How to Learn from Your Shadow

mirror shadow

The shadow self

You have a shadow side, but it’s not as scary as you might think. Your shadow reflects areas of you needing emotional healing. You experience your shadow as internal criticism, uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, and day and night dreams.

Often, people ignore the lessons from their shadow because they don’t recognize its wisdom. Listen to the teachings rising from your subconscious, though, and you’ll embark on a journey to your higher self.

How your shadow speaks

Initially, your shadow whispers. Like an unanswered knock at the door, its call becomes louder when you don’t take heed. At its most deafening, it appears at a time referred to as the dark night of the soul.

You’ll know if you experience your darkness because your world will fall apart, and you’ll be forced to start anew. If your shadow has to take extreme measures to get you to change, it will.

Catch your shadow when it speaks quietly, and you can avoid turmoil. You can hear it murmuring you need to heal old wounds as a voice in your head or surprising feelings. When you are angry or sad for no clear reason, your shadow wants your attention.

His or her intervention shows you’re following unhelpful patterns of behavior. Such conduct stems from unresolved childhood issues or your higher self-clashing with your ego.

Your shadow uses negativity to make you change

People sometimes fear their shadow because they associate it with negativity. The dark night of the soul hurts. Even whispers arise as criticism, judgment, fear, and discomfort. Your shadow is behind your inner voice when it says you aren’t good enough or will never be loved.

It’s pulling your heartstrings when you feel betrayed or jealous. It’s also in charge of your nightmares. It’s no wonder you might want to stop your shadow speaking.

However, negativity is always a signal for change and stems from the good intentions of the shadow. Your shadow is connected to your higher self and wants the best for you. It doesn’t make up negative things to say; it reveals what lies below your emotions in your subconscious.

If you feel unworthy, your internal voice might criticize your efforts to progress. Likewise, if you’re insecure about relationships, your shadow might suggest your partner’s having an affair.

How to increase self-knowledge 

When negative thoughts, feelings, or dreams arise, explore them. Instead of rejecting them, acknowledge they exist. Meditate on them awhile, noticing where you feel them in your body or see and hear them in your head.

Paying them attention will stop your shadow increasing its attempts to catch your attention.

Next, ask your shadow why your negative outpourings occur. Do you need to heal long-standing emotional grievances? Do you have unfinished business and need closure? Is it time to change your job and begin a new career? Consider what prompts your shadow to speak.

Follow your insights with action. Otherwise, you’ll continue engaging in unhelpful patterns, and your shadow will have cause to grow.

For instance, if your shadow suggests you fear rejection, and you’re busting a gut to gain someone’s approval, step back. Stop trying to please. Work on your self-esteem and seek the origins of your fear.

Heal emotional injuries with understanding and forgiveness and your shadow will quieten down.

Your shadow is your greatest friend, but only if you listen to its wisdom. When negative thoughts or feelings happen, welcome them. Recognize them as messengers. They represent parts of you where development has stopped because you’re stuck in a rut.

Heed your shadow’s call, and you’ll grow into your higher self.

About Dirk Wolf 18 Articles
Dirk is a certified spiritual counselor and shaman. He uses ancient lore to teach lessons about self-insight, personality, relationships and wellness. Aside from freelance writing, he enjoys spending time outdoors in nature.