Spiritual Thoughts: Exploring the shadow self aspect

Whether you’re embedded in your spiritual practice, mildly spiritually conscious or just rolling through life, at some point, you have probably come across the term ‘shadow self’. If you are unaware of this term, it simply means the hidden aspect of ourselves, our darkness (not necessarily negative, but most perceive this as the negative and weakest part of themselves), and perhaps the subconscious storage of our underlying ‘issues’. For example, some people’s shadow self could be full-on rage, sadness or a deep inferiority complex resulting in the need to always please others. Regardless of what you think your shadow self is or how much you try to hide it, you cannot get rid of it.

One interesting and common practice in the spiritual community is the point to work with the shadow self to heal the aspects that tend to give rise to troublesome tendencies in waking life. There is no one way of doing this, although a common practice is meditation and journaling to nurture and let go of the perceived negative. Working with the shadow self often requires tremendous courage to face and address what’s under the surface. Most tend to go through periods of depression and anxiety. If these are not dealt with delicately and effectively, the process can be scary and often bring further detriments to a person’s mental health. This is why working with a professional in a safe and controlled environment is advised.

From a personal perspective, working with the shadow self is not a one-way system, and for each individual, the longevity of the work is different. Some may require a one-time session, while others go through the process many times before achieving a tangible breakthrough. However, life is a curve, and as we go through trials and tribulations, one may require regular check-ins and sessions. Some people refuse to acknowledge their shadow selves because they are not courageous enough to face what lies beneath the surface. However, from a personal perspective, there’s excellent empowerment once you face your shadow. Then as you advance in your personal growth, you’ll find it easier to deal with different situations as you are coming from a place of deep self-knowledge.

Are you brave enough to dive deep within yourself?

Until next time.

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