What Is Meeting the Shadow?

Meeting the Shadow and shadow work

Meeting the Shadow

You meet the shadow when your unconscious mind sabotages your conscious intentions:

  • You know that the Shadow has appeared when you feel angry, powerless, invisible, envious, greedy, anxious, depressed, out of control, and you say or do something impulsive or self-destructive, then feel guilty or ashamed afterward. At those times, you are meeting an unacceptable part of yourself.
  • Or you may react intensely to a trait in others that you fail to see in yourself – a projection – (“How can she be so seductive?” “How dare he act like such a know-it-all!”), which makes you critical and rejecting, and leaves you feeling judgmental, isolated, and alone.
  • Or you receive negative feedback from others who serve as your mirror (“This is the third time you arrived late without calling.”)
  • Or you engage in painful, repetitive fights with loved ones – shadow-boxing — and can’t seem to break the cycle, which leaves you feeling hopeless and betrayed.  Even conventional marriage counseling may have failed to break the patterns.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.  But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.  And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart.”

–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn