to face it and we don’t have to look at it; hidden away from the light of day.

The truth is, that is exactly the part of us we need to find and look at, to understand and embrace, in order to be whole. In its most generalized sense, that is the individuation process. What are the hidden thoughts, desires, fears, and more that we carry? How did they first arise, and what beliefs are they creating, as we interact with the world? And, if they prove to be too scary to face, are we projecting them onto others? Creating a “villain” who we can throw all of our anger, fear, and hatred towards. This “villain” or “problem” is our way of denying our own shadow. It’s easier. It feels satisfying in the moment. But, will it lead to you being whole? Will you constantly be creating those villains and problems in aspects of your life, constantly fighting battles to survive?

Ancient mythology and fairy tales are rife with villains, monsters, and life-threatening obstacles. But the same functions of the human psyche that created these ancient stories are alive and operating in our world today. Who do you see as your nemesis? Who are the “monsters?” What are the obstacles you face that you fear you’ll never overcome?

What if you could see that these were only stories? And that the clarity you seek, and the joy you hope for, is accessible…if only…you were willing to gaze at your shadow and embrace those stories. Embrace the archetypal villains. Embrace your constructed beliefs. Embrace yourself.

If you would like to explore your stories more deeply, reach out on my website and schedule a complimentary 15-minute check-in to see if this work is right for you:

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