Why Shadow work is necessary to integrate the Ego and embrace the inner child.
Shadow Work is a stage in the alchemical process whereby we release our attachment to our ego identity, our mask, so that we may identify the subconscious programs and perceptions that contributed to its formation. This mask is our ideal self. The version of us we use to interact with the world. Its job is to protect us from experiencing pain and it will go to great lengths to do so at all costs. Why? Because it believes that we are no more capable of dealing with the pain then we were as a child. If it gave the adult us a chance we would prove it wrong but it doesn't want to take that chance. It has been protecting our conscious mind from experiencing the pain it thinks we may feel if it discovered the aspects of ourselves it has been hiding. Consequently, these aspects are then placed within the subconscious and unconscious mind
The Subconscious Mind & Unconscious Mind
The parts of us we deemed "bad", "unworthy", "unacceptable" or "unlovable"...or parts of us that experienced what it deemed traumatic all make up whats called the Shadow. These subconscious aspects can be emotions, fears, motivations, and perceptions of the world we developed. In the unconscious we find the deep-seated traumas, judgements of ourselves and perceptions of ourselves based off the projections of others. From these perceptions and emotions, we developed programs (aka limiting beliefs) from which we approach the world.
The Inner Child
Deep within in the unconscious shadow is the most beautiful, innocent, authentic and vulnerable aspect of ourselves... our true soul expression that was not honored, respected, seen, or acknowledged.
Before it was taught that it was not good enough it did not question its worth. It was unapologetically its innocent divine self.
Before the world taught it not to speak, it had a voice and loved to sing.
Before it was made fun of for dancing offbeat, it enjoyed the freedom of shaking, moving and jumping to its own rhythm.
Before the world taught it to make excuses for its appearance, it didn't compare itself to anyone and didn't know it was "different".
Before it was taught that attention needed to be earned through "proper" behavior, it felt acknowledged and praised just for being.
The painful emotions from what we learned in these early experiences belong to the aspect of the self called the Inner Child which has been holding onto these emotions our whole life. While the conscious aspect of ourselves changed its perspective and gained new insights and wisdom through experiences, our inner child never grew up. Its feelings were never acknowledged or even realized. We rush through life dragging it along never giving it any attention because we are much too busy to deal with it...to slow down to listen. This doesn't work though.
Why Shadow Work is So Important
Our reality mirrors back to us every aspect of ourselves, not just our mask. While we crave love, our reality mirrors back to us, not the unconditional love we have for others, but the conditional love we received as a child and the pain it caused us. While we crave success and work hard to achieve it, we do not receive acknowledgement for our efforts, but rather are taught that our best isn't good enough...just like our inner child was taught. No matter how much sense you think you made of these experiences and got over it, it's still there until you do the shadow work and address the inner child.
You see, while we show our mask to the world, the world shows us our shadow. Once it has been brought to light, we can release all that is not authentic to us and begin the process of integration with the remaining parts. It is only then that our reality will begin to mirror back to us the true nature of our essence...healed, happy and whole.
The unconscious mind is called unconscious for a reason. While we may get some insights into the subconscious such as our fears and motivations, it can be a quite difficult process understanding what caused these fears in the first place. This information is in the unconscious mind. For assistance in identifying what is in the unconscious I offer Multi-Dimensional Healing sessions where I will explain them to you and how they have been affecting different areas of your life. If you are interested in booking a session or for more information, please click here.
Or head to the main Alchemy in Progress homepage here.
by Anishia Coleman