Happy New Year Everyone.
In this video I am going to talk about the shadow. A concept that I have been enamored with for a very long time.
I have always been aware of the shadow but it wasn’t until I started studying psychology in university that I was able to conceptualize such an ephemeral entity.
It was this insidious entity that led me to my studies of psychology in the first place.
With the wake of New Years celebration and the building of new year resolutions, I want to talk with you about the importance of integration of the past years trials and tribulations.
Many of us been through some trying times in 2019 and the years before that as well.
But we tend to try to just shrug it off and pretend it didn’t happen. The most popular attitude I see every year is: Last Year was hell! I’m ready for this year to be better.This attitude is commonly met with complete disregard of what the past years hardships were trying to teach.
Carl Jung talked about the shadow which can be dubbed the “dark side of your mind.”
This dark side is often repressed and ignored.
“The enlargement of the light side of consciousness has the necessary consequence that the part of the psyche which is less light and less capable of consciousness is thrown into darkness to such an extent that sooner or later a rift occurs in the psychic system. At first, this is not recognized as such and is therefore projected – i.e. it appears as a religious projection, in the form of a split between the powers of Light and Darkness.” (The Symbolism of the Spirit, Carl Jung)
If you went through past trials and are trying to understand why, look no further than the dark recesses of your subconscious mind.
There hides some dark things that you may have not addressed.
And when these things are not addressed they tend to manifest themselves in the form of events ranging from mild annoyance to catastrophic life disturbances.
While I’m not suggesting that making the shadow and integrating it is easy I want to share what may be some symptoms of the shadow trying to read its head.
Here are some brief symptoms of shadow behaviors:
- Drug addiction
- Sex addiction
Co dependency, in a romantic sense, is characterized by “clinging” to a partner as a way to fill a void and distract themselves from dealing with their repressed issues.
The narcissist usually starts off the friendship/relationship with an extremely charming persona then changes overnight.
Drug addiction is an obvious clue to hiding some deep rooted trauma and pain from the past.
Sex addiction is similar to drug addiction but the difference is that sex is used in place of drugs. Over emphasis on the sexual portion of interactions with others is a way of “acting out” and numbing.
These symptoms are to be looked at in an open and honest way without judgement.
These behaviors are clues for what lies beneath so let’s not just shrug them off and keep repeating the same behaviors every year.
So what should we do instead?
I propose we Write out each New Years resolution then match it with some sort of “setback” that occurred in opposition last year.
The prior year typically serves as a contrast for most people.
Meaning that by finding out what they didn’t want, they simultaneously found out what they did want.
For example, you may have lost your job last year.
This year you may write on your list “find a new job.” But what are the events that led up to you losing your job? Was it your shadow guiding your into a new endeavor?
Every subject is two subjects. This means that everything has two opposite but equally viable sides.
This also means that the shadow is not to be regarded as something that is not beneficial to our evolution.
This is but one way of integrating our shadow for the purpose of our betterment.
Remember, this journey of personal development isn’t all peaches and honey.
Take the bad with the good and use it to level up.