This article was inspired by Illuminative Ways To Encounter Your Shadow Self
Do you wish to better understand yourself and certain chronic behaviors? Continue reading about your shadow self, the hidden aspect of your personality.
Curanderos are a group of shamanic healers in Peru. These healers are known to perform a profound ancient inner balancing ritual, known as rite of passage.
The ritual is performed on those who are interested in the ways of the living energies. The ritual focuses on items with different forms of energies, such as light as feathers or crucifix, dark as knives, or anything with destructive energies and lastly a group of items with both light and dark energies, where the healing actually occurs.
Delving deeper in the ritual, the first thing the observer is struck with is its symbolic message and a simple truth that for healing to occur our good and evil must overlap, meaning it’s not the energies themselves that create healing but the meeting point where they interact with each other.
The concept of an intersection or a meeting point between different forces of life is not exclusive to the shamanic healers, but has been believed and practiced for thousands of years.
Think about it, the act of creation itself leads to some form of destruction at the same time – we cannot create something out of nothing, hence, we are always changing something rather that purely creating.
Similarly, light cannot be without darkness, which is one of the reasons why creative activities are best known to tackle our shadow self.
The following are a few practical tips that would help you understand how to connect with your shadow self
Create and Build
One of the greatest insights provided by Hung was regarding the ego and the shadow and how they both share the same source and balance each other in the process.
Look at the number of depressive and suicidal tendencies within creative geniuses. Hence, a limited creativity would mean a limited shadow and greater creativity would be associated with a heavier shadow.
For example, a lot of artistic personalities with historical significance such as Van Gogh, Nietzsche, and Schumann descended into madness.
It doesn’t matter what you build or the material you use, the act of creation itself provides spare for darker elements. These elements usually manifest in the form of frustration, impatience, and anger, but do along with the sense of fulfillment and joy.
Paint and Draw
As mentioned above, art is the highest form of self-expression. For psychologists, the best way to understand a child is to let them draw whatever comes to mind.
However, as we get older, it becomes a bit more difficult for us to express our inner selves, as that aspect of our existence has been repressed for a significant period of time.
But in the case that a person allows oneself to feel these darker emotion without the fear of repercussions such as judgment, that person will begin to gain insights into one’s shadow self.
Write and Express
Goethe’s Faust is considered as one of the greatest German literary works. Interestingly, it also is the perfect example of the meeting of a shadow self and ego, where a professor is overwhelmed by his shadow self causing him to contemplate suicide.
In the end, he realizes that the redemption of the ego is only possible when the shadow is redeemed as well.
Hence, writing can be quite therapeutic, as a person can write down one’s shadow elements and depict them through a fictional character.
A journal or diary can also be kept for those less inclined towards writing stories. It is the perfect way to get in touch with both your light and dark emotions and find a healthy balance.
We have a habit of projecting our shadow onto someone or something mainly to avoid accepting that aspect of our existence.
This provides an excellent way to explore our shadows but it requires us to be extremely mindful and conscious of the aspects that we are usually unconscious about.
Interestingly, not only do we project our darker selves onto others but also good ones as well. Just as our shadow self is hidden and our ego is also afraid of upsetting our personality structure.
By simply being consciously aware of ourselves and our projections, we can move towards a balance or harmony with ourselves. We project most of our noble traits on the people we admire or are in love with.
The opposite is quite similar as well, the people we dislike and also the defenseless will be subject to our shadow projections.
For example, people tend to unleash needless wrath on children for simply being children.
It is important to understand that projection despite its orientation is in every situation a detriment. Not only does it negatively affects the other person involved, but also detaches you from your own self.
Instead, allowing both aspects of our personality allows us to achieve that desired state of ecstatic wholeness.
Image: Curandero shaman
This article was inspired by Illuminative Ways To Encounter Your Shadow Self, which was written by Don Mateo Sol. He is the author and co-founder of popular spiritual website LonerWolf.com. As a shamanic practitioner, teacher and soul guide, Sol has helped to lead thousands of people throughout the world on their journeys of self-discovery, healing and wholeness. You can follow Sol’s work on Facebook.