“It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster.” – Carl Jung
The famous psychologist Carl Jung, is the one behind the idea of the shadow self. But when you take away all the fancy terminology, what does it all mean and what does it have to do with you? You’re going to need to understand this in order to fully know yourself.
What We Repress Fights Back
Our mind is basically separated in two. There is the conscious mind that has all the thoughts that we are actively aware of. Then there is the unconscious mind that holds back all of our repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, fears, and desires.
We tend to push those away because either we find them embarrassing or we’ve grown to believe that they’re wrong and unacceptable. Those ideas are what make our darkness and chaos and create our shadow self. But, This darker side doesn’t have to be all bad…
Letting Go Of The World’s Unrealistic Standards
We need to start rejecting the idea that everything we are taught is “right” Te reasons behind our conditioning often have to do with power dynamics and other factors that don’t necessarily serve our highest potential. We’re limited by standards and expectations that are often too unrealistic.
What happens is that when we start to let go of what we were taught as children and create our knowledge, deciding on our own good and evil, shadows are born and our sense of self becomes divided into multiple parts.
A Lack Of Shadow Self Is A Lack Of Awareness
When we deny ourselves the ability to connect and embrace the darkness of our shadow self, we create a lack of awareness of who we even are as beings. This can be quite dangerous as it can make us disconnect from our true whole self.
Some people let their shadow selves accumulate so long without being faced that it blows up and completely overpowers and overwhelms them. This is how some people end going through years of psychological turmoil and depression. Denying the shadow self can make us sick and have long-lasting consequences.
It’s The Only Way To Be Completely Ourselves
It can feel conflicting to choose between who we’re supposed to be as a civilized member of society, and who we actually are that we’re repressing. But what’s going to happen if we can continue to repress is that we’re going to lose control.
We have better chances of controlling even the worst parts of ourselves if we take the time to understand it and love it as part of our identity. We can’t love ourselves fully by picking and choosing which parts we reject and ignore, and which we embrace.
It’s Time To Reborn Again
Repressing our own traits and emotions, and even if we judged them to be negative, is actually the biggest barrier we can put up against our journey to self-love. We can’t ever transcend to our highest self and live authentically until we can be completely ourselves, with all of our parts, even the one we’re too scared to explore.
Many spiritual teachings have embraced the shadow self. They say that when you actually, truly embrace it, you’ll experience spiritual death and ascend into your own darkness. Only then will you be reborn and able to experience genuine healing and wisdom, emphasizing the best parts of yourself.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives