The Hidden Gift of our Human Shadow

Awakening to the Divine Enchantress Within is about illuminating the unknown or hidden aspects of your sacred feminine through love, inclusion and compassion.

As all of the archetypes and their gifts live within us, we only need to uncover and integrate them to access their gifts. These gems of wisdom lie within our individual and collective shadow. Swiss Psychologist, Carl Jung is famous for formulating the concept of the shadow in the human psyche. The “shadow” may be the single most important concept in psychology and transcendence into consciousness yet many people are unaware of its existence.

As explained earlier, our shadow consists of the parts of ourselves which we feel ashamed of and have been told are unacceptable. We hide these parts away for fear of punishment, rejection, or judgement. Our shadow most often hides behind a door of shame and fear, yet when integrated with compassion and love, it has powerful gifts to share with us to make us whole again. These ‘shameful’ parts of ourselves can be acquired from any experience where we have humiliated, especially during our formative childhood years. We have collectively, as a society, put many of the divine feminine traits in our shadow as they were persecuted and deemed inconsequential for thousands of years in our society and religions.

When we realize that there are treasures, gifts, and transformations available when we shine the light in the dark we learn to not be so afraid of our shadow and it can no longer rule us from the unconscious.

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” – Brene Brown

The Divine Enchantress allows us to embrace all aspects of our human self. The gift of the Divine Mother Archetype, of the well-spring of unconditional love that created us, is the medicine to this prevalent ailment in our society. Because the shadow concept is unknown to most people, the majority tragically believe there is something inherently wrong with them.

Our ‘shadow’ aspects that we have hidden, can come out into the light when we allow our real, raw, authentic, alive, unpredictable, vulnerable, desiring, sexy, and wild aspects of ourselves to be integrated into our lives in a healthy way which completes our wholeness. Here, we can access our inner most desires, our passion for life, our most vulnerable open heart and our ability to be fully true to ourselves.

When we allow ourselves to be with it all – our mess, sorrow, sexuality, awkwardness, neediness, shyness, uncool parts, animalistic urges and imperfection, without any resistance but held within a container of compassion, understanding, and acceptance, we can learn to find the true gifts hidden within us that are waiting to be seen, heard and celebrated.

When we do not allow these ‘unlovable’ aspects of ourselves to be integrated into our psyche and lives, we experience an imbalance in our personality. We are not whole or complete. We are rejecting a very real and vital part of our humanity that was meant to be integrated with the whole.

A very simple example is a ‘good girl’ who has not integrated her anger. If at one time her parent told her that expressing anger was bad (rather than, that it’s ok to feel angry, but hitting is not allowed, for example) and she was punished for this emotion, she most likely will have put anger into her shadow and almost never display anger. Yet anger, alike all of our emotions, is here to tell us that we have a human need, which is not being met. Therefore it is not a bad emotion, it just needs to be directed in a positive way, or in other words, integrated with the light. Possibly, this ‘good girl’ is unable to say, ‘no’ to demands, even when she feels that something is too much or not good for her. This has enormous consequences in her life. Because her anger is in her shadow unexpressed, it builds up over time. We cannot disown our human nature; it is always a part of us. Our emotions must flow and are here to be a guidance system. If they cannot be felt, they are then bottled up, tense and brewing below the surface.

One day, completely out of the blue, when she is exhausted, has had enough and unable to repress her anger any further, she lashes out uncontrollably at someone she deeply loves. She is then completely in shock as she feels ‘this is not me.’ The shame cycle continues as she promises herself to never be angry again and pushes her anger away, feeling that there is something wrong with her. If she were to integrate this aspect of anger of her shadow into her personality, she could see that it was something positive. It is her emotions and body telling her that she has an unmet need. She could let this emotion flow, simply by observing and honouring it and letting herself feel it without judgement, taking the time to feel it and own it without lashing out at someone. She could feel into her body where the anger is and inquire to herself what this anger was trying to tell her. She would then use this guide to set limits or do whatever was needed to take care of her human need. She could connect to the wisdom of her heart, to the well-spring of eternal love that we all are a part of, and ask for the wisdom that this anger is trying to tell her after it has been felt and the storm is clear. Because she allowed her anger, and she asked for its message and applied it in her life, she integrated her shadow with the light. Her anger was no longer something ‘badly out of control,’ but rather a wonderful guidance system of identifying her natural human need and allowed her to take care of herself in a healthy way.

If something has built up in our shadow for some time, we might need to take time on our own in a safe place where we would not hurt another or ourself and really allow ourself to feel that feeling as we allow the voice of love and compassion for ourselves to be there as a container. In this space, there is no judgement, just listening, allowing, accepting, and letting be.

