About the Shadow Self

The "Shadow Self" is a term from Jungian psychology (come on, we've all heard of Jung, haven't we?) that refers to the unconscious parts of our identity that our well-constructed ego usually overlooks. 

Generally, we only know about these shadow aspects when someone points them out, which pisses us off and makes us ignore them further.

Or, we'll spot them in someone else and think "Oh how AWFUL this person is to be like that!" and not realize that we've got a massive case of "you spot it, you got it."​

Shadow aspects are not always bad. As soon as we come into this world we change ourselves in order to survive. We smile at our parents faces, we learn not to cry too long. We play with the "right" toys or dress how all the other kids dress. Our real self gets pushed down into the muck, often in pieces.​

Eventually, we forget these parts of ourselves are even there. Either we're too attached to our current personality, we're afraid of what would happen if we "act out," or it would hurt too much to realize what we've left behind. There's many reasons that our essential self gets shoved in the closet. 

What happens, too, is that even the "bad" aspects of us, if they stay unconscious, fester away at the underbelly of our approved identity.

If something's out in the open, we can deal with it. It could also be that once something gets to be seen, it will relax and fade away. Alternately, we also have a chance to acknowledge the parts of ourselves we don't like and let them be; we're in control--we don't need to act on every impulse we have.

So what if we're not perfect?