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  • Writer's pictureJah

ACKNOWLEDGING OUR SHADOWS

Updated: Jan 3




So often we can be so focused on growing, goal-setting and “love n light”, but there is balance to everything in life. You cannot have light without dark. In order to grow, you have to till the soil. You cannot reach goals without work. If we truly want to have success in this world, we must accept both sides of ourselves and acknowledge them. 


So what is Shadow Work?


Well let’s start with what a shadow side truly is. Your shadow side is your boundaries. Your shadow side is what protects you. It is the essence of your ego. Ego a lot of time can get a bad connotation, but an ego is what gives you structure and foundation of who you are. Without it, people would run all over you and it would cause detriment in your life. It is when we begin to lean too heavily into our Shadow Side due to trauma, fear and vices, consciously or subconsciously, that things become rampant with spiritual, mental and emotional heaviness. This is why we must acknowledge, transmute and work through our shadows. If you just attempt to focus on only your light side, before you know it, you will become overwhelmed with your shadows. 


This is why it is best to purposefully plan to do the work.


Shadow Work is about bringing the subconscious to the conscious mind. There is not one set way to do Shadow Work, but the best and most structured way is through a Socratic method. What this means to continuously question the problem at hand to form new ways of thinking and perceiving a situation. For every perceived answer, question it three different ways. I will give an example of this in a scenario:


You want to buy a new car but cannot seem to save money. You should start off with the question, “why is it so hard for me to save money?” Then follow it up with “Am I not as financially structured as I should be?” Then going on to ask, “Do I impulsively purchase items to make myself feel better at times?” 


Realize that Shadow Work is a never ending process. If you believe you have revealed everything about your shadow side, just know that you are wrong. You can always question more and go deeper. Also realize that this is not something you will complete in one session or even a month or a year. You will come back to shadows many years down the road that you thought you had already resolved and come to terms with. This is the “work” aspect of Shadow Work.


I suggest the best way to do this work is through journaling as it is a form of release to bring spiritual work to an actual visual space so that it becomes real to us. Have a journal only for your Shadow Work. Turn this into a ritual for yourself so that you stay consistent because you see and feel the best results this way. I choose to do my Shadow Work on the Full or New Moon, but choose what feels right to you. Make sure you are in a comfortable space where you will not be disturbed. Consider this as part of your “me time.” Light a candle, make tea, have your favorite music or ambiance playing. Set the space to feel comfortable. Now get your journal and write freely, as this is only a letter for yourself to release. It can be as long as you need it to be, but write no longer than an hour in response to the question. You do not want to stay within the shadows. And once completed, make sure to pull yourself out of the shadows and give yourself proper after-care. Take a hot shower or bath, watch your favorite funny show/movie, go for a nice walk, cuddle with your pets, whatever that brings you comfort. And be proud of yourself for working through your shadows. You are well on your way to finding your balance and truly accepting all of who you are.


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