Understanding your darker side

Dark side Shadow side

One of my favorite quotes is by Carl Jung:

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”  

I have spent many years on the following mantras. 

  • “Just think positive thoughts.”;
  • “All we are is love and light.”;
  • “This too will pass.”;
  • “Transcend your ego.” 

My Shadow Self

What is this wild, pushy, manipulative, self-serving woman trying to actually show me right now? I’m talking about my ‘shadow’ self, or ego-self. We all have one, and the more we run and hide and try to deny it’s there, the more internal conflict arises.

Everyone wants pleasure without the pain. Life doesn’t work like that. We live in a dualistic world.

Our psyche and our experiences are constantly trying to get us back into balance. The turmoil we may feel when we encounter someone that challenges our motives, ideals, beliefs, or values. We affirm, “I gotta stay loving, gotta stay compassionate, gotta stay peaceful.”

Through his words, my partner actually helped me to become more integrated with myself, and in the same instance, he became more aware of his own delusions when it came to a significant other.

  • He was constantly calling me mean and unkind but I knew how loving and caring I could be.
    • Too often we had disagreement after disagreement, over things that now seemed small, but at the time they felt huge. It could have been my tone that set him off, but it was his words that agitated me.
    • Unresponsive, short, cold demeanor, sarcasm, and withdrawn. It came down to a he said she said, that we were both tired of doing. It was hard to communicate when I slipped into this kind of mode and he was seeing me through his own filters. I asked my closest people ” Do you think I’m a mean person?” Surprisingly to me, I got a bunch of yes responses, but always followed up with a but, your also loving, fun, caring…it’s just sometimes.
    • It was very rare my partner would follow up one of his “you’re mean” with a positive. I thought something was terribly wrong with me.  I experienced deep insecurity.

Great rewards come to those who have the courage to see.

I asked  my good friend and fellow CE team member Stephan Gardner for some guidance and help, as he is a master of neutrality.

He assisted me in seeing the positives of this situation and they came in the form of an unwavering bond of self-love, a deep desire to find out what was really going on, and a much more balanced relationship.

Being manipulative, demanding and mean are parts of myself that I was denying. In those moments I was actually helping my partner come out of his delusions of having a girlfriend that is ‘nice’ and ‘kind’ and ‘loving’ all the time. Again, wanting all the pleasure without the pain.

Our shadow ego works hard to get our attention, and break us out of our fantasies. It is a compensation to the extreme light side we have made on this spiritual/awakened path. It’s time we revisit everything we we’ve learned on our journey and ask ourselves what really resonates.

I asked Steve for some ways we can all integrate both sides of our psyche.

Helpful tools:

Identify moments where you have displayed you shadow self.

  1. Write down how displaying that side, in those moments, were of benefit or service to you and those you displayed it towards.
  2. Write down the drawbacks if you had instead displayed your ‘light self.’
  3. How is your ‘shadow-self’ integral to achieving your highest values and life goals?
  4. What would be the downsides or drawbacks if you didn’t have this ‘shadow-self’? Every challenge has its rewards. It is time to get really real and balanced!

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/01/14/why-its-important-to-stop-fearing-your-dark-side-begin-understanding-it/