Embracing your Shadow15 October 2022
How working with your Shadow Self will bring you inner peace and self acceptance.
by Gloria Battini
Would you talk to your best friend the same way you talk to yourself?
You know those mean and hurtful comments that make up a lot of your self-talk?
“My face looks so run down, I’m ugly.”
“Look at those legs, I hate that cellulite.”
“Did you hear what I just said? I sounded so stupid.”
“Everyone is going to think I’m weird.”
… I could go on and on…
What would happen if you said them out loud to your best friend?
When I ask my clients this question I always get answers like “omg no way” or “of course not, I love them!” or even that nervous laugh we make when we know it’s all worryingly true.
The truth is that, sadly too often, we are our own worst enemy, and the inner dialogue is just a small part of it.
How about when you are being judgemental towards other women? Come on, we all did it at some point.
“Who does she think she is dressing like that?”
“She’s so loud and annoying!”
“She’s definitely lost a lot of weight, I wonder if she’s happy.”
“She’s cant be on her own, always chasing after men.”
… I’m sure a lot of us aren’t immune from having said/thought such things about another woman.
Whether those thoughts are directed to you or projected onto someone else, they are a representation of some of the things going on in your inner world. The effects of such things can manifest in your life as anxiety, self-doubt, low self-esteem and even deep feelings of guilt and shame.
Sadly, the majority of women facing these kinds of feelings and thoughts tend to suppress them and think that this is just the way they are and nothing is ever going to change. Let me tell you, my dear, this is far away from the truth.
It doesn’t have to be like that forever, it doesn’t have to be who you are. It doesn’t have to be the way you talk to yourself or other women.
This is not the life you are meant to experience. There IS another way.
Who is Shadow?
Turns out Peter Pan wasn’t the only one with a Shadow that drove him mad, we all have one.
Psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and founder of analytical psychology Carl Jung defines our Shadow Self as the unconscious part of our personality, the one that is hidden, repressed and that we generally find unacceptable. Think of it as the blind spot of your psyche or the bottom of the iceberg: hidden but still playing a huge part.
Shadow is instinctive and irrational, the primitive side of our nature; this very primal characteristic makes it prone to projection. Now, projection is where stuff gets really interesting in my opinion.
Let’s get back to Peter Pan for a second. Remember how his shadow plays tricks on him all the time? He is standing in one place and the shadow is running left and right, he chases it, tries to catch it, at one point he even tries to saw it to his own foot, but no matter what, shadow is always causing mayhem. Well… the Shadow Self is very similar!
You know what I was saying earlier about being judgemental towards ourselves and other women? That’s Shadow!!
When we feel critical/judgemental towards something that we see as a deficiency in someone else is none other than our Shadow showing us what we actually perceive as an inferiority about ourselves (this process is called projection).
For example: you know when you come across that friend you haven’t seen for a long time and they look like they have their whole life figured out and are doing great but instead of being genuinely happy for them you feel a little… jealous? And maybe when you say bye you go on and think “that skirt she was wearing was a little too much” (or something along those lines)?
Yeah, that’s Shadow bringing to the surface the fact that perhaps you don’t feel that you have it all figured out and you’d love to have the confidence to wear that outfit.
I see you thinking… I know… this isn’t easy information to digest about ourselves, I’ve been there and yeah, it’s a hard pill to swallow indeed. But here’s the thing: the more you ignore it the worse it gets. Shadow just wants to be seen and accepted, just like all other parts of you ❤️
Embracing your Shadow
“Everyone carries a shadow“, Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.“
The consequences of ignoring our Shadow can lead to things like anxiety, depression, self-doubt, low self-esteem, struggling to build healthy relationships, self-sabotage and even offensive/deceiving behaviours towards others.
When we embrace our shadow there is an increase in our level of self-awareness which then, with work, of course, leads us to that space of self-acceptance and inner peace. And when we are in this space we truly get to experience a completely different life. Not only do we have increased confidence and self-esteem but also are much less triggered by the outside world as we have gained certainty within ourselves that we are enough, just the way we are.
So how do we start? You may ask.
Working with a coach/therapist would be best of course, but honestly, anyone can start doing shadow work on their own.
If this is the first time you do something like this, start by exercising your awareness muscle and try to “spot” your shadow. When does it come up? Record it in your journal and see what you can observe. Do you see a pattern?
Once you have become more familiar with your shadow try to introduce compassion and acceptance. Receive it as a normal part of you, without shame nor pressure. It’s ok to be triggered, it’s ok to feel the way you do, it’s all part of you and it’s there to teach you something about yourself.
Now that you are a little more open to it, start consciously changing your inner dialogue. Spend 5 mins a day in front of the mirror and practice using kind words towards yourself.
Above all, be patient with yourself, this isn’t going to take a week. This work will truly change your life, don’t be rushed, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It’s not easy to look within, I know, but the stakes are just too high in my opinion. We only get one shot 😉
Gloria is a certified Life and Personal Performance Coach (ICF), Narcissistic Abuse Survivor and has also fully recovered from OCD. She helps women come home to themselves by healing from the aftermath of toxic relationships, overcoming anxiety, setting healthy boundaries and re-establishing a deep connection to their soul. Her unique method combines Coaching, Astrology and Moonology
While Coaching is the main tool she uses, each session is infused with intuitive wisdom, a close look at your personal astrology, the use of oracle cards and different visualisation and meditation techniques, it’s very unique to each person. In her sessions, she also often includes “mini trainings” on how the brain works. Gloria believes that knowledge is power and very often the mere understanding of why your brain is doing what it’s doing helps you be in control of your mind and thoughts.
Working with Gloria you will learn how to reprogram your brain and get rid of the limitations that have led your life up until this moment as well as how to use those powerful and invisible energies that are abundantly available to us. This allows you to create an effortless life because you’re leading in a way that is most natural to your soul.
If you feel called to explore this further or you have questions, get in touch through the contact form below or book a free 30 mins consultation.