the human group - session 38 - shadow work
Are we fervently rejecting discomfort, submerged in shallow order exacerbated by convenient technologies enabling us to live with a lower level of responsibility and connectivity?
Has this chaos swollen to a point in which it needs our direct attention and listening?
What happens when the dam breaks? Or has it broken already in the form of social unrest, corporate greed ignorant of impact, pandemics and stories of evil spoken from conspiracy theory.
We must embrace our shadow if we are to survive. - J. Peterson
If we continue to fight all that is uncomfortable and unpleasant in life where does this lead us?
This week we will explore Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow on its many scales, from individual, relationship, community, and society at large.
How do we practice making peace with the chaos of nature?
What triggered you today? What is the experience?
Indulging in the darkness
Repeating the same reaction
Beating ourselves up
Frustration exaggerated beyond the present situation
We want to leave ourselves
When we need to stay with ourselves and embrace the discomfort
The inner child
Triggers are the playground for shadow work. The past wounds being experienced in the present. It is uncomfortable and inconvenient and in our discomfort averse society are we more reactive than ever?
Are we being invited to participate in shadow work as a necessity for our enduring survival?
Have we run out of our convenient tools that mask all that we do not accept about life?
How do we become witnesses to our triggers and manage our shadow with grace?
Bringing light to our dark paths or unconscious reactions?
The shadow triggers opportunities to make the mindful/conscious choice.
Do we practice sitting in discomfort to train the acuity to catch our triggers in the moment?
Shamanism and many spiritual practices could be seen as creating a balanced relationship with discomfort; sitting, walking, fasting, etc. Living with our parents after leaving home or simply having an intimate relationship of our own can exercise many opportunities for shadow work.
We are attracted to these opportunities, to the people that will give us the stimulus we need to grow into our golden shadow.
What happens when we don’t react?
When I am playing guitar and I make a mistake, I can stop the song right there, have a fit of embarrassing frustration, quit or try again. I can also continue to play and understand that I just created a new part to the song.
The shadow lies in our blindspot, when experiencing the discomfort of making a mistake we can adjust the meaning to making a discovery of a blindspot or what has not been noticed before.
If we are to check our ways of being against a role, we seek to control and defend ourselves from the discomfort. If we can somehow activate a listening we have the opportunity to discover a new side to ourselves.
I experience this through drawing. I may start without expectations but as the process continues I start to gain a picture of the destination. When I make a mistake it changes the trajectory of the image and I could easily react and run away. When I see it as an opportunity and traipse the unknown I discover a totally new way of drawing and my art piece becomes more richer for it.
Our lives become more rich as we traipse the unknown corners of our personalities.
Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior - Carl Jung.
When we allow for our past suppressed aspects to be embraced and expressed we face the shadows and limitations of others. This can re-traumatise us and send these aspects back into the shadows.
We also create opportunities for others to do shadow work when they are triggered by us. How do we deal with the influential limitations and forceful reactions of others?
We become peaceful warriors of the heart as Jung mentions, thing the slings and arrows of the other’s unconscious shadow until they too are able to shed consciousness upon their own blindspots.
The more shadow work we do the more opportunity arises.
There is more to said and more to be explored through the shadow.