These days shadow work seems to be a more common thing that is coming up when working on self-development. The first time shadow work came up from me was when my sister mentioned it as we talked about our spiritual journeys. That was a little over a year ago, and a lot has come to my awareness since then. Ironically enough, I had pulled this card from one of my tarot decks around the same time.
This card was screaming shadow work, and I did not even know what that meant yet! I know many times we grow up and leave little pieces of us behind or forget about them, but I never thought more past that. Have you? Think about it all of those parts of us that get tucked away because we believe they are “bad,” or we will get judged for them. All those things become part of our shadow. The shadow self I have learned has many layers, just like everything else. That is because so many times throughout our lives, because of an outer judgment or trauma, we will try and morph ourselves into what we think is acceptable by others. Eventually, though, parts of these shadows we tucked away will make an appearance be it in a big or small way, at some point in our lives again. So, shadow work is essential because you want to know what these aspects of yourself are before making their big debut and taking you by surprise.
Why is it essential to do shadow work? Well, how can we be our true authentic self if we have parts of us that we are not accepting? You simply can not. By interacting with your shadows, you discover more of yourself and tap into your unique authenticity. That is why it is crucial to connect with these aspects or masks that you tucked away and get to know them again. Why did you tuck them away? Is there a way you could use them now that you might not have thought of before?
Remember, shadow work is learning how to embrace all aspects of yourself and provide deep healing for the wounds we might not want to open back up. Giving this deep inner healing, though, it allows for transformation and something new to be born from the death of an older perspective that we once had of ourselves. Then giving space and compassion not only to ourselves but other people and the entire world around us. It is also easy to not be aware of when we might be projecting our shadow onto other people. That, I believe, is one of the most important things. Half of the time, we will form these stories in our heads of what other people may think of us. Half of the time, the funny thing is that the internal information within us is nowhere close to what others think about us. Sometimes we might even be judging people based on the aspects of ourselves we see in them but disassociate with because we put it in the shadows. Be mindful of your interactions with others and see what gets brought up in you. By doing so you will come be more aware and learn to love all of these parts of yourself.
If you have not explored shadow work, I encourage you to sit with yourself and start exploring those aspects of yourself that you left forgotten in the dark corner. You never know what you might find or what you may heal.