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Working With The Shadow Self

Today as I sit to write, the moon in Scorpio is being shadowed by the earth creating an eclipse. The sun sign of Scorpio happens every year from October 23rd through November 22nd. This very late autumn season reminds us to let go of anything that we have out-used and that no longer serves us (see previous posts on the Metal element season). We can all see that nature makes her rhythmic release in autumn. To be in harmony with nature, and ourselves, we too must shed what no longer serves our growth, what no longer serves our spiritual progression, and what needs to be surrendered for our greater good.

incense ritual smoke

To know what needs to be released can take some real action on our parts. Some deep diving into our inner worlds is required - into the parts of ourselves that are too easy to ignore. These are the unclaimed parts of ourselves that we project onto others, or that we deny. Self reflection is not something that is easy to do, and self honesty for some can be even more challenging.  Our witnessing, our processing, and our letting go, makes space for new thoughts and ideas that sets us on new courses of action come spring. The only way forward is to let go of what may be holding you back. Endings can be beginnings and gifts with time.

We all have a shadow aspect. We all have unclaimed aspects of ourselves. There is no shame in that, it is part of being human. Working with shadow aspects takes a brave heart, a loving heart, and a forgiving heart. Owning and working with the shadow gives us all a depth of character, a broader view of life, and the empathy and compassion to live in harmony with ourselves and others. The shadow will never let us ignore it completely, and will call upon each of us to make note of it, and own it eventually. 

The shadow will often make itself known in our dreams as the villain who pursues us in the darkness, or as shame that pervades our happiness. Shadow can be recognized as those things that we will not tolerate or judge and condemn in others. Shadow can also be the inner voice of persecution and disdain we have about ourselves, that leaks out as self sabotage and in extremes, such as anorexia or cutting. 

Would you be willing to see those parts of yourself you judge as unacceptable if you knew that we all have those parts? Can you ask yourself, why those parts are unacceptable and how can you work with those parts to understand them with compassion? Sometimes just being a witness to your shadow aspects can be enough. I talked today with a long time friend who shared with me, that she realized that she finally was ready to stop presenting the “perfect” life. She was finally willing to show her struggles. She was willing to stop denying and trying to hide her imperfections. This gave her huge freedom to accept them and be happy anyway.

Shadow is only a perception of what we are unwilling to accept as being flawed or wrong in ourselves. Where do you judge yourself or others? The Shadow is never gone completely, but giving attention to unacknowledged aspects of ourselves gives us freedom to be truly loving and honest with our humanness, and paves the way to deeper self love and understanding. 

Dive deep my friends.