Shadow Work


Shadow work!

A tool for great personal discovery.

One that cleans up the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us

are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

– Ralph Waldo Emmerson


Every cell in our body has the blueprint for the whole of us. Similarly, the whole of us carries the blueprint for the entire universe and beyond.

Every single thing that exists in this world is within you. The beautiful, glorious, exquisite expressions of life. And the dark, hostile, frightening aspects of humanity. In all it’s greatness, what you see out there in the world is all a part of you.

As we grow up, we deny, we hide, we lose parts of ourselves. This is what forms the shadow. We project these aspects onto the world around us.


When we can’t see it, or own it in ourselves, be it so-called positive or negative aspects, it shows up in the people around us. We’ll see it in our loved ones…and be driven to great irritation or hurt. Or we’ll see it in those we admire with mad envy for having qualities that seem so elusive.

If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the “House of the Gathering.” Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day. – Carl Jung

Shadow work shows you how to be with yourself.

It shows up again and again in our relationships and in our day to day situations. We leave those relationships only to find the same patterns emerging in the next relationship. We leave our jobs only to find a few years later similar feels arise.

We can not run from ourselves. There is no escape. Because the one common denominator in every situation is you. You and you and you. Everywhere you go you meet yourself. Have you noticed?

“Owning our story can be hard

but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it….

Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness

will we discover the infinite power of our light”

– Brene Brown

Shadow work, is one of the most useful tools I learnt over the years. It taught me to face what I was most afraid of. It shifted many life patterns I thought I could NEVER change. I was wrong.

Let me give you a concrete example. Help you make the intangible tangible.

After the umpteempth bad relationship, I finally faced that it was not anyone else but me.

No, it was not the so-called lousy men I was choosing. I was the so-called lousy woman they were choosing. I sat my broken hearted ass in my bedroom for an entire week.  Harville Hendrix’s book, Keeping The Love That You Find, became my best friend.

Shadow work as a tool to freedom

1. I wrote up the name of three men who I had experienced a great intensity with.

2. I listed all their positive traits, and all their negative traits.

3. I circled the words that repeated.

This is what I ended up with.

Talented, charismatic, hardworking, inspiring, powerful

Dishonest, unavailable, addictions, disconnected emotionally, uncommitted

Where is this in me? Uncommitted, unavailable?

C’mon, I’m not that. No ways.

It’s all I want is to be in a committed relationship.


Hmmmmm. I had to do a lot of thinking. At first I couldn’t see it. But slowly I noticed all the places and all the ways I was unavailable and non-commital.

  • I refused to sign contracts.
  • When things got tough I avoided people.
  • I hardly ever finished what I started.
  • I didn’t do things I didn’t like.
  • I needed things to be my way – or the hi way.


Goodness gracious me, I really was all that. I don’t know how I missed it.

I was dishonest because I was a people pleaser, moulding myself into what I thought they wanted. I was only available when it felt easy. I quit when the tough was in. I was most certainly an addict.

As for those wonderful parts. Some of it I could see. Some I still can’t see. Like charismatic. But I’ve caught glimpses of the me that is that.

Dr John Demartini, takes shadow work further. He asks that we explore the benefits of our negative traits and the disadvantages of our positive traits. Everything serves a purpose. Nothing is right or wrong. Everything stems from within. When we can see that –  we see clearly. When we see clearly, the emotions stay calm, and wisdom reigns.

I cleaned up. I still clean up.

I never again attracted the same kind of relationship. Unless that is, I stop owning my stuff. I am you and you are me.

Overtime, as we clean up our stuff, we clean up the world. I love shadow work for keeping me real.

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality,

for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort.

To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects

of the personality as present and real.

This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.

– Carl Jung

PS. Are you tired of messy relationships?

  • Fed up with the pain you feel?
  • Do you want to shift your relationship patterns?
  • Do you need to forgive yourself and others?
  • Would you love to feel good inside most of the time?
Join us October 10th for FreshStart Emotional Rebootemotional-reboot.png

 Vangile Makwakwa ·

Jo! Wow!! I just had the most aha moments reading this. Im actually reading up on the book, “Keeping the Love You Deserve.” Hmmm

Khutjo Boledi Mothapo ·

Wow…I get it. I’ll also get that book. It just dawned in me that I hardly finish things that I started. Thank you.

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