“Unless you learn to face your own shadows you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside is only a reflection of the world inside you” – Carl Jung
In yoga there is often talks about about the body, the mind, the emotions, the breath and how it is all connected. It helps to positively influence the relationship you have with yourself. But there is an important part that is often neglected: your shadow side.
It is in our human nature to put more emphasis on the side of things that we like about ourselves. The characteristics we’re proud of. The things that we think makes us good human being. Because in the end, most of us want to be loved and liked.
Let’s focus on the truism that everything around us is balanced with an equal opposite. Health only exists because of sickness, strength only because of weakness, light only because of darkness. Therefore, focusing only on your positive side shows just half of who you are. It’s equally important to get to know the other half, your shadow side.
Everyone has a dark side, a secret side. Characteristics or traits they prefer to keep to themselves. And that’s ok. But what would happen if you yourself would embrace that side? If you would embrace your own pain, instead of ignoring it? If you would allow your anger or sadness to just be present, without feeling the need to change them into something positive immediately? What if you faced your most shameful actions or didn’t back away from your weaknesses?
When you get to know your own dark side, you get a deeper, more complete and balanced understanding of yourself. When you accept that not so glamourous side of yourself, it becomes less scary. You will also be much more appreciative of all the goodness and positive that exists in you, because you realize it wouldn’t exist without those shadows.
But damn, it is not easy. It is ugly, hard, harsh, to look at yourself and acknowledge your flaws and shortcomings. To face and embrace your shadow side you need some serious guts. But with the shift of seasons, literally moving into darker days, there is no better moment than now….ready step into to the dark and see?