Shadow Work

There are aspects of ourselves that we feel proud of, but there are also parts of ourselves that we prefer to hide. We suppress them. We feel ashamed of them or disapprove of them. We push them into the shadow side outside of our consciousness.


These are the familiar agitations and emotional reactions that we project onto others. We have a blind spot when it comes to ourselves, but in others, we see those aspects of ourselves mirrored that we are not allowed to be. We become reactive and disapprove of the behavior and person who mirrors our shadow side. We don’t want to feel the pain, sadness, fear, or emptiness that is triggered, so we judge in order to avoid feeling what is happening in our inner world. In doing so, we dissociate from our raw emotions.

The other as a mirror

When you notice that you are irritated or annoyed by someone else’s behavior, you can ask yourself what is being mirrored here. What is your biggest irritation? What do you think about it? What should the person do or not do? And what do you do or not do to avoid being like that? The answer to this last question is your contraction and can be examined to see if it is serving you in your life. The belief associated with it is responsible for the emotional reaction you experience, not the person who mirrored it to you. The belief does not align with your essence; it hinders your growth and causes contraction. It stands in your way, and your system let you know this through contraction or friction.

Another question you could ask yourself is, what does the other person have that I would also like? What unfulfilled need of yours can you discover? Our judgment always reflects something about ourselves; it is an expression of an unconscious unfulfilled need.

Our unconscious beliefs and patterns that do not serve us become conscious through interaction with the world, manifesting as contracting emotions. Our shadow sides come into play and want to be seen and felt in order to integrate. They will become stronger and more powerful if we suppress them.

Hidden Treasures in our unconscious

Within our shadow side, all the rejected and suppressed pieces of ourselves are hidden. Emotions and feelings, desires, memories, unresolved matters, fears, secrets, dreams, and impulses that we were not allowed to have from ourselves or from our environment. The parts that were not allowed to exist have been banished to our shadow side. But here lie our treasures, talents, qualities, gifts, and pieces of potential. According to Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, we can find gold when we dare to confront our shadow aspects.

Our shadows taint our reality

As long as we suppress our shadows, they can become so powerful that they lead a life of their own. We are then taken over by our subconscious. This impacts our relationships, well-being, and health. It manifests as feelings of insecurity, inferiority, shame, guilt, anger, jealousy, etc. When we don’t confront and integrate our shadow sides, they block our life flow, creativity, and full potential. They cast a dark blanket over our reality and our essence.

Emotional maturity

Until we do shadow work, we will project onto others. What we don’t want to confront and feel within ourselves, we see in others! We make the external world responsible for everything, including our emotions, which are about ourselves. Only when we fully embrace ourselves, including all the parts we banished to the darkness, do we stop projecting.

Pay attention to where you place responsibility outside of yourself. Your irritations and frustrations are wake-up calls from your unconscious parts that want to become conscious. Your rejected parts want to integrate. Don’t look away anymore. Sit with them and direct your attention to your inner world. Feel what is happening there and let it be. Feel how all your soul parts are stirred, and listen to how your inner world communicates with you. Acknowledge the feelings and emotions that want to be felt. Stay connected to your pelvic floor so that the energy can flow out. It will lead you to a deeper understanding and an unprecedented liberation.

Shadows point us inward to the pure love and wholeness that we truly are.