We all know the literal meaning of “shadow”, but in our spiritual journey, what does “shadow” mean? And more importantly, why do we need to heal our shadow?
“I want to be happy with my life again,” a woman talked about her expectations at one of my retreats, “I want to heal my shadow.”
“OK,” I said to her, “How do you perceive your shadow? Could you please tell us more about it?”
Then she started to explain how she saw the shadow, “I felt very aggressive when my husband left me for someone else, and it is still a challenge that I can’t get over. I feel so bad when I look back and see how I have behaved and still I want to put my children first. I just don’t know how. I feel that I can’t give anything back to anyone. I want to heal this in order to find myself again and live a happy life.”
The shadow refers to a part of your personality that you can’t see or don’t want to see. That is usually ‘negative’ traits/low-vibrational behavior like aggression, jealousy, anger, people-pleasing, giving too much away, inauthenticity, wearing masks and manipulation. These are all part of the shadow.
Also, these traits can be hidden. For instance, if someone has no self-esteem, their self-esteem is hidden in their shadow. Let’s look at this energetically: There are often blockages found around that topic. As long as something is excluded from the light of consciousness, we can’t see it. Therefore, it’s a part of the shadow.
Everybody carries a shadow. The less it’s embodied in the person’s conscious life, the darker and denser it is. (Carl Jung)
It’s about being conscious of your shadow. In order to integrate your shadow into who you are, you have to know your light and your shadow. Self-knowledge is the key to master yourself and with that you can ‘jump within the quantum field’ to every destination because you are aligned.
You have to see and understand how you are influenced by your past, your culture and your belief system. You have to know what kind of filters and colors you have in order to understand your shadow.
The shadow can create low-vibrational frequencies such as shame, greed and hate which are taking you NOWHERE.
Misinterpretations of the shadow:
You might come across people who claim that they don’t have a shadow (no dark side). Well, that might be someone with a mask, which is also known as a spiritual ego. As a matter of fact, they are wearing masks.
Everything in the universe has a shadow. We are the quantum field. We are the universe. We are also our bodies, and even those reflect a shade.
Also, we need to be able to protect ourselves when needed. We have to be able to access our integrated, balanced shadow in order to set boundaries, educate our children and lead a company. If the shadow is integrated, we won’t lead a company from fear but from love. We won’t tell our children what NOT to do or what we expect from them, but we will teach them to think in options and help them realize the effects of these options. We won’t harm anyone, but fight back when needed.
How is the shadow created?
The foundation of yourself is created in the first years, when you were a child. If you don’t get enough care, support and love (or if you are too overwhelmed by the care of your parents/carer), it creates a stronger shadow. In contrast, if everything is balanced, harmonious and authentic, the shadow is not very strong.
Every type of experience leaves layers, which identify who you are and how you show yourself to the world around you. The shadow is shaped by culture, values from people around you, the personal psychological development of your closest environment, family dynamics and how you see this world.
We indoctrinate our children in a certain way because it’s impossible not to do it.
Because we are all looking for belonging, love and safety, we adapt to punishments and shaming tactics of people that we depend on. If we have to accept unacceptable behavior from our environment and toxic, low vibrations, we bury them inside the shadow. With that, we carry the weight with all of the unwanted moments on our shoulders until we heal it. Without even realizing what’s happening, we carry this energetical weight as it becomes a part of us.
At my healing retreats, I’m excited to help you feel lighter without the energetical unbalance. The process is very natural and nurturing, so the energetical weight leaves you when you are ready to let it go. You will feel the difference and others will see it after a sound therapy session, energy healing or other group sessions.
What happens if you don’t do shadow work?
You might feel confused about what you want from life and who you are. This can lead to depression and unpredictable behavior. If you are questioning who you are, you are often covering your true authentic self with shadow-masks. You may use these masks to gain power or to try to find out your morals, beliefs and assumptions. People often behave differently in different environments because people are wearing various masks everywhere, which is feeding the ego.
In this way, they are covering their own authenticity, their true self, true happiness, strength and a broader consciousness. Finding your true self is the only way to your best life! If you have found your true self, every area of your life will work for you, e.g., your love life, your career, your social life, and so on, simply because you have integrated the shadow into who you really are, healed your wounds & balanced the masculine and feminine energies. As a result, you are the best version of yourself.
Carl Jung calls the false self “the persona”, the person that’s “acting as XYZ”. The persona is not aligned with the self. Instead, it behaves in a way that they think they should in order to survive and make certain achievements.
The worst-case scenario is people are controlled by their darkness. If you learn and grow, you are able to control your shadow and be your true authentic self, thereby shining your light.
My own perspective about shadow work:
As I combine my coaching practices with sound therapy, energy work and guided meditations, I have seen that we can release an energetic blockage only when we are ready to release it. When the blockage is released, we are able to change. I’m convinced that it’s the easier and more effective way to integrate ‘healing work’ into the ‘shadow work’. There are many examples in which I have helped people uncover their shadow so as to find themselves and feel lighter and more grounded at the same time.
Here is a real example: A client came for a 1-on-1 retreat and wanted to dive deep into herself. I created a program for her in which I integrated shadow work while going back to her past and then finding her core wounds. Then we sent the energetical ballast away, so she felt more in touch with herself. When she went back home, others noticed the change as well. Six months later, she booked a group retreat as she had some new themes that she wanted to work on with me.
Finding myself is a path and a choice. There isn’t really an end goal.
When I started to help others on their life path, I felt that I had healed my past and had studied intensively and extensively; hence, my knowledge and skills could make a difference. Most importantly, I felt called to do this work. Now I keep learning more about myself and keep changing because change is the only constant in life. We are a part of nature/the universe/the quantum field which are all constantly changing. Thus, we are changing, too.
You decide, with your free will! If you change your frequency because you heal, you have access to new gates within the quantum field. With that, you change your reality in this material dimension as well.