While most agree with Carl Jung’s idea that the Shadow Self is the part of ourselves that we wish to hide from—I would have to wholly disagree.
To me, my Shadow Self is the person I wish to become––if only I wasn’t facing a lifetime of conditioning telling me my worth is in my lightness.
My Shadow Self is nimble, contorting, effortlessly sensual, powerful, and cunning. She’s my inner temptress. She’s Kali, she’s Lilith, she’s Hekate. She’s my supreme darkness. She’s seductive and intoxicating. She demands full attention, takes space, is sacred—she is fully and wildly present.
I climb into her not to escape my reality but to become more like myself.
Meeting our shadow is exactly what it sounds like. It is deep, it is dark and it is uncomfortable. But it’s incredibly important.
A few months ago I was put in a situation that forced me to face her head on. I didn’t ask her to come out—but after a few hours of total presence with my body, she was quick to reveal herself.
That’s an important thing to remember, you can run from your shadow, but you cannot escape.
So you might as well ask her to dance.
Being present with your shadow is like holding up a mirror and witnessing your reflection blurt out all of your deepest trauma and insecurities.
You aren’t good enough. You aren’t pretty enough. You’re ugly. You’re dark. You’re distant. You’re wicked.
She demands that you are honest with yourself. She demands that you acknowledge that these parts of yourself exist. Like a zen meditation she asks you to let these thoughts have a voice and then let them pass through you.
She asks that you be neither a judge, jury, or prosecutor but instead a witness to your truth. To see her. To bring her to existence.
You don’t have to stay with your shadow forever, but if you invite her to dance just once in a while you’ll be surprised at how much truth and authenticity she reveals. How much rawness she invites into your life.
Dark and chaotic, writhing and shaking in pain and pleasure. Passionately honest. A dark, brutal force. The fiery Goddess manifested. Her hips swing powerfully. Her arms, long and boundless. Her legs take root and make home in the present moment.
She is dressed in black. Her lips are painted in dark lipstick. She smells of pomegranate. She is a scorpio. She is unafraid. Unapologetic. She owns her trauma, she transforms it. Like a tornado she spins and takes the rest of the room with her.
She is the creator and destroyer. Her dance commands the room. Her radiance manifests in her movements. She transcends Good vs Bad, Right vs Wrong.
She just is.
She is the darkness that gives depth to my lightness—and in opening myself to her mystery I become more Me.
Author: Kelsey Eaton
Editor: Sarah Kolkka
Image: Sebastian Unrau/Unsplash