Recently Beverley Holt of Riviera Reiki and I hosted a viewing and discussion of the film, “The Shadow Effect.”
What is the shadow?
Carl Jung said that “the shadow is the person that we’d rather not be.” He explains that the shadow is the side of our personality which we do not consciously display in public. It may have positive or negative qualities. If it remains unconscious, the shadow is often projected onto other individuals or groups. Anything that we judge in others is often a hidden part of our self that we deny or of which we are ashamed.
Most of us think of our shadow as the hidden, nightmare version of our self, but it may also be composed of denied parts of our personality – including the qualities that might be considered positive – such as the successful, rich, happy, loving and outgoing version of our self.
The shadow can be considered a normal, natural part of our personality and if we embrace it, nurture it, give it a place in the sun we can grow, evolve and become more peaceful.
Connie Zwieg, PhD., and Steve Wolf, PhD. explain in the book Romancing the Shadow,
“Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life. We meet our dark side, accept it for what it is, and we learn to use its powerful energies in productive ways. The Shadow knows why good people sometimes do “bad” things. Romancing the Shadow and learning to read the messages it encodes in daily life can deepen your consciousness, imagination, and soul.”
What is your shadow?
Debbie Ford, author of The Shadow Effect, encourages us to focus on what we love most about ourselves – like our generosity, openness, loving nature, – then ask “what would be the negative opposite of these qualities?”
You’d then discover your shadow in you…
Since you don’t like those qualities you tend to express the opposite. So if you look at your currently expressed personality traits, you may find that your shadow is what encouraged you to embody them.
Just know that when you totally disown those shadow qualities you tend to become unbalanced and eventually those parts of your personality will express themselves in often explosive ways.
What we deny within ourselves we project onto others
In the Shadow Effect film with Debbie Ford, Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson, they highlight several examples of people whose shadow has reared its head in aggressive ways. One such example is Mel Gibson who produced films about Christianity and in a drunken rage screamed anti-Semitic comments.
It has been said by Katya Walter,
the “Shadow wants to be heard, simply that. But if it isn’t, it turns nasty. It becomes a veritable demon, witch, or son-of-a-bitch, demanding its pound of flesh….in very painful real time, not dreamtime.
Pay attention to your shadow. If you keep distancing yourself, saying “Heavens, it’s not my fault!”—then heaven help you. Hell won’t.”
Heal yourself – shine light on your shadow
The gift of embracing the qualities and allowing them to be expressed in healthy ways, we become more open, free and peaceful. We become more whole and balanced.
By giving the part of our personality space to be, without total rejection and judgment, we become more accepting and tolerant of others who also express those traits. We then allow light to shine on those hidden parts of our personalities, and allow them to be considered ‘right’, instead of constantly labeled as wrong or negative.
By embracing and accepting that we ALL have the potential for light, dark, diabolical and angelic qualities we recognize that we can embrace and accept ourself as whole and complete.
You may feel less tension in your life and more energy to live your truth when you are no longer using energy to hide your undesirable traits. You don’t go on rampages, nor do you give in to the lazy, greedy or other ‘negative’ qualities. Instead, you allow your feelings to inform you of what you really need…sometimes it is important to be ‘greedy’ for personal time rather than being so generous you don’t know how to say no or set boundaries.
Sometimes it is important to let your ‘lazy’ self teach you how to take a break, rest and renew yourself. You then appreciate your active side. Stay tuned for more in this series about your shadow!
Learn more about the Shadow Effect film here:
The Shadow Effect: An Interactive Movie Experience Featuring:
Debbie Ford, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, James Van Praagh, Mark Victor Hansen
Be uplifted by the power that is hidden beneath the surface of your conscious mind. Take this emotionally gripping, visually compelling journey into your mysterious shadow self—the hiding place for your most disliked thoughts, emotions, and impulses—and discover how by embracing your worst fears, you can step into your greatest self. Be transformed by Debbie Ford, the #1 New York Times best-selling author and internationally acclaimed expert on the human shadow, as well as some of the most brilliant and evolutionary thinkers of the 21st century. Be inspired to uncover the wisdom in your wounds, the blessings in your misfortunes, and the gifts that are waiting to be claimed where you may least expect them . . . in the dark.
In this groundbreaking and revolutionary interactive movie experience, be guided through eight transformational exercises to uncover, own, and embrace what has been hidden in the dark—keeping you from stepping into your greatest dream. If shadows could talk, they would tell you that there is gold to be mined in every experience.
Stay tuned for the next installment on embracing your WHOLE self!