For the past few weeks, I have been quietly suffering greatly from mild depression and anxiety. I have had these episodes in the past, but they have seemed to creep up more frequently. Oftentimes I want to completely isolate myself and sulk but my job as a fulltime mom does not let me do such a thing. So, like any other mom, I mask my feelings to make everyone else around me feel comfortable. Insomnia keeps me up at night, so I decided to take some sort of initiative and investigate my triggers of depression and anxiety. This task needed a bit of soul searching. I had to dig deep into my mind to uncover skeletons from my past. I wrote down every significant let down I ever experienced in my 26 years of living. I also wrote down my fears, what I am ashamed of, and the things I hide from people. I found that journaling these emotions was called Shadow working.
What is Shadow Work?
Let’s break down what shadow work actually is. By definition Shadow work is how you integrate the aspects of your unconscious psyche into your conscious experience and allow the positive aspects of the shadow self to express themselves. … When effectively used and channeled, the shadow self has traits that you can use to further your own personal development. The “Shadow” is an unconscious aspect of the personality that the conscious ego does not identify in itself.
Shadows that we may hide from others include anger, greed, judgement of others or ourselves, or shame. Those personality traits lie within our deep consciousness that has started developing since childhood.
How I am using Shadow Work for My Self Development:
Journaling my Shadows make me able to nurture my emotions by understanding the triggers that actually caused such feelings. I also have learned to talk to my ”inner child”. For example, if I have a negative thought about trying something new. I jot down those thoughts and evaluate why I may be afraid to start new things. I then let my inner child know that it’s okay to experience change. This is an actual example from my childhood. In my youth, my father had a very strict schedule for my sister and me. Anything that would disrupt those rules would result in great consequences for everyone in the house including my mom. So I adapted to doing the same thing every day the same exact way.
Things I say to my ”Inner Child” :
I try to remind myself that I am worthy of unconditional love, that I am worthy of abundance and success, that I love myself so much, and that I am not my depressive thoughts. Giving myself these reminders keep my heart full and my energy positive. I still have a lot of work to do but, every day is becoming brighter.