Turn STRESS into SUCCESS!
Our sub-conscious 'shadow self' usually contains a fair amount of self-sabotaging energies which are secretly attacking, distracting, blocking or misdirecting us from achieving our intended goals, dreams and ambitions. Re-own and change your emotional/behaviour/perception/impulse reaction patterns to achieve more success and less stress!
In indigenous cultures that use Shamanic Healing Techniques to heal these "shadow entities", they have been called "inner demons" and indeed the archetypal energy patterns of our shadow will often appear in bad dreams and alarming psychic visions as demonic, ogre, criminal or "witch" type characters. More minor shadow entities - that just irritate ("bug us") rather than scare us, often appear as insects, while aspects of ourself and others that we perceive as repulsive/ugly may appear in our nightmares and psychic shamanic journeys into our subconscious, as reptiles or "creepy-crawlies" of one sort or another.
To do healing work on ourself or others, we need to have understanding and experience of revealing, confronting and transforming the energies of the hidden/denied self, which includes internalised archetypal energies from past abusers plus primitive defence mechanisms from our ape ancestors that have been activated (energised, then repressed) by past traumatic experiences.
There are also often held-in feelings, forbidden impulses and potentially dangerous instinctual drives shut away in our shadow that we have become disconnected from and thereby lost a source of "trapped energy". These "scary" energies take up yet more of our energy in a vain effort to keep the lid on "Pandora's box". Despite our best efforts at repression and denial, the held-in energies inevitably leak out at night to populate our dreams and visions with archetypal symbols and in the day they may add a certain "sharp edge" or colour to our body language, actions, inactions and decisions.
YOUR PROJECTIONS: Denial of Truth? Avoidance of an Authentic Feeling?
We grow up tending to believe that what we see and where we see it (or intuitively sense it) is actually real and true. However, most of us project (displace) stuff from our inner world onto our outer world on a daily basis. This common perceptual error is most easy to see in young children who often cannot give a direct answer to the question "How do you feel" because the answer might be loaded with personal danger (attract unwanted attention) or they may not yet have built clear boundaries of what feelings and thoughts belong to themself, and what belongs to the people - and stuffed toys - around them. So in emotionally-loaded situations we might more productively ask a young child "How does Teddy feel?/What does Teddy think?" rather than "How do YOU feel/What are YOU thinking?". Overuse of projection is a common feature of Toxic Relationships and Victim/Abuser Relationships.
The instinctive human ability to project feelings and thoughts, rather than "own them", continues into adulthood but in a healthy adult with healthy relationships [i.e. relationships that help us to clarify our boundaries - validate the truth of our perceptions and invalidate our illusions] projection decreases over time. This is especially true if we actively engage in personal development or psychotherapeutic activities.
Outer-reality objects on which we might be projecting "idealizations" or "demonisations" can include gurus, children (e.g. may become a focus for projection of our own inner "divine child", "wounded inner child" or "unacceptable child"), people who have upset us and potential romantic partners. PROJECTION means loss of choice (and hence personal power) and wasting of time/energy resources in illusory interactions with, and cravings for, distorted placements of our own "inner world".
Attacking and fighting the things which "BUG" us about ourself or others [projections onto them of the denied/repressed ugly or irritating aspects of ourselves] rarely works, it just gives them more energy and is ultimately a self-esteem-eroding, destructive form of self-attack. It would be better to conserve our energy and re-harness the energy of our shadow "bug" and utilise it to move forward our life purpose, happiness, fulfilment and the things and experiences that we wish to create.
Reclaim the "Good Stuff" that Lies in Your Shadow-Self!
Our shadow "psyche" also contains "good stuff" (qualities/truths/potentials) about ourself that we are currently disconnected from (and thus held-back by lower self-awareness and lower self-confidence than we need have), as well as the stuff that we might find a bit uncomfortable to face. If the truth of our good nature and "inner beauty" has been denied us - via us accepting the mistruths of malevolent or manipulative others or via us misinterpreting or over-interpreting the "evidence of our life experiences for example. Then we can end up disconnected from our real truth and projecting our "good stuff" onto others via idealisation (e.g. of children, "gurus", "career martyrs" or people we are infatuated with, or addicted to).
When we are disconnected from the good truths about ourself (perhaps because of false information given to us in childhood e.g. "You are stupid", "You are bad", "You will never amount to anything!", "You not acceptable or loveable" etc.) we end up either living out these false truths, or wearing ourselves out (wasting time and energy) in trying to prove them false - trying unnecessarily to prove ourselves "OK" when actually the idea that we are not OK was never true to begin with.
PLEASE NOTE: in working with "the shadow" there is no need to uncover any more than you feel ready for. It is important to go at your own pace and accept that working with the shadow is a lifetime task, not something that has to be "totally fixed" in a hurry!
Reconnect to the External Projections of Your "Shadow"
By definition, we cannot see our own shadow directly. However, parts of our shadow that are currently being energised by our current life situation can come into our consciousness by a variety of routes e.g. Dreams, Nightmares and Shamanic Journey archetypal vision-figures, and also via the emotional, auditory, visual or 6th sense visionary highlighting of external projections of the energy of our shadow.
Know Your Past, Present & Potential Future Personality Patterns via Archetype Cards
A sub-personality or archetype is a pattern of thinking, feeling, perceiving & behaving e.g. when we are in 'parent-mode', 'diva-mode', 'wounded child', 'hero/heroine', 'playful child', 'depressed', 'rebellious', 'red mist' or 'raging bull' mode.
In my Mindfulness and Holistic Healing courses I use symbolic Archetype Cards (click image or go to: UK USA for details) and model insects [symbolic of what "bugs" you!] to identify and re-own projections and bad-dream-images of our shadow so that we can bring their features into conscious awareness and begin the process of transforming, integrating and grounding (into our everyday life) these archetypal energies which can appear as "inner/outer demons/demonisations" or as "angels/spirit guides/idealised beings or objects" in our inner or outer reality.
Transform Your Negative, Destructive or Self-Sabotaging Archetypes (Sub-Personalities)
STEP 1: Some shadow aspects of our personality have, over time, become charged up with toxic emotions as a result of traumatic experiences, or because their natural occurrence and expressive outward flow has been denied, repressed or "held-onto" for self-protection or self-image purposes.
These negatively-charged archetypal personality patterns must first have their emotional or compulsive 'charge' released before they can be either 'let go of', or alternatively transformed back into the self-protective or life-enhancing personality resources that they once were. Cathartic Release skills are hugely important in this work, which is best done in a group-facilitated and supported environment in combination with teaching pre-cathartic stabilisation techniques and post-catharsis re-programming of self-esteem and social connection. My "Emotional Detox" course has been developed specifically for this purpose.
Transforming negative (i.e. self-sabotaging or undermining or abusive to others) archetypal sub-personality resources into positive life-enhancing resources AND accessing disconnected positive archetypes as "power animals" - is a common part of a healing journey because healing needs power so we need to reclaim some of the power we have been giving away via projection or idealization.
STEP 2: Shadow archetypes brought into consciousness via creature-phobias or other irrationally over-the-top fearful reactions including panic attacks or anger, can be carried forward into Inner Journey work, Psychotherapy, Psychodrama, Shamanic Journeying or Soul Retrieval healing.
In many specific creature-phobias such as a crippling fear of dogs, cats, rats, birds, cockcroaches, spiders (arachnophobia) or snakes, and also social situation phobias, there is a combination of projecting a personal powerful archetypal resource onto the feared object or person PLUS the low self-esteem that inevitably