This is one of the most intriguing questions which can give us deep insights into our being. The shadow is that aspect of ourselves which most like to ignore and often manifests as negativity in our lives. This can take the form of depression, incessant worry and anxiety, anger, regret and shame to name a few. The shadow usually has roots in subconscious blocks which we have acquired in childhood and also in unresolved emotions from past traumatic experiences. The problem is that most of us ignore these aspects of our psyche because they are usually too painful to confront.
The thing we must realize that they are painful to the ego which wants you to believe that it is too scary to confront our unresolved feelings rooted in past emotional traumas. The ego does this because it realizes that once you confront and process those unresolved emotions, you will come across a deep undeniable inner peace and sense of self which surpasses your ego identity and gives you a glimpse of a higher aspect of yourself.
This is the beginning of a higher level of consciousness which is not meant to annihilate your ego identity but is meant to integrate your ego and other aspects of who you are into a great context of Self. This is the reason that your shadow aspects or unresolved emotions must be confronted regardless of your fear which is rooted in your ego. Once you confront those shadow aspects, they will reveal themselves as steps on your ultimate journey and fuel your realization of your Higher Consciousness which is the source of true inner peace.
Your unresolved emotions and shadow aspects usually have roots in a sentinel event from your past and you must journey back to that sentinel event. You do not have to experience the event but must experience the emotions around the event fully until you get to the core of those emotions which is inner peace. This can be likened to a hurricane.
A hurricane is a furious storm which is analogous to your unresolved emotions. Once you bear the brunt of that storm and get to its core, you reach the eye of the hurricane which is pure calm, the same as you experience when you let your unresolved emotions unleash their fury on your being until they wash right through you. This is absolutely crucial for emotional healing and to start to glimpse your true nature and Higher Consciousness.
The last thing I would like to add is that, because if is often scary to face those shadow aspects of yourself, you may want to do it with someone who is trained in this realm such as a therapist or a coach. The shadow is a theme which I address throughout my new book, ‘Healing From The Inside Out: Overcome Chronic Disease And Radically Change Your Life.’
Nauman Naeem MD FCCP FRCPC