Updated: Jun 21, 2020
By Lisa Barret
© 2020 Lisa Barret. All rights reserved.
"Ninety percent of the shadow is pure gold."
Carl Gustav Jung
So often we hide our shadows away from ourselves, automatically labeling them all bad, or evil. In actual fact, nothing could be further from the truth!
Remember that most of our shadows begin forming in early childhood. When you look at young children, they fearlessly express themselves and explore the world around them. They greet everyone and everything with the assumption that it won’t harm them and that it wants to be their friend. Young children are naturally creative and open to new ideas, laughter and play is how they learn.
It is as those tendencies to laugh, play and explore run up against the world that adults have created that they get squashed. Ruthlessly. We are taught, and forced to accept that rejecting that is the only way to be accepted in the world.
Because of these teachings our shadow contains some of our most amazing and life changing gifts. Our artistic and intuitive natures often become buried in our shadows. Our sense of play, our innate knowing that the world is one with us is buried and we are expected to treat the world around us with the attitude of it being worthless unless we can get money for us.
When we venture into the realm of shadow work we not only give ourselves the opportunity to heal old wounds. We unlock amazing parts of ourselves that we had hidden away. We learn that every emotion that we express has something wonderful to share with us. But only if we are willing to sit with it and truly feel rather than locking it away behind a mask that says “everything is fine”. We can learn that all of our parts work together to give us a path to wholeness, to self discovery. All of our parts, especially those parts of us that we were told were stupid, or not good enough, or shameful. We were only taught that because those that came before us were taught to fear being different from the herd. So in their turn, they try to teach us to fit in with the gray world that surrounds us.
Don’t fear your shadows, embrace them, love them, know that they make you whole.