How to tap into the Strength of your Shadow AspectBy Linda Emslie on 14 March 2019
As mentioned in part one of this series of articles, the Shadow Aspect often contains those parts we deem distasteful. These can be personality traits, habits, behaviours, attitudes, and so on, that you feel are negative and detract from the image you have of yourself, and how you like to be seen by the world. It also contains many of the programmed beliefs and social conditioning you may have unconsciously taken onboard over the years.
Yet, these attributes are a part of you and add depth and nuance to who you are. Working with the Shadow means working to heal, forgive and accept this part of Self. When coming to grips with how to tap into the strength of your Shadow Aspect, a couple of other questions often come up first.
Why work with the shadow?
Why would you want to go poking around in the dark, stirring up the painful stuff? This is a powerful process of self-discovery, of understanding what makes you tick. Looking into your unconscious behavior as you discover you’re on a path to greater consciousness.
Owning all parts of you allows you to start developing the depth and understanding that ultimately result in discernment and wisdom. Learning from your mistakes, acknowledging patterns, attitudes and behaviours for what they are empowers you to change.
On a vibrational level this enables you to literally lighten the load. To divest yourself of the denseness of things that no longer serve as you move along the path to Enlightenment. Finding harmony with your Shadow raises your vibration.
What happens if you don’t do the work?
To a large degree nothing drastic will happen to you if you choose not to do this work. You will continue to live your life along the pathway your current vibration has aligned you too. But you may miss a golden opportunity to fulfill your true potential!
However, be warned. You ignore the Shadow at your own risk. Shut-down, boxed-in Shadows can grow in the dark. They can get to unmanageable proportions and suddenly spring into the light to disrupt your world. Limiting beliefs that sabotage your best efforts; strong, overwhelming emotions that engulf you at the slightest trigger; or toxic anger that incinerates all it touches are just a few examples of Shadow getting the upper hand.
Sometimes these symptoms are the first sign many of us receive that it’s time to open that trap door and enter the cellar!
How do you access the power of the Shadow?
You’ve already accessed it! When you find yourself in the middle of an unconscious response that lets the “ugly” darkness out. For instance, flying off the handle at the smallest aggravation after an extended period of time of “swallowing your anger” because you learned as a child that is not ok to express anger. Whether we are raging at someone, or deep in the grips of fear or some other limiting belief that holds you spell bound, you are experiencing the power of the Shadow.
There are 3 key steps to consciously accessing the power of the Shadow:
Start paying attention. Notice the patterns, the thoughts, the behaviours, the attitudes – all the things that conspire to create the situations that allow the Shadow out. When you start noticing, really see it. See it for what it is, a recurring pattern. You may still feel the same, react when your buttons are pushed. But if you are seeing it, you’ve made a start of doing your Shadow work
Next step. Name it. Call that Shadow for what it is. Whether it is ugly anger rampaging across your treasured relationships or fear or self-doubt keeping you corralled in a yard that is too small for your beautiful potential, call it for what it is. Name that Shadow so that each time it comes out in broad daylight you see it. You know it. You start to become conscious of it, and by doing so, you shift the balance of power.
Whatever it is, that aspect of the Shadow is yours. As you start to see it for what it is, as you call it for what it is, as you become more conscious of when the Shadow is dancing in the light, you come to own it. This allows you more choice. Being able to consciously choose how you respond to situations, people, stimuli is very, very powerful. When you own it, you get to decide when the Shadow is needed – if it is needed.
Next Week: Part 3: How to love your true nature