Acknowledging the Shadow Self: Meditation

February 1st, 2010

There are times where we seem to be waging an internal war.  At those times we are our own worst enemy, worst critic and hardest task master.  So, how do we pull ourselves back into balance?  We must acknowledge and embrace the opposing forces inside of us.  Once we accomplish this task life will flow much more peacefully.

The way to do this is to recognize and accept your shadow self. You have to identify the part of your psyche that you generally try to keep at bay.  When you are ready to deal with this part of yourself you will be ready to begin.

As usually you will want to find a quiet spot where you can relax and be undisturbed.  You will want to take that mental step from daily life into the other realm.  Once you do this you will see in your minds eye that you are in the middle of a small clearing within a grove of trees.  There isn’t much light, just enough to cast flickering shadows all around you.  As your eyes adjust you notice that there is a thick fog obscuring your view and making any clear exits impossible to see.  The only way to find your path is to identify your shadow self, know why it is a part of you, and understand it.

As you sit in the grove pondering the darker side of yourself you’ll want to ask several questions.  What do you find most challenging about yourself or your personality?  Does it affect your self-esteem or your interpersonal relationships?  Do you find yourself prone to jealousy, anger, or doubt?  Whatever your issue(s) may be, name it.

You’ll see a small stick next to where you are sitting.  The ground around you is bare and soft.  Take the stick and write into the soft ground what you have named your shadow self.  Once you have done this you’ll notice a shape in the mist in front of you.  You may or may not be able to identify what exactly the shape is.  If you can, make a note of it for later.  The fog softens the image, making it almost intangible, but you can interact with it.

Talk to this aspect of yourself.  You can ask any questions of the shadow self you’d like to gain a better understanding of its presence in your life.  Tell your shadow self that you understand and accept that it is a part of who you are.  It is a part of what makes you an individual and makes you stronger.  Instead of fighting with your shadow self come to an understanding of how you can work together.

When you are able to come to the realization that you are stronger together than separate you can take the shadow self back into your life.  The shadow within the fog will come closer to you; it will be transparent and ethereal like a ghost.  Close your eyes and it will float toward you and go to pass through you.  Do not be afraid.  Allow it to reenter your being and realign itself with you.  You may feel something click within you as this piece of the puzzle finally fits into place.  Once this shift has occurred you will be feeling whole again.

Now as you open your eyes and blink several times you’ll notice the fog starting to recede.  The light in the grove is starting to brighten and new green shoots are sprouting out from the bare earth you were sitting on.  The shadows around you are beginning to dissipate, retreating to the edge of clearing.  When you are ready a path out of the grove will open.  Walk out of the clearing and take the step back into reality.

The ability to face the darker nature that is within each of us takes courage.  Understand that it is an integral part of who we are.  Addressing it and how it manifests in your life will bring you greater inner peace and as a reflection your other interactions will be smoother.

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