Where did shadow work come from?
Shadow work comes from Carl Jung's idea of making the unconscious conscious, bringing the ego and shadow in agreement. It's the act of taking back control of the unseen force that has been guiding your life.
What is the shadow self?
Your shadow self, also called shadow, is the side of your personality that you've rejected and repressed.
Initially, these qualities are outside of your own awareness. Meaning you aren't aware that this is part of who you are.
Instead, you are in denial about these aspects of yourself, and you project these qualities outside of yourself, usually towards those you admire or who you demonize.
Because they have something, you already have within you that you're not ready, or you are unwilling, to accept.
Essentially you project these qualities on a form you consider "other."
How is the shadow formed?
You were taught to disown this side of yourself growing up.
During your formative years, your family, community, and society teach you acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior.
As a child, your means of survival is the approval of those who take care of you.
So you willingly hide away the behaviors and qualities that are disapproved by others.
As you build up this idea of who you think you are (ego), you also build up an idea of who you believe you are not.
Since you can't eliminate who you are, you instead repress these qualities until they are outside your own awareness.
This is called "shadow-making," the process of rejecting oneself and not identifying with your whole being.
However, those shadow qualities are still there. You still express these qualities, albeit unconsciously—meaning you don't "see" it or even believe you are "like that."
This lack of self-awareness is the source of all troubles, relationship issues, and self-sabotaging incidents in your life.
What is shadow work?
Shadow Work is the process of integrating the unconscious parts of your personality that you've disowned and repressed.
By becoming aware of your disowned qualities, you will no longer inflict them unconsciously onto others or project and blame.
Instead, you will find appropriate and healthy outlets to express and manage these so-called "negative" parts of your being.
In doing so, you develop more self-awareness, build self-love, mend the psyche, and gain a clearer sense of reality.
Where did shadow work come from?
Carl Jung coined the term "shadow" as a poetic means of explaining human evil.
Having a background in Christianity, the ideas of "demonic possession" were made more understandable by introducing the unconscious, shadow, etc.
Devilry is the underlying belief that you, or others, are not inherently acceptable; worthy of God's Love. Therefore must be told how to live.
Evil is when you demonize or dehumanize another individual or group of people—simply because your mind is projecting your shadow qualities onto them, and they stand in opposition to your selfish way of life.
This is evidence of a distorted psyche. Unable to see things as they are—an unaccepting view of oneself and humanity.
Shadow work comes from the need to heal one's distorted psyche and honor one's right to be whole. As a result, you become more accepting of others' right to be whole as well.
There are plenty of resources to help you develop more self-awareness and self-acceptance.
Here are some resources I recommend:
Shadow Work Course is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This course is updated every year and gets new content at no additional cost. Learn more here.
A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This short course goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for people dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.
Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Shadow Work Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.
Manifestation Manual: The Path of Least Resistance bundle teaches you some holistic and systems thinking along with how to mend your inner child wounds so you can align with your higher self and move forward in life. This includes 20 video clips as a free bonus.
Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a small sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through my BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.