Sunday, December 14, 2014

More Shadow Work

Sometimes the shadow self, or even the inner child, can resist intimacy.  A history of being too hard on yourself, ignoring your undesirable (or even desirable or neutral) aspects, or perfectionism will need practice, time, patience, and compassion to alter.  It sounds cheesy, but focusing on the "control" in "self-control" deprives the "self."

I've found several guided meditations that involve imagining and analyzing both the shadow self and the inner child.  Most of these are beneficial, as there might be underlying symbolism and it can be easier to communicate with something that has a face than with something ethereal and vague.  But then these meditations often instruct hugging, comforting, melding with, or invading the safehaven of the shadow self or inner child.  Even though these are all parts of oneself, these meditative acts can feel invasive.  This is especially true if your conscious or "light" self have a history of self-berating or idealization or denial.

With the understanding that there are the inner child, the shadow self, and the light self, it's possible to discern a continuum.  The inner child might have grown more into one self than the other.  At some point, a division occurred - this isn't the snapping of a twig, more like a treetrunk dividing as it grows.  If the inner child grew into the shadow self and your light self developed later on, what created it?  If the inner child grew into the light self and your shadow self feels like a parasitic vestige, what's made it develop?  And if the inner child seems equal in both the shadow and light selves, when did the disparity begin?  

Go back to what made that split.  Was it a traumatic event?  The leaving from a long-term traumatic situation?  A benevolent or cruel new person or influence?  The inner child, shadow self, and inner self are all interconnected - find where their roots come together.  That is a starting point for intrapersonal bonding, communication, and healing.

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