When you’re at a certain age like me, you accept that your personality has also a dark side. No matter how hard you try you can’t make it disappear so you accept it. After all the moon has a dark side too why shouldn’t you have one!
Naturally not everyone is willing to accept the negative aspects of their personalities. Have you ever heard anyone say “Oh, I’m really aggressive” or “I love talking behind people’s backs”. Our first reaction when we notice these aspects is to feel ashamed but when we try to suppress them it’s never a success. Sometimes we reflect them on others, other times we keep them inside and suffer silently but believe me the worst is to be unaware of them. Shadow work which is the subject matter here starts exactly with recognizing these aspects of our personality.
In psychology this concept is called the shadow archetype and has been introduced first by Carl Jung. The shadow archetype consists of our basic instincts and according to Jung we need to accept these and integrate them to our personality. This archetype includes things that are not acceptable to our society like prejudice, hate, greed and envy.
The question is, how are we going to integrate these to our personality and what does this mean? This is what brings us to the “going over to the dark side” saying as the title suggests. Those who are familiar with the Star Wars franchise know the term going over to the dark side. The dark side enables us to embrace our shadow and makes us stronger. I know this is not exactly how it plays out in the movies but they do become very powerful when they join the dark side, don’t they? 🙂
In her book “Dark Side of the Light Chasers” Debbie Ford shares many helpful exercises for those who are willing to do the shadow work. You start by getting to know your shadow which demands you to be as compassionate and honest towards yourself as possible. Then you proceed with some visualisations that enable your shadow to have a physical appearance. I don’t want to spoil the book for those who might want to read it, basically she shares tools that will help you transform your negative character traits into strengths.
One feeling I often experience myself and despise in is envy. Sure I’m really happy for the people I love but I can’t help having a feeling of lack. The other day someone shared a quote and I have to say it actually inspired today’s blog post altogether. “Follow your envy it shows you what you want.”*
After thinking about it I have decided to do something. From now on when I feel envy I can examine what sparks this feeling in me. What am I jealous of? Do I desire the exact same thing that this person has? Am I willing to practice the same effort that this person has to achieve this? If yes, how can I do this? What steps can I take and what feeling will motivate me for it? Look at what this brings me to, dear reader, I almost can’t believe the positive result this negative feeling has brought me. 🙂
So now I leave you to your shadow. Get to know each other, there’s nothing to be afraid of. God knows how long it has been waiting for you to accept it. I’m also leaving here these cute photos. In the comments can you please tell me where to start watching Star Wars (yes don’t judge me I still haven’t seen them)? Should I go in the order of the movie release dates or according to the chronology of the Star Wars universe? Let me know.
*The quote is from the book “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lorie Gottlieb who is a psychotherapist.