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Exploring Your Shadow Self

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This month on the Soul Sanctuary, we focus on the ‘Light & Dark’ of the self and all of the un-met, yet beautiful shadows in between.

This can touch on beliefs, emotions, personality and the opposing, yet complementary forces that are needed to create balance in our life; day and night, sun and moon, good and bad, love and evil, fire and water, yin and yang, push and pull. 

Throughout the month, we focus on stripping away the attachment of meaning we have around light (which will usually reference good, love, happiness, strength, day and sunshine) and dark (as bad, evil, fear, night, weakness, greyness). It is our learnings and ego that attach to these beliefs of opposing forces. In reality, everybody is made up of light, dark and shadows. We need to allow ourselves to embrace all shades so that we can experience deep self love and acceptance. 

An important observation we will be focusing on this month is that without darkness, we wouldn’t know the light and vice versa. Everything needs its yin and yang to thrive, so take the opportunity this month to embrace the dark, the light and everything in between. 

We will take a look at how we, as humans, need both masculine and feminine energies within us and how yin and yang energies and practices are beneficial for honouring our shadow self alongside the light and dark within us. 

Carl Jung is famous for formulating the concept of the shadow as Being the portion of our personality which, through the course of our life, is relegated to the darkness of the unconscious.”,  or more simply put,  our negative human emotions and impulses we deign to hide or admit to. 

Another brilliant shadow self researcher, Debbie Ford, who has learnt much from Carl Jung, explains the shadow self as: 

“Our shadow is made up of all the parts of ourselves that we hide, deny, suppress, and don’t see in ourselves – both the positive and the negative. Our shadow is all the aspects that we reject out of shame, fear or disapproval. It is made up of any part of ourselves that we believe is unacceptable, will be met with disapproval by others, or that annoys, horrifies or disgusts us about other people or about ourselves. As the great Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung said, “Our shadow is the person we would rather not be.”"

I’m sure that all of us can identify with our shadow self as we sit in reflection. We often move through life attempting to hide our shadows, but by repressing and denying this part of ourselves, it will grow in power and cause more and more difficulties.
The hardest but best thing that we can do is to learn to honour, understand and embrace this part of ourselves. Exploration into this part of us can also lead to tremendous opportunities of growth and development.

Understanding that everyone has their shadows can help you to improve your relationships and allow a clearer view of the world. What is especially interesting is that your shadow can contain not just destructive behaviours, but also potent, creative and powerful capabilities. 


You can learn more about the Shadow Self using the following resources:


Carl Jung: 


Books: “The Undiscovered Self”, “The Archetypes & Collected Unconscious”, “Modern Man in Search of a Soul”


Robert Augustus Masters:


Books: “Bringing Your Shadow Out Of The Dark” & “Emotional Intimacy”

Debbie Ford:


Books: “The Dark Side of The Light Chasers”, “The Shadow Effect”, “The Secret of The Shadow” 

Scott Jeffrey


PDF Work Guide: 


Carl Jung: “The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.” 


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