Shadow and Self -Parts Integration
All our parts matter.
We are conceived with a full potential, which never reaches adulthood intact.
Very early on, we push some of who we are and who we may become into the Shadow.
Anything which may threaten our belonging may be given up, repressed and denied.
Thus, we trade a sense of internal belonging for an external one.
Internally, we live in a state of division, believing that something is wrong and shameful deep inside us.
Externally, we become triggered by anyone who resembles what we have lost.
Shadow Work is a process of radical acceptance in which we reintegrate with our shadows and become whole again.
What exactly is Shadow Work?
Let us begin with some questions:
- Do you get ‘triggered’ by other people? If so, by what behaviour?
- Have you ever felt yourself react towards a client in a way that ‘doesn’t become you’?
- Have you ever ‘lost it’ with your children?
- What is it that you are not willing to do, or be, even though you would greatly benefit from it?
How comfortable do you feel even considering these questions?
These questions lead you towards your Shadow.
The Shadow is in your subconscious and it contains everything which you are rejecting in yourself.
It is an unpleasant realm, one that involves shame, dissociation, disgust, superiority and many other difficult sensations.
The Shadow is involved in almost any relationship difficulty (and also in physical and romantic attraction).
The clients that remind us of our deepest Shadow content are the ones that we find most difficult.
The biggest misunderstandings happen when the client’s Shadow and our Shadow meet directly.
Re-Integrating with your Shadow
In the Shadow, also lies our greatest gifts; a sense of completeness, talents we disowned and the freedom to change the course of our life.
A deepening of our professional, therapeutic and personal relationships.
A deep acceptance of ourselves which necessarily enables us to accept the other, leading to greater empathy, peace and external belonging.
Integrating with our Shadow-Parts allows us to accept what we feel is acceptable in us.
It gives us a sense of internal belonging, recreating the home within that we all long for.
The essential stages of Shadow Integration:
1. Acknowledge the existence of a Shadow.
2. Identify and describe this Shadow in detail.
3. Integrate with the Shadow by embodying Shadow-Parts and by getting in touch with the historical roots which created it.
4. Test yourself – Did you disentangle – How reactive are you to the original trigger?