Honouring our uncomfortable part of ourselves by listening, shining the light, embracing it with compassion and seeing it for the gift of knowledge it wants to give you, allows you to no longer be in its control or run by it, but to see it in its sacred integrity and integrate it into your life for wholeness. Every individual has a shadow in order to be able to function and to be accepted in a particular society. But what differentiates human beings is not the existence or non-existence of a shadow, but rather the degree to which one is conscious of their personal shadow. Often people whom are highly judgemental usually are simply unconscious of their own shadow. Notice your own strong judgements, this is the second tool in finding your shadow nature. Your judgements are your shadow that you are unconsciously projecting onto others. It is a good practice to ask yourself, “What is it about that behaviour that I don’t like which could integrate into my life just a bit to create wholeness within? Why does this trigger me? What parts of this could be something I feel shame about which is in my unconscious shadow?”

But likewise, all the goodness you see in others is also a projection of yourself. These are hidden shadow potential which lie within. You do not realize yet, but that potential lies within you as well. This is what the emotion of jealousy tells us. We have bought the false belief that we can’t be or have what the other person is. Our emotions of jealousy are trying to nudge us in a small or large way, to encourage us to heal and spend time cultivating something which our heart truly desires and to love and accept ourselves and our shortcomings.

So we must forgive, embrace, and gently integrate a our shadow nature into our lives. This of course does not mean that we must be angry, wild, out of control individuals. It simply means that must allow ourselves to pay attention and compassionately tend to this aspect. Another way to see it is as if you were making a little hole in a tight beach ball so the pressure can slowly be released without a huge explosion.

It may seem scary to integrate a part of you that you do not like; yet it can be very simple once you get the hang of it. What we need to realize is that we must only integrate a ‘teaspoon’ of what we judge in another person. You do not need to do the behaviour, which you condone; rather it is there for you to learn from and see that a part of you is needing integration and therefore healing (returning to wholeness).

It also does not mean that every judgement you have is a repressed shadow trait. Being decreeing is a gift of the mind. Rather, shadow judgement are the strong and emotionally charged judgements that you feel. For example, if you feel that you “hate when people are selfish” then either you are unconsciously acting selfishly in your own life and need to recognize this in your own self and lovingly forgive yourself and consciously work towards changing this behaviour. Or, on the contrary, you could use just a teaspoon of this ‘selfishness’ in your own life to nourish your self and put your needs first so you can come back into the world complete and give from this state of wholeness. As a practical example, perhaps you always put other peoples needs before your own. If you allow yourself to be just a little bit ‘selfish’ then you will most likely learn to say ‘no’ when you need to. In this way, you have integrated your shadow of being ‘selfish’ and used it within the light and it is incredibly healthy and healing to your life. This could very well be what you needed in order to become whole.

The key is to ask yourself is, ‘what is it about what they are doing which makes me so upset?’ This will make more sense when you are looking at more ethical issues which you of course cannot and do not wish to morally execute. For example, if you are really angry about stealing, it does not mean you need to go out and steal, but perhaps simply look at ways that you take away from the lives of others (maybe you unconsciously drain people of their energy or you steal their time by being late often) or maybe you need to integrate the ability to take what is truly yours if you never allow yourself to. In this way, you would take the time off work to rest as you deserve. If it is not in your shadow, then you will be able to feel that stealing is not fair or kind to others without feeling a huge emotional charge about it. It will feel more matter-of-fact.

It is very often in your shadow that you will discover your hidden gifts, your sincerest compassion and truest acceptance of yourself and humanity at large.

When our shadow integration is attained, we become conscious, whole individuals. We deeply understand our humanity and ourselves. We develop a deep sense of peace within. When we compassionately notice that we have human traits as well as those that we judge, our capacity for tolerance, acceptance and love is extraordinarily increased.

‘Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.’ – Brené Brown

It is not always comfortable to admit to these ‘darker’ aspects of our humanity. We do not like to think that we are not wholly selfless, virtuous and good human beings. We don’t like to admit and that parts of ourselves are impulses that are at times, self-focused and that we have the capacity to be destructive or immoral. Most people would much prefer to believe with blind optimism that we are all good. But according to Carl Jung, this belief creates a fragmented individual who is not whole. It is only by integrating the shadow that one can become truly whole.

As we accept our shadow with open arms, knowing that it is not a repulsive aspect of ourselves but important and vital, we become peaceful within. When we are conscious of our shadow and we understand its nature and its inherent gifts, it no longer has power over us.

In my own personal transformation experience, I discovered that part of my shadow often included my wounded inner child, desperately needing to be loved, accepted, and embraced. After acknowledging, listening to, and embracing these emotions within, the extremely negative, heavy emotions were able to dissipate as quickly as they came.

My deep desire is that you will be able to shine the light on your darkest places in your psyche with so much love and acceptance so that you too can reclaim your sacred gifts within and love yourself into wholeness again and discover that you are love.

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” Rainer Maria Rilke

I hope that you discover that there is nothing inherently wrong with you. My wish is that come to feel deeply the truth that you are by your very makeup sacred and divine and made of love itself. Every part of you has a sacred purpose and just needs to be integrated to become whole again.

With Love,

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