Shadow work to heal.
All of us have experienced pain.
When it is external, in most cases, it is temporary and can heal with help from doctors. There are, however, in my opinion stronger types of pain that only manifest internally. For this type of ‘illness’, psychologists and time can help, but in the end, only we can decide to heal.
In this article I will explain Shadow work, a method invented specifically to ease the mind and the heart.
What is Shadow work?
To understand what shadow work is, one must first understand the shadow self. This term refers to the parts of ourselves that, for one reason or another, we refuse to accept.
It contains all our insecurities, our fears, our regrets and all the anger and hatred brooded over the years.
Every thought or feeling that we avoid expressing does not disappear, but takes refuge in a hidden part of us, the shadow.
This has repercussions, in the long run it can cause pain, confusion and loss of self.
The purpose of shadow work is to free us from these chains and finally give us permission to heal. It is necessary to stop being just a spectator in your own life and become an active participant instead.
I will now explain how to do this.
How can I do this?
Pick a notebook you particularly like
It doesn’t have to be perfect or have strange writing on it, but using a notebook you like will help you get attached to it and confide all your secrets to it ;). It’s important to use a paper-based tool. Using a computer or tablet will not have the same effect.
Many studies have shown that writing by hand helps you to be more present and remember better what you are writing. Using digital tools, on the other hand, can easily lead to distraction (looking at email, various games and google).
But, of course, in case you have no choice, those are fine too.
Go to a quiet place
Find a quiet place where no one will disturb you. A place where you are quiet enough to express any emotions.
Being alone is important because often when we are in the presence of others we tend to regulate our emotions according to who is in front of us.
For example, you wouldn’t start crying and talking about your childhood traumas in a business meeting and you wouldn’t start talking about your fight with your mother in an interview with your teachers.
Remember at this moment you are facing your shadow, the part you hide even from yourself is certainly not ready for public knowledge. You deserve to feel your emotions without having to alter them because of someone else’s presence.
Somewhere where you can be completely yourself.
Get your pen and start.
Pay no attention to the handwriting. Right now the aim is not to write with beautiful handwriting and perfect grammar. It’ll be perfect if not even a historian could decipher your handwriting. You are not writing for someone to read but solely to put your clear thoughts on paper.
They must be understood only by you.
Write down what is bothering you at the moment. What you want to improve in your life. Write a letter to a person who has hurt you and then burn it, or tear it up.
There are so many things you can ask yourself to get to know you better and there are plenty of ideas on the internet to get you started.
How will that make me feel?
I, like many, am one of those people who are always anxious about doing an exercise incorrectly, so if you are like that, you can relax.
Shadow work does not trigger the same reactions in everyone. Writing and externalising things that cause you pain can naturally trigger tears. But it can also awaken anger (which is good because emotions must be felt if we want to bring them out of their inner hiding place).
In some cases it can also cause no emotion at all, which means either that we need to work on it and open up more or that simply the thing we are writing about no longer hurts. (It’s a bit like realising that what used to be a severe headache is now only a mild discomfort).
In short, your mind and body are free to react in any way to this emotional release and I assure you that there is no way to go wrong.
Now go, don’t procrastinate ( read this article if you have procrastination problems ) and start your own healing journey.