The Shadow – The Dark Side

The shadow is a psychological concept comprising of all the rejected, unfamiliar, or unflattering traits that we can’t see within ourselves.

According to Carl Jung’s the shadow represents “the dark side” of your personality that often hides behind the mask (persona) to protect the ego. The impression or illusion that presents itself on society becomes a spotlight on an actor selling themselves to the audience.

Though behind the curtains lurks the unwanted less desirable traits comprising of repressed ideas, weaknesses, urges, instincts, and shortcomings. The utter fear of exposing these undesirable traits the actor will not only convince others, but themselves that they are an upstanding citizen of society.

Jung understood if the shadow was repressed it was commonly known to morph in our dreams in different various forms. The theme is often vivid that revolves around cold blooded reptiles, a monster, aggressive animals, a devil, a DRAGON, or some other dark, wild, or exotic figure.

By investigating your shadow will lead to greater authenticity, creativity, balance, inner harmony, and personal awakening. Shadow work gives us the opportunity for greater sense of power in an ever-changing and sometimes limiting world.

Carl Jung Shadow Work

When the pendulum pulls only towards the “good” sides of their lives – that which one feels loving, light, happiness and joy – life becomes lopsided and listless. By observing what might be behind the curtains of owns own personally you will see anger, laziness, fears, insecurities and co-dependency.

Shadow work is the practice of splitting into the unconscious and acknowledging its fixations in order to integrate them into conscious field of awareness. A road that is never ventured or explored represses the shadow into the dark corners of the mind – commonly known to project its weakness and flaws on others. In a psychology a projection is a defense mechanism that projects our buried undesirable traits on others.

Turn The Lights On Please

As time goes on humans are becoming more civilized compared to our ancestors. The shadow still contains aggression and sexual instincts that is a product of our evolution. These urges are repressed to blend in with our social norms.

Often times how we are raised can mold the shadow in different ways. Aspects of your personality or urges that evoke fear from our parents automatically become a threat.

Unable to shine light on these dark inner traits you become a victim in your own mind. What Carl Jung would describe this as being possessed by your shadow; a claw that pulls you down in forever darkness.

In order to bring light to the darkness requires the individual to integrate these rejected feelings to the light. Accept them with love and sympathy no matter how disgusted you feel.

Human Shadow Examples

  • Greed or envy,
  • Sexual deviance,
  • Limiting beliefs,
  • Rage, hate and anger,
  • Racism or homophobic,
  • Violent tendencies,
  • Neurotic behaviors.
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My Name
My Name
3 years ago

What wonderful article. It helped me understand the meaning of my shadow in dreams.