I am going to disclaimer this by saying that the views / opinions expressed in this blog post are solely my own and I understand they may not be in alignment with everyone, and that it okay. Viewer Discretion Advised.
What is shadow work?
Why do we have to do it?
Why does it have to suck?
I have been doing shadow work journeys, assisting others within their inner work journeys and connecting with the energies of others for over a year now. Each journey I go on with my clients is unique and I end up learning just as much from the process as my clients. But what the hell is shadow work?
If you are reading this it is likely that you either know a bit about what shadows are or are curious and that is why you are checking out my website. So here is a quick run down. Shadows are our subconscious hidden / rejected emotions that often keep us in a state of resistance and cause us to cling to unhealthy patterns and loops that more often than not do not positively serve our lives. Anything we hid away out of fear, shame, doubt or reject entirely about ourselves to appease others is hidden in the shadows, trauma we have experienced that we keep buried or suppressed but continue to have a haunting undertone within our lives are all shadow energies.
These energies are often seen as taboo, a lot of people individually do not like going into these spaces because they are uncomfortable, scary or triggering.
So instead of facing them we often suppress these emotions, hide or reject parts of ourselves we lost due to the trauma we have experienced and what is the affect of suppressing these emotions?
To explore what affect suppressing these emotions has on a person I am going to tell you a personal story.
When I was a child I was incredibly intuitive, I was always into the unknown and paranormal and I was constantly aware of the energies in the room much more than the adults around me. I don't know how I knew, I just flipping knew, everything. I remember watching a television show with a very popular psychic medium on the show, she did weekly guest spots on his show with predictions and messages from passed loved ones. I remember thinking how cool is this lady?
Isn't this amazing?
I want to be like her when I grow up!
All these thoughts of this fantastical woman ran through my mind and I really wanted to do that. I wanted to help others gain closure and really become their best self through receiving from the other side. I wanted to do that too!
It was a hard life to live. I felt society kept mocking psychics, shaming them and making them look like they were all nothing but scam artists and their was "no such thing". When I think back now I hear nothing but the voices of others shaming this poor woman and her mission. It made me really not want to lean in and trust my intuition out of shame that I would be labelled a "scam artist".
So I rejected my intuition.
I felt it was safer to hide or neglect this part of me.
So I did.
I did not realise how much this decision to hide or neglect this part of me would truly affect me until much later in my life.
How did it affect me?
Well I was withdrawn, I doubted myself, I never felt I was good enough for anything, I was always afraid to make decisions and a slew of other things I will omit before this turns into a tangent.
Rejecting my intuition for me was rejecting the very thing that made me, me. I was no longer allowing myself to lead intuitively, instead I was allowing my fear, doubt, shame and self abuse to steer the ship of my life. I was allowing my trauma from witnessing this woman I adored being shamed and labelled a "scam artist" right before my eyes to consume me and I did not want to be labelled as such so I felt I had to reject these pieces of me.
You never know how much something will affect you, until you do.
Shadow work is seeing all the muck that you have experienced and examining why you may have made the choices you have made and allowing yourself to speak above the trauma, above the opinions / views of others and allowing your voice to be the voice that leads you.
Oftentimes I found myself throughout my life listening to the voices or opinions of others over my own voice or opinion. I found myself going against my intuition working against myself quite frankly to serve the narratives of other, to make others comfortable with me I had to make myself small. It was not a life I thrived in, but I was surviving.
This lesson would repeat time and time again on my spiritual journey. Even in my interactions with others who are in the spiritual community I found myself following the herd of love and light instead of honouring my soul through shedding light on the shadows. I even went as far as to do weekly live card pulls and collaborations in the light that made me put myself in that box if only for a moment to appease another.
There is value in love, there is value in light.
But there is no value in either if you are not journeying into the darkness to examine the perceived negative emotions you are experiencing. Everyone's journey here is different. Everyone's experience here is completely different in all ways, always. We devalue our own experience when we make ourselves small and cater to the person with the strongest intention in the room.
We lose every time.
That icky feeling we experience when we do something that is not in alignment with how we are feeling is a sign. Those butterflies, feeling nauseous experiences are all signs there is something not quite right about a situation and here's the thing, we always know.
Shadow work is allowing yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling and leaning into it fully and completely trusting the feelings you are experiencing are as intended. It is seeing perceived negative emotions as experience and moving forward in alignment in a way that completely honours you, your whole self, in light and in darkness.
How do you honour your whole self?
How do you sit with your emotions?
Feel the emotion, but never become it.
You are worthy.
Your best is always enough.
That is shadow work.