The Shadow

Sr. Bruno saying the prayer of the broken face. 

         Welcome to Monday of a week that we are certain will be interesting. After being interviewed by the Miami Herald, with photo shoot and all, we are really tapping in to the deep dark fears that keep freaking us out every time someone says that they like our stuff. So, like we have been known to do, we have decided to make this week’s theme reflect our own inner turmoil as we talk about the weaknesses and shortcomings that we call the Shadow. (Ooooooh, scary.)

          Paul says: OK, folks, pay attention. I’m going to try and teach you about Shadows in two paragraphs so you may need to concentrate. If you have ever read any of the work of Carl Jung, contemporary of Freud and one of the founding fathers of psychology, then you know that his stuff is like listening to a marijuana enhanced rant from Yoda.

          The Shadow is one of the five main Jungian Archetypes. See, I lost you already. An Archetype, according to Jung, is a universal model of an idea. The Mother Goddess, for example, is an archetype of that you would see in every culture throughout the world. Mother Mary, Lakshmi, Isis, and Hera are all Mother Goddess images, imbued with magic powers of healing and proliferation. Psychologically, these are images that are part of our make-up and are accessible to us any time that we need them.

          The Shadow is an archetype of all of the fears, weaknesses and dark yucky stuff that is in each of us. It is the part that we do not want to see. We do everything that we can to repress and ignore this part because it is scary. And I am not talking about a little bit spooky. I am talking about Chucky meets Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction frightening. Think about it, if the Mother Goddess archetype is as grand and glorious as it is then the Shadow archetype will be equally…shadowy.

          I’ve identified a few shadows at this point. One is an ethereal creature that fills me with shame, tells me that I am weird and generally stops me from talking about myself and my inner thoughts. Obviously, this blog is a way for me to ‘work my shadow’ which is the point of identifying these monsters within us.

          Jung said that the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. The Shadow is like the Sci-Fi movies where the protagonist has some kind of growth that talks and tries to take over his life. If you do not know about it then it sits next to you and talks shit about all of the people in your life. It points out in others all of the ways that they are like your shadow, how they are like your darkest fears. This is called projection, by the way, because you are projecting your stuff onto someone else. I think that you can see how bad it is for you if, every time someone nice steps into your life, you throw fecal matter at them, metaphorically speaking, and you do not even know that you are doing it. By knowing your Shadow, you are able to say ‘Dude, cut it out’ and, surprisingly enough, it will.

          So, I think that that is enough of a Shadow primer. You did good. When I first learned about this stuff, my brain shut down for 3 days. If you are interested in this stuff, as I am because it is like Dungeons and Dragons with science, then do some reading up. There are volumes and volumes and volumes of info on Archetypes. And it is so cool.

          Lee says: When you are triggered (react) to someone else, this is a projection of your shadow. So the things you hate in others are really shadows within yourself. Woah, heavy. Like Paul, I also identified a few shadows in me and just the mere acknowledgement has made a difference for me. Ain’t no shadow in the light, get it?

          One of my shadows I call Sister Nazi. This shadow is a rigid, unforgiving, cruel woman who knows how all things should be done and shows utter disgust when it isn’t. The way you know she comes out to play is that I become very judgmental and believes no one can do things like her. She’s not very fun but then again most nuns aren’t.


  • What a great post!

    Before I was in touch with my shadow I used to walk around ‘erroneously” thinking that I had to be nice to people all the time….EVen those who were mean or tried to take advantage of me… It resulted in me occasionally having these little ugly Jeckyl and Hyde incidents.

    Now that I am more aware , I now work my shadow by speaking my truth no matter “how ugly” I deem it to be, and by posting vulgar and offensive little clips and pictures on Facebook!

    Thank you for allowing me the space to rant for a couple of seconds..

    Love you guys.. Your biggest Fan…

  • Bravo!!!! good Job!!! I love the shadows. Embracing the shadows are like embracing little kids that are unruly, bossy, mean, pushy, tattle tails, etc. So let’s just hug those little shadows… because bottom line… that is truly what they all need.

    I applaud your theme and hope many others comment. If your readers do not understand the shadow, please please please, encourage them to ask questions. It is not an easy subject. Nor, do we really want to agree with them.

    Love your analogies Paul! Lee… love the sister nazi! I mean, the picture, not the shadow, ok? 🙂

  • Bob

    Yes indeed, only are shadow knows it needs love! Mistrust, lack of safety, no emotional and physical boundaries is the essence of shadow work. And of course, because I hurt someone has to pay! OK, my shadow is the Terminator and………………..? and my other light shadow is, “Lets give peace a chance,” as I drive down the highway praising all the wonderfull, masterpiece creations known as ASSHOLES.

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