Owning Your Shadow Side

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Understanding the purpose of your Light and Shadow Attributes

We all have a shadow side or a bad habit we would rather ignore than face. Maybe you overindulge in food, gossip, over react or criticize others instead of looking at what’s really going on.

But imagine there is a part of every human being that has the power to be our teacher, our trainer and our guide, leading us to strength, creativity, brilliance and happiness. Imagine this part of us is just waiting to be seen, to be heard and to be embraced. But it is not patient, and when left unexamined and ignored, this part of us has the power to sabotage our life, destroying our relationships, killing our spirit and keeping us from fulfilling our dreams. So what is this mysterious part of us, buried deep inside our consciousness? It is our human shadow: Our Flawed Character.

Our shadow, formed long ago, it contains all the parts of ones self that we have tried to hide or deny. It is that part of us that we believe is not acceptable to our family, friends and most importantly ourselves. It can be made up of everything that annoys, horrifies or disgusts us about our self or others. It holds all that we try to hide from those we love and all that we don’t want other people to think about us or find out about us. As the great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung says, our shadow is the person we would rather not be.

From its invisible home deep within our wounded psyche, our shadow exerts enormous power over our life. It determines what we can and cannot do, what we will be irresistibly drawn toward, and what we avoid over and over again. It dictates our attractions and our rejections and determines what we will love and what we will judge and criticize. Our shadow controls how much success we’re entitled to create or how much failure we’re doomed to experience. The shadow is an oracle that predicts all of our behaviors, driving the way we treat those around us—and how we treat ourselves.

But our shadow can only exert its power over us when we keep it in the dark. And instead of something to be denied, feared or rejected, our shadow holds some of our most treasured gifts: the essence of who we are. When we bring light to the darkness, we find the fundamental parts of our true self buried inside—our greatness, our compassion, and our authenticity. And as we explore this part of us that we most feared, we become free—free to experience the full range of our humanness, free to bask in our glorious totality, free to choose what we do in this world. Our shadow delivers us the blessing of our entire self.

When we make peace with our shadow; our Flawed Character, our lives transform. We no longer have to pretend to be someone we’re not. We no longer have to prove we’re good enough. We no longer have to live in fear. Instead, as we find the gifts of our shadow and celebrate the glory of our true self, we finally find the freedom to create the life we have always desired.

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