The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung coined the term “shadow” to describe the hidden side of the human psyche. There are hidden (unconscious) aspects of ourselves, both good and bad, which our ego repressed or denied, and we do not realize.
“The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside of fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out conflict and be torn into opposing halves.” Dr. Carl Gustav Jung.
There are patterns that repeat in our lives in relationships, at work, in our actions. We can keep thinking that it’s the circumstances and the other people’s fault or we can choose to wake up, look at ourselves, and ask why is this keep happening in one’s life?
The Shadow is an archetype, typically in consciousness for everyone. Confrontation with our shadow is needed for self-growth and self-awareness. The way we see our shadow is through other people. The way we interact that is reflected by others.
The first phase to overcome our shadow is to just enjoy it if it’s a positive aspect, or to take full responsibility for our own life, it it’s a negative aspect. No one but yourself is responsible for your life! Throughout our life when anything goes wrong there is always another person or circumstance to blame, but when one takes full responsibility for their life one is more careful of his choices. One should not let circumstances decide for him/her. We each need to be conscious creators and see what deliberate choices we want to make. When we take on the responsibility the inner world is reflected in our outer world. When we examine the repeating pattern in our lives we can start to see where we make wrong choices and how we can improve on our choices to change those patterns.
When we meet people that we have problems with, we can rest assure that there is an aspect of our negative shadow that is brought into play. For example, if someone always has a problem collecting the money they are owed for goods and services, the shadow aspect could be that they don’t value what they do. In their subconscious they might think they are not worthy (to get paid for their work). In the outer world it will show up as people taking advantage monetarily and not paying that person. When this person will look at himself and figure out that he always has problems with people not paying him. He may come to the conclusion that he needs to value his work, and himself. then the outer world will match the inner world by people starting to pay him on time. It could also be that his shadow lies in him not putting the correct border so people he works with think that he is their friend and they could string him along, not pay him, or pay him late. Whatever his subconscious belief is he needs to bring it into the light; to be aware or conscious of it, and he needs to deal with it. It works this way with a positive shadow, people that one might be attracted to, mirror the positive shadow for this person.
As long as we are in a physical body, we will keep having “shadows” to discover and work through. We need to look at our shadows, use them if they are positive, and work on them if they are negative.
Happy “hunting” for your shadows.