(In the previous article, you can read about what shadow self is.)
Embracing our shadow self isn’t a short-term process. On the contrary, we need to build a relationship with our shadow deliberately. It’s a life-long process and it our shadow can teach us more about ourselves than anything else.
During the integration process of our shadow self into our conscious mind, we tap into our power. Thus we set off on the mystical journey to the underworld.
The underworld is our inner landscape where our power and knowledge resides. In many cultures around the world, people have received initiation into these powers by facing danger or being left alone in the dark.
Although the times have changed, we still descend into the underworld and experience various initiations during our life. They may have less symbolic power, and they don’t happen deliberately, but rather it seems like life got out of the flow. Yet still, we’re in an active relationship with our psyche and shadow side.
You can’t ignore your shadow
Befriending our shadow self is a smart choice because it will keep coming into our daily life until we notice it.
The ways of the shadow self to catch our attention are various. You may be suppressing your anger, and then your computer unexpectedly crashes down. Yes, even this kind of “power” our shadow self can have. But it’s caused by overheat of the energy that we emit.
From my personal and coaching experience, I know that the sooner you develop a relationship with your shadow self, the happier and more potent you become.
The shadow self and emotions
One of the ways to connect with our shadow self is through our emotions and dreams. Although we’re not aware of what our unconscious conceals, we can receive its signals and guidance in the form of our emotions.
The primary tool how to distinguish them is by observing whether you feel positive and inspired or negative, anxious, and in tension. The latter informs us that we need to give our attention to some unhealed part of ourselves.
Thus in order to create a healthy relationship with your shadow self, you need to be in touch with your emotions. Notably, your negative emotions. You need to get to the core of the emotion you feel.
There are many useful methods to tap into your unconscious and heal those denied aspects of you. The most common ones are psychotherapy, life coaching, but also kinesiology or hypnosis.
But I want to share with you one technique that you can use by yourself and that will set you off your inner healing journey.
How to embrace your shadow self with a shadow diary
One of the easiest ways is how to embrace your shadow self through journaling and creating your shadow diary. A shadow diary isn’t the typical diary; it’s your sacred space where you can openly share your darkest side.
I recommend buying an actual notebook and write by hand. But if having a doc. file in your computer enables you to get into flow better then, by all means, do it.
Your shadow diary is a safe space where you can curse and be as negative as you wish.
This is the healthy and safe way how you can release any negativity out of you. While you release some steam, you experience aha moments that give you valuable insights into your past.
After you finish your entry, you can reread your words and see if something surprises or shock you. Very likely you’ll learn a lot about yourself.
While writing, keep in mind that anything you suppress gets power over you.
Thus try to be as negative as you can so you let out as much of your shadow self on the surface as possible.
I recommend writing on a daily basis (especially at the beginning) or at least a couple a times a week. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy exercise, but it will teach you to become aware of what is going on in your innermost levels.
Once you finish, you close your shadow diary, and you go back into your daily life, leaving the negativity behind. You can even burn the diary (safely in the sink) or bury it when there are no more pages left.
This can be a symbolic act of closing individual chapters of your life once you feel like you’ve healed them.
Of course, you should make sure that no one finds your shadow diary because it’s not meant for the eyes of others.
When you get in touch with your shadow through journaling, it won’t manifest so frequently in your reality in an unwanted form.
You’ll also learn a whole universe of new things about yourself and your life. It will lead you to the answers that you’ve been searching for a long time. Your intuition will also sharpen and very likely your dreams will get more vivid.