Why do I have a prominent shadow self? | Sarah Negus

Why do I have a prominent shadow self?

Why do I have a prominent shadow self-

The shadow self!  Ooohhhh.... are you imagining something dark, dangerous and downright difficult?  If you are, then you are amongst the many.  The idea of our shadow self conjures up all sorts of fabled dysfunctional archetypes, and culturally speaking shadow is shunned.  

I, on the other hand, as the Modern Day Shaman, LOVE your shadow self and if you are asking yourself why you have a prominent shadow self? Then it is time to look within that part of you and find out why.

Your prominent shadow self may show up often depending on how aware you are of your unconscious limiting beliefs and behaviour patterns.  If you are not aware of the things that have shaped you along your journey through life, if you don't understand your triggers and if you like to avoid the parts of yourself that make you feel uncomfortable then you will have a prominent shadow self.

What we resist shall persist after all.

Cast your mind over your life for a moment, do you notice patterns?

Are you replaying the same relationship again and again.  Do you find your financial situation yo yos... great one day, then awful the next.  Do you attach how you feel to the way others behave towards you?  Or, do you simply find you are often angry or sad or anxious for no reason.  

Do you find yourself on the cusp of success (as defined by you) only to fail (again defined by you) right at the last minute. When you are juggling many balls in the air in your life, do you find you contract a cold or an illness.  Do stomach issues plague you?

Do you find yourself playing out conversations in your head.  The conversations you wished you had but never do.  Do you catch yourself in full flow of self criticism inside yourself, and does your secret mind chatter go around and around your brain tying you up in nots of 'not good enough'.

Whew.... if you recognise any of the above, your shadow self is having a field day with you.  Trying to get you to pay attention, causing chaos and discomfort in your life, until you wake up, or look up, or actually look within at what is playing out unconsciously in your energy.

Your shadow self is actually your best friend.

Yep... your best friend.  Your shadow self has your back.  

Your shadow holds every experience you have had in your life.  In particular, the experiences that were difficult for you in your past, the ones that you weren't emotionally mature enough to deal with, other than to lock down emotion.  It has recorded all of the things you've learned in order to survive.  

For example, that being loud and happy makes others feel uncomfortable so therefore it is better not to do it.  Or, that it is better to be quiet and not say anything as when you do the outcome isn't a good one.  Or, it remembers that you were ignored that time, and therefore are not worthy of being loved.  It remembers that when you gave your time and effort you were noticed, so you give give give without allowing any time for you to receive (remember you're not worthy of being loved).  And, it has decided that it is much easier not to avoid success as when you do succeed others find fault in you.

You see your shadow wants you to survive, it wants to live, so it does its best to keep you safe. 

Your shadow encapsulates trauma all of the angry outbursts you've witnessed, the anger you feel at the unfairness of life, the deep fear that you felt and couldn't manage.  The sadness you have in your heart as you search for connection. Your shadow keeps all of these emotions at bay, within you.  Sometimes though, a trigger will unleash unbridled rage from you, or something will cause the fear you've buried to emerge without warning.  Or a movie will resonate and tears of sadness will fall and your heart will ache.

Your shadow hides things from you that it doesn't think you are ready to deal with, or are able to manage.  One of the things I love about your shadow self is that it holds space for your potential.  That amazing you, that you are living towards, that 'you' that makes you uncomfortable, that threatens the status quo of your life.  The 'you' that is your future self, that means that change has to happen for you to be her.

So, the fact that your shadow self is making herself felt and is prominent in your life means that you are on the edge of your boundaries, you are about to experience change and in order to do that you must shift your core beliefs around who you are in order to evolve.  This means expanding your self awareness, this means diving into your shadow self to discover the secrets you have hidden with her.  It means mastering your shadow self, getting to know her and getting to like her.  

Your shadow self may have many aspects to her, different voices and behaviours:-

  • The inner critic who constantly tells you whatever you do isn't good enough.
  • The perfectionist, the one who waits until everything is perfect.
  • The clown, that part of you that can't settle down to anything productive.
  • The anger management team - the ones that quietly hold your rage, reminding you of it constantly, consistently.
  • The sloth, the one that can't be bothered to succeed because its easier to stay right here and not change
  • The Queen, the one that thinks everything should come without effort

There are many more and you will have your own unique shadow aspects.  The thing is they all reside within the whole.  And, they all hide a very special part of your shadow from view.  Your Golden Shadow, your potential, your future self - that part of you that you're not quite comfortable with showing yet, because you've got a bit more to do first before you become her.  She's living in your Shadow too and the fact that your Shadow is prominent means that part of your Golden Shadow is ready to be seen.

Are you ready to be brave enough to bring her through?


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Leave a Reply 4 comments

Dale Darley - 10th October 2017 Reply

It’s funny I always used to think that the shadows were a place to hide and not so good. Then I started to think about how depending on the time of year, shadows can be good – hiding from the heat of the sun or not so good – too cold and seeking the sun. It came to me that they are all part of the turning of the seasons – the turning of life. It’s all perspective.

    Sarah - 10th October 2017 Reply

    It is indeed perspective Dale, thank you for yours here. The turning of life is what the Shadow within us holds for us, past turnings.

Esther Nagle - 11th October 2017 Reply

I like the idea of this. AS I was reading it, I could totally get behind the idea of the shadow self having its own identity, one that I can view as not entirely me, but someone whose opinions I have to think about, but maybe not make my decisions with. A trusted friend who I can ignore if her advice isn’t helpful….so that part of me that thinks I am not good enough at what I want to do, who works with the perfectionist to make me really convinced that I cannot ever do anything good enough, the part of my that read Dale’s comment and thought ‘mine won’t be as insightful as hers, I may as well not comment’..they are all shadow thoughts, and I can choose to listen to them and act on them, or not. It is my choice, the part of me that isn’t in the shadows.

    Sarah - 16th November 2017 Reply

    Yes Esther, absolutely. Getting to know your shadow aspects gives you choice, rather than knee jerk reaction fuelled by your perfectionist or any other aspect that shows up. The lovely thing about the shadow is that it also holds your beautiful potential, that part of you that you’re not ready to own up to quite yet, so the more you look within it, the more your future self steps towards you.

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