So often, especially for sensitive people, our personal shadow side is difficult to acknowledge. It’s as if acknowledging the shadow will somehow negate the good we’re doing in the world. Or perhaps the sheer presence of a shadow means we haven’t done enough ‘work’ on ourselves. Or that we’re not spiritual enough. Or, worse, that there’s something permanently wrong with us.
Yes. Our shadows are tough to explore. They’re designed to be tough. Tough enough to keep us away from those unwanted parts of ourselves, banished so long ago. Sometimes we don’t even know they’re there.
The problem with shadows, though, is that they never truly stay hidden. They creep into our behavior, our reactions, our moods, and our personalities. Sometimes they scream at us. And they always push us out of alignment. They will continue to push us out of alignment, until we begin to take notice. Until we embrace them. Simply put, until we befriend our shadows, we will never be able to find true fulfillment.
If you’re new to shadow work, here is a brief description of a few common types of shadows.
3 common types of shadows:
Dark Shadows: These include mistakes, wrong-doings, and traumatic events. This is where we harbor shame. We typically spend inordinate amounts of energy trying to hide, deny and avoid these dark shadows. Neglected, they can lead to all sorts of negative, and even harmful, behavior towards ourselves and others.
Unacknowledged Gifts: Here we find our natural strengths and talents which have been pushed into the shadows. This usually happens during youth, as a result of some form of rejection. They can get triggered by someone else’s success, along with resentment, anger, or jealousy. These shadows can lead to all sorts of self sabotage from unfulfilling jobs, to procrastination, to overall stagnation.
Light Shadows: These shadows can stem from an inner belief that we’re not good, lovable, or valuable enough. Often these shadows include an unresolved need to be loved, or validated. They can lead to overly-friendly, overly-giving, and overly-responsible behaviors.
An effective way of approaching any of our shadows is with forgiveness, compassion, and love. Woven into our shadows are layers of pain and suffering, yearning to be healed. EFT Tapping, meditation, therapy, journaling, prayer, and deep self-care routines, are all helpful methods to assist you as you work with your shadows.
Remember, shadow work takes consistency, patience, compassion, love, and help from others. It’s worth it. It’s an experience that will truly transform your life.
Reach out to me if you’d like to learn how to use EFT Tapping to work with your shadows.