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  • Foto del escritorYamil Senior

Accepting your dark side: The Concept of Shadow Integration

Actualizado: 14 jul 2023

Shadow integration is a process of bringing the hidden parts of the self into consciousness. The term "shadow" was coined by Carl Jung to describe the repressed or denied parts of the personality. These parts of the self are often seen as negative or undesirable, but they can also contain positive qualities that have been rejected.

Or in other words, it’s the part of you that you try to hide from others, a part of you may be ashamed of, or that you feel is wrong to let out.


The shadow is formed in early childhood, when we learn to suppress certain aspects of ourselves in order to fit in with our families and cultures. For example, if a child is taught that anger is wrong, they may learn to repress their anger, even if it is a healthy and natural emotion.

You might think; What’s wrong this that?

Well, this person might show much patience and restraint in situations where anger is not warranted but they might also become a doormat to people who are imposing or abusive.

This is why Jung thought that the shadow shouldn’t be repressed, but it should instead be allowed to become an integral part of the personality. Therefore it needs to be integrated into who we are.


The shadow can have a negative impact on our lives if it is not integrated. When we repress our shadow, it can manifest in negative ways, such as through projection, addiction, or self-sabotage. Projection is when we unconsciously attribute our shadow qualities to others. For example, if we are afraid of our own anger, we may see other people as being angry all the time. Maybe you’ve had a conversation like this with someone you know.

Addiction can also be a way of trying to cope with the shadow or suppress it even further. And when I say addiction, I want to be clear, I’m not just talking about drugs and alcohol, it could be social media, shopping, video games, etc. When we are addicted to something, we are essentially giving our shadow control over our lives.

Shadow integration is the process of bringing these hidden parts of ourselves into consciousness and accepting them as part of who we are. This can be a difficult process, but it is essential for psychological health and wholeness.

How Can We Integrate Our Shadow?

There are many different ways to integrate your shadow, I can’t really tell you one is better than another. It’s more of a question of what works best for you, but here are the keys to unlocking and integrating your shadow:

Awareness:

Self exploration through focused self talk, mediation, or therapy are good ways to identify your shadow. But we need to be very intentional about it, you could meditate for hours thinking about clouds and sunshine but if you’re not intentionally looking for your shadow self you won’t find it.

Acceptance:

Once you’ve identified the origin and nature of your shadow, you must own up to it. Stop trying to hide it or repress it, instead try to find ways in which it can be helpful to you.

For example; if your shadow is anger, find situations in your life where anger can be justified and help you lead a better life. And believe me, there can be many benefits to anger when it is correctly used.

Implementation:

It’s not enough to know something intellectually. We must practice it and put it all into action. So in order for us to fully integrate our shadow we need to test it out, practice at bringing that shadow into the light and owning it.

In the beginning it may be scary or uncomfortable, that’s normal. But you’ll realize that integration makes total sense in terms of developing all areas of your life.

What Are The Benefits of Shadow Integration?


Can you really be yourself if you’re hiding parts of your personality? I don’t think so, and Jung didn’t think so either, which is why allowing yourself to show all parts of you, including the ones that are not so nice, makes you a more fulfilled and confident person.

There are many benefits to shadow integration. Some of the benefits include:


Increased self-awareness:

Shadow integration can help you to become more aware of your own thoughts, feelings, and motivations. This can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself and your place in the world and how you interact with it. And that’s always a good thing.


Improved relationships:

Shadow integration can help you to have more honest and authentic relationships with others. When you are more aware of your shadow, you are less likely to project it onto others.

In other words you tend to have a lower tolerance for bullshit and a higher awareness of how you interact with the ones you love.


Reduced anxiety and depression:

When you accept your shadow, you are no longer fighting against yourself, you’re a complete person. This can lead to a more peaceful and contented state of mind. Which in turn leads to you having better relationships and creating an environment that makes it hard for you to feel anxious or depressed.


Increased creativity:

One of the things that often stops creative people in their tracks it so much self censorship. When you’re constantly battling your own thoughts and emotions it becomes extremely hard to trust your ideas.

Because of this shadow integration can help to increase your creativity. When you stop fighting against parts of yourself, ideas flow, and you start to trust in your intuition.

Don’t get me wrong!

Shadow integration is a complex process, it’s not as simple as it may seem. However it is also not as hard as most “experts” make it out to be either.

In my own life I’ve found it to be essential for mental health and wholeness. If you are interested in learning more about shadow integration and other ways to move your life forward, click here to schedule a free coaching consultation call.


Master Your Destiny

and make this an amazing day.


Yamil Senior

PS. I am now recommending to all my readers to go see the new movie based on true events called “Sound of Freedom.” It sheds a light on the very real horrors of human trafficking. As well as giving to Operation Underground Railroad so that we can help fight against these terrible crimes.

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