How to Unlock the Gold Within Your Shadow

“We must challenge ourselves to accept all the faces of our humanity; otherwise the characters that got booted off stage and are now repressed will become the silent orchestrators of our secret life.” ~ The Shadow Effect

I saw this quote today as a post by Debbie Ford who is a co-author of the book “The Shadow Effect”.  It is truly a remarkable book that talks about how when we repress ourselves, the “ugliness” emerges that, according to Carl Jung, is referred to as our “shadow”.

Even after reading this book and understanding Jung’s model I’ll say that the shadow can truly appear to be a fine line between the ego.  By definition, they are completely different yet ultimately they are exactly the same.

What I mean by that is this: The ego is how we project ourselves to others.  It is the part of us that is human that allows us to speak the thoughts that come through our mind rather than spirit.  The shadow, on the other hand, is the parts of ourselves that we have repressed.  It develops a child who loved playing music but, because their parents or culture didn’t approve, it is now a repressed part of the child when they are an adult.  The irony, of course, is that what we have repressed in ourselves is that though it may be hurtful and feel shameful to confront, it is ultimately like finding a gold mine.

There are many different guidelines that one can follow in order to recognize and release the shadow within themselves.  Many of which can involve a lot of personal self-reflection at the “ugliness” of your past actions and such.  However, I’ve felt through personal reflection that this concept can be broken down and be quickly resolved in the very present moment by fully choosing to make one simple change.

So how can you completely open yourself to your shadow?  To stop any and all judgment of others and to allow yourself to loving empathy and Divine understanding.

The reason this works is because, truly, we are all connected as one humanity.  If you judge or reject a person rather than understand their struggles and pain then the only thing you are doing is hurting yourself as a result.  That judgment that you now placed upon that person is now a repress part of you.

So how can a person recognize if there is judgment or not?  My rule of thumb is this: If you feel any inner resistance at any time, then your ego-driven mind is speaking.

The second you release yourself of all resistance then you will notice several things happen:

  1. You will open yourself to a greater psychic/intuitive awareness.  You will notice more clairvoyance images appear during your day.  You will have more “A ha!” moments.  You may develop a greater “vision” of your life’s path.
  2. You will feel a greater sense of universal wisdom.  True wisdom cannot come from studying a textbook or critically analyzing.  True Divine wisdom can only come from a greater connection to the divine source.  I do truly feel like that is what made people like Albert Einstein so incredibly intelligent.
  3. You will open yourself to universal love for everything in the world.  You will love the differences, the good and the bad, the challenges, and more — because you can then see and understand the Divine purpose for these things.

Finally, I suggest that you don’t necessarily take this as a linear approach as the human ego-driven mind likes to.  Meaning, reaching these higher levels can be quite variable throughout our lives.  It’s not like a step-by-step program that is going to allow you to “be connected and enlightened” but then never have days where some inner resistance emerges again.  The process is a journey, and we have to support one another and regularly work to maintain balance.  There is no “finish line”, only new and different cycles of challenges.



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About Jennifer Twardowski

Jennifer is a graduate student in transpersonal counseling psychology. Her interests are in personality typology (MBTI, Enneagram, Jungian typology), expressive arts, dreams, yoga, tarot and oracle cards, world religions, dance, photography, gardening, floral design, and more!

Posted on August 24, 2012, in Happiness, Psychology, Spirituality, Wisdom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. yes, I know how it feels, I know how it feels not to be angry for years, and I just let my feelings run through, no judgement. I found my anger again (finally!!) and realized that I really really need that anger, to defend myself, or protect myself. I’m not saying that people should be defensive. nevertheless, all feelings are …helpful.(especially when the sacral is sensitive…?) thanks for the posts:)

    • You don’t need anger to “defend” yourself because there is nothing to defend from. It was never a “battle” and never will be. It is only an illusion created by the ego. To defend and protect means only to entrap yourself in the cycle. When you release any need to defend, truly and completely, you just let it all run through you and there is only one thing that remains — complete intuitive knowing and understanding.

      The sacral chakra card/post means that you are more sensitive to energies in life. Meaning, it is currently harder for you to hold a “balance” to maintain this intuitive awareness. So it doesn’t mean that it is necessarily good or bad, but just something to be aware of so we know how to deal with the challenges.

      • To feel resistance can also be your body telling you that you should back away from
        a situation or people around you. Anyone who has suffered abuse should know that
        feelings are a tool to let them know if something is good or bad for them. I’m Not saying
        you do, but people actually use info about the ego to abuse others, or to tell them that
        their anger or frustration is Wrong, while they’re not. The Feelings can tell us to leave
        the situation or confront it, and then let the Feelings go. I believe the focus should be
        on being Real, to show how you feel, or else can emotions be repressed,thus creating
        more Shadow. I know that if you are meditative, you don’t attract abuse that easily, but
        it happened to me, and others I know. Info like this is sensitive. Take care, volvelle.

  2. I think your points are very useful. The shadow is very difficult to see, because most of times we don’t know we have one, but it represent a big oportunity of self-development. In this topic is incredible to see how the individuation process explained by Jung is related with Hero’s Journey explained by Josep Campbell. Thank you very much for this beautiful post.

  1. Pingback: 4 Guidelines to Break the Co-Dependency Cycle for Good « Lotus Tarot Blossom

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