Does Shadow Work make you tired and is it hard? The answer: It varies between individuals. Someone who is very open-minded will have an easier time than someone who is close-minded.
The reason for this is because it can be very emotionally laboring to accept the shadow side of yourself.
Someone who is open-minded will have an easier time because they’re willing to acknowledge the possibility that they are run by council. Meanwhile, someone who is close-minded won’t be so open to the idea, and may actually reject it altogether.
Before we get into it. You need to understand a few things.
What is the shadow self?
The shadow self is the unconscious part of your personality that you have no awareness of.
When you were growing up, your parents and your culture, encouraged some parts of your personality while punishing other parts. Because of this, you learn to leave those parts behind.
However, just because you discard some parts of yourself doesn’t mean that they are eliminated. You cannot eliminate who you are. You can only repress it and push it outside of your conscious awareness.
For example, let’s say when you were a child you were always punished whenever you were playing and having fun. Instead, you were always told to go do your homework or chores, without ever having the chance to play.
As a result, you become a workaholic in your adult life. To the point where you don’t know how to relax and take a break.
The funny thing is that you wouldn’t be so disgusted and offended by a person who relaxes if it weren’t already a part of who you are.
Even though you may identify yourself as a workaholic and someone who is productive, within your shadow is the exact opposite.
Your shadow self is lazy and likes to relax and waste time. Specifically, because these qualities of yourself were rejected back in childhood.
So in your adult life, you react with disgust when you see these qualities in someone else.
When you aren’t aware of your shadow, you will actively reject it in your waking life. However, you’re actually better off accepting the quality as a part of who you truly are.
Because when you integrate into your life, you will become happier and whole.
Does shadow work make you tired? Is shadow work hard?
An example of this is the Adam Sandler movie called Anger Management.
The movie is about a man who must attend anger management meetings by court order. Throughout the film, everyone acts defensive when they speak to the protagonist. Because to everyone else, he comes off as very angry and upset. But to the viewer, and to the protagonist himself, he actually seems fairly calm.
This is an accurate depiction of one way the shadow can operate in your life.
Although you can completely reject having a certain personality trait, everyone else can attest otherwise,
For example, someone can genuinely think that they are a nice person. But if you talk to the people in their life, they will tell you that he is a real son of a bitch.
It’s possible that that person is completely unconscious of his negative behavior. The reason for this is because he’s tucked it away into a shadow, so it is completely outside of his awareness.
If that person is close-minded and stubborn, and they attempt to do shadow work. It may be very difficult for them to admit that they are a heel to people in their life.
It would take a lot of emotional labor and introspection for them to realize who they truly are. In this sense, Shadow Work can be tiring.
Because in a way, your senses have betrayed you.
You have to reconsider all the past events in your life.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily easy for anyone. There’s a reason why we rejected these parts of our personalities in the first place.
We don’t want to believe that those qualities are part of who we truly are. So it is going to be difficult. And it’s not easy to wrap your head around either.
You might even need to use techniques and exercises such as active imagination.
However, that doesn’t mean that shadow work isn’t worth it.
It’s everyone’s personal responsibility to integrate with their shadow to be true to themselves with who they are to have genuine self-love.
Why is shadow work so hard?
It’s not that shadow work is so hard. It’s that you’re not ready yet.
Some people actually need to experience tragedy before they can come face-to-face with their shadow.
Meanwhile, other people are open-minded enough to simply start doing shadow work right away.
It’s completely different for everyone. And it requires a certain degree of maturity and experience to actually engage in.
A lot of the Shadow Work concepts I have in my shadow work guide are actually very high level.
It takes an open mind and a strong willingness to genuinely self-reflect on the ideas that I share.
If you find Shadow Work hard, then I suggest that you try writing Shadow Work journal prompts first.
This practice is a lot easier to do than introspecting on projections or accepting your sadomasochism.
Over time you will start to build a connection with your unconscious self. Then it will be easier for you to get in touch with your shadow.
Just keep in mind that this isn’t something you can necessarily rush. It happens in its own time.
For example, if you’re in high school. There’s a very high chance that you’re not ready for this material.
In fact, when I was about 19 I stumbled into a bit of shadow work. And in retrospect, I wasn’t even “grown” enough to truly get what was being said.
I find that the right stage in life to get into this material would be when you’re in a late stage of ambition and very into self-development. Or after you’ve reached your own idea of success.
It’s usually at this point that people have come to find themselves a bit more spiritual. And shadow work requires a degree of spiritual depth.
So don’t rush it. Do everything on your own time.
Like I’ve said before, everyone grows in different ways and in different days.
And when you’re ready, I’ll be here.
Check out the Shadow Work Course here.