Everyone has light and dark within them. We all have the part of us that exists on the surface, that we show to the world, but it cannot exist without the part that we keep hidden — the shadow self.
Psychiatrist Carl Jung theorized that there are two parts to our personalities. There is the persona, our conscious self, which exemplifies who we want to be and how we want others to see us. Then, there is the shadow self. Existing within our subconscious, we may not even be aware this part of us exists. Yet, the shadow self is where the hidden parts of ourselves live. From a very young age, we learn what aspects of our personality we can share and what we must hide away. Our shadow self contains all those things we’ve repressed — emotions, instincts, impulses, desires, fears.
The idea of a shadow self may seem sinister, like some bottled-up evil is supressed deep inside every one of us, but that’s not the case. While the idea of a shadow may seem dark, the existence of the shadow self is negative.
We live in a society that tries to teach us how we should be. Over time, we modify our personalities to keep up with the cultural norms. A child who is overly energetic and talkative at school is told to be quiet and labelled a distraction. By adulthood, there’s a good chance they may have pushed away their boisterous tendencies in order to shake the label and fit in better. But their natural way of being doesn’t disappear, it just becomes part of the shadow self.
When we continue to repress who we are meant to be and deny our shadow self, we create a disharmony within us. The conflict between persona and shadow self can lead us to lash out at others, harm ourselves, feel uncomfortable in our skin and experience isolation. Only when we accept and seek to understand all parts of ourselves can we truly accept ourselves and find contentment.
Exploring your shadow self is known as shadow work. It takes effort to dig deep and locate the parts of you that were buried long ago. You must get in touch with your subconscious and let your true emotions, desires and ideas flow to the surface of your mind. Recognize them and learn to understand them. Integrate these parts of you into your life in a healthy, constructive way. The shadow self is connected to our creative abilities so expressing yourself in things like writing, art or music can help you explore, understand and heal your shadow self.
Only through this exploration and conversation with your darker side can you truly be yourself. It’s time to accept the shadowy parts of you, but it isn’t easy. If you’re struggling to get in touch with your shadow self, a Zodiac Psychic can help. The right spiritual advisors can see the unconscious side of you that you’re looking for and help you on the path to peace and healing.