Can anyone do shadow work?

Are you wondering if anyone can do shadow work?

Answer: No. Not everyone can do shadow. Certain individuals are genuinely incapable of performing shadow work. I’ll tell you why in a moment. But *you* on the other hand, definitely can do shadow work.

Before I explain why you can perform shadow work and why others can’t, we need to make sure you understand a few things.

What is the shadow self?

The shadow self is the part of you that you’ve neglected and rejected and left behind since childhood.

It’s the unconscious part of yourself that is outside of your awareness. This other side of your personality holds all the qualities that you decided not to identify with.

Why does everyone have a shadow self?

When you were born, you were a whole, complete being.

But as you grow, your family and your culture encourage some parts of your personality, while punishing other parts.

So as a child, you learn that you’re supposed to be one way and not the other. This other side of yourself is the shadow self.

Even though you don’t identify with it, it’s still a part of who you are. And you cannot eliminate who you are.

Instead, you can only repress it to the point that you’re no longer connected or aware that it’s a part of you.

It’s in the process of building up your proper persona that you indirectly create your shadow persona.

Everyone gets split into two, and it is completely necessary for human beings to get along.

Why are shadows necessary?

By creating a proper persona that is socially acceptable, you can be a part of society and can engage in healthy relationships.

Although you are not whole, you can at least identify with the side of you that can make a living and live freely in this world. Later on in life you can discover your shadow. Then you can then integrate it to your proper persona so that you can become whole again.

This is how shadow-making and shadow work typically happens in a person’s life.

However, what if someone doesn’t build up a proper persona?

Instead, they identify with their shadow qualities, such as a thirst for power and social sadism. Unable to form healthy relationships.

People who had incredibly horrible upbringings, or were born with a different type of brain end up like this.

People who never built up a proper persona can only identify with the rash and reckless part of themselves. With that in mind, there is no other side for them to integrate and become whole.

So can anyone do shadow work? No, some people cannot.

Many people with personality disorders, or with a different type of brain, are incapable of the spiritual depth needed for self-reflection and shadow work.

A great example of this is the stereotypical narcissist.

This is a person who sees themselves as perpetually better than others. To a narcissist, you are the problem and they aren’t.

While a typical person can be open to being wrong, a narcissist wouldn’t genuinely believe this.

When a normal person is shamed, they live out a dynamic of “I’m not okay, they are okay”. Then the person adjusts because they can self-reflect and adapt.

But this dynamic is impossible for a narcissist. Everyone is “not okay” in their world.

How can a “not okay” person convince someone who believes they are perpetually “okay” that they’re in the wrong?

You can’t.

This lack of self-reflection makes it impossible for this type of individual to do any of the self-inquiry necessary for shadow work.

They are “spiritual vampires” for this very reason. Unable to see their own reflection.

The fact that you reader, are curious about doing any type of inner work is evidence that you are capable of self-reflection. Which is a prerequisite to shadow work.

A quick note on “can anyone do shadow work”

People who are around the age of twenty and below are still “shadow-making”; within their formative years.

This means that they are still creating the split between their proper persona and their shadow.

Although these younger folks can do shadow work exercises, they won’t get the full benefits of shadow work until around their mid-twenties and onwards.

By then, they will have some life experience and have had enough time to be more accurately retrospective.

If you want to try some simple, yet effective, shadow work, then do some of these shadow work prompts.

Check out the Shadow Work Course here.

Check out A Light Among Shadows: A Guide to Self-Love & Being here.

Subscribe to get your free ebook 30 Shadow Work Prompts



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