Become aware of your shadow

“CoHow do you know if you have control over someone? “, ask me religious or spiritual guides anxious to learn about relationship issues. Good question, because, to paraphrase CG Jung, when we are in front of someone, we believe to be two, but in reality we are four: him and his unconscious, me and my unconscious. And these four have the particularity of knitting together “without our knowing it voluntarily”, which often results in knots …

Our unconscious, which Jung also called our ” shadow “, that’s all you don’t know about yourself. The aspects that we have repressed or rejected since our childhood, because they did not conform to what was expected of us. Character traits, tendencies, impulses, feelings that we have buried because of our education or the events of life. But also capacities and talents which remained fallow, to correspond to the injunctions of the family or the environment. To become aware of one’s shadow is to realize that what annoys us about the other, or sometimes attracts us, in reality belongs to us. The other is first of all a kind of coat rack on which we hang our projections. But we should not immediately tackle it with moralism or sin, as some sometimes do. People who come to see me always start by judging themselves: “Ah yes, I’m like that, but I shouldn’t…” The contents of the shadows attack the image we have of ourselves. They challenge our ideal. When we discover our weaknesses, our flaws, our shortcomings, we are ashamed or we don’t want to know it.

I often hear people who come from Christian backgrounds speak to me straight away about conscience and will. But, isn’t this forgetting that our shadow can lead us by the tip of the nose? In fact, it seeks to express itself in order to rebalance a conscious position that is too one-sided. And if it is not recognized, it can sometimes arise in an impromptu or abrupt manner.

Defending oneself from an aspect that one considers bad can be exhausting, because struggling before recognizing where it comes from does not solve anything. In general, the situation is getting worse. If we refuse to take it into consideration, it remembers us and can put us back on the ground violently.

We must first welcome it and accept that we cannot cope on our own. That we need others. It requires real surrender, a lot of humility. But, this is where the Holy Spirit can manifest himself. Jung called it the “transcendent function”. The shadow is personal, but everything I have just mentioned can be transposed on the collective level. Every group, every institution has an unconscious, a shadow. If it is repressed, not taken into consideration or worked, it ends up becoming infected. And have serious potential for destruction. ” Tame your shadow “(2) is getting to know yourself, accepting your weaknesses and lacks. It cannot be done without the others. This is necessary when we accompany people, so as not to overwhelm them with our ways of seeing things. This is also necessary when you are an institution.


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