Healing the shadow self is the key to deep transformation and complete self-integration. Each and every one of us has a past, each one of us has a story to tell and a shadow to examine. But first, what is the shadow?
The shadow is a part of our internal self which has stunted at a point in time, fractioned off in an experience paralyzed with unprocessed emotions and limiting beliefs. The shadow is that younger self inside us, the inner child, who was hurt by an event, circumstance, or person. He or she learned something from that experience as a way to cope, which we often find in our present day self, is out of sync with who we have become. This dichotomy within us becomes an emotional and mental war between the present and past self. This past shadow self often is the culprit to our present day self-sabotaging behavior, acting in congruency with what it learned, felt and believes from so many years ago.
For instance, say you’re a woman and you find yourself apologizing constantly and acquiescing to dominant men in the workplace. Perhaps you live with a painted pleasant smile on your face, you find yourself automatically being agreeable and feeling nervous and uncomfortable in the presence of men. You fear confrontation, rarely speak your mind, and when you do it’s in a passive voice with uncomfortable body language.
When you explore the shadow self, addressing the root experience at the core of this unwanted behavior, you find your younger self experienced dominating and aggressive behavior from your father who was controlling and overbearing – overwhelmed and lacking resources in his own life. This created beliefs at a very young age that men know best, you’re opinion doesn’t matter, to be loved and liked you must stay in line, and it’s scary to challenge a man, and unacceptable to speak your truth. This is the shadow. It’s easy to see how this shadow self would affect everything from your interpersonal relationships, career success, and personal worth and self-confidence.
The shadow self creates beliefs and patterns of behavior to cope and remain safe in her environment, which she still believes is very real and current. Reframing the shadow allows this woman to feel more confident, open, and safe communicating to her male colleagues at work. I’ve had the incredible ability to see this work in my client’s lives and that of my own as well. Shadow-self healing is a profoundly impactful experience creating sustained transformation on the subconscious level.