Shadow Work: Removing the mask, Revealing the Beautiful You

The healing modality known as Shadow Work is a deep process of psycho-emotional healing.  This work begins by bringing aspects of the self into conscious awareness in order to heal mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Termed by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist and mystic philosopher, the Shadow is the sum total of all those unpleasant qualities that we hide, together with the insufficiently developed functions and the content of the personal unconscious.  The Shadow is the unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not recognize in itself.  
 
As you can imagine, the healing of the Shadow can be quite intense, with great rewards attached to this process.  Love and acceptance of the self are paramount to evolution of the soul.  As spiritual aspirants, meeting the inner distresses and parts of ourself that are disowned allows us to heal them, before they manifest themselves in our lives.  These deep influences are motivating us, unseen and unrecognized.  Stored emotions trigger all sorts of psychological anxieties.  By shining light on the Shadow, and actively investigating a deeper part of the self, wonderful opportunities of growth and enlightenment will present themselves.  
 
Shadow Work is all about making the unconscious Shadow conscious and healing these parts of the self, making room for more authenticity and honest self-expression.  By getting in touch with these deeper parts of the self and embracing the Shadow, many of the golden parts of the self will emerge and life will be more colorful, dynamic and rich.  Shadow Work is similar to the Shamanic practice of retrieving soul losses.  It is imperative that in doing this work you are willing to be emotionally vulnerable to facing the Shadow, as many unknown things about the self will come into light.  This can be emotionally exhausting, so guidance or proper knowledge is recommended.  The loving support from those on a similar road can not be emphasized enough.
 
The Shadow lurks beneath the surface, bound by fear, shame and guilt.  It can be difficult to detect without conscious awareness, of the tricks that the self will do to keep the wounds from being exposed.  One clue to the presence of the Shadow is through projection.  The qualities that people fear in themselves are the same qualities that they will actively dislike in others.  By turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else, the Shadow is able to stay unrecognized within the person.  Your emotion-based judgments are always Shadow projections, rooted in unresolved trauma of some kind.  As you become aware of your own Shadow projections, you will begin to accept them more in others, and in turn, accept them in yourself. This acceptance stage is the key to completely dissolving your Shadow projections.  An interesting point about projection is that people will project not only the undesirable qualities in themselves, but also positive qualities within themselves too.  This is called the Golden Shadow or Halo Effect.
 
Shadow Work is a way of bringing your true self out of the Shadow and into the light so that you can show it off to the world.  You will want too!
 
Sources
 
UMS Shadow Work Course
 
This course is part of the Bachelor’s program at UMS.  All UMS courses and meditations can be purchased individually.  Visit University of Metaphysical Sciences for more information.

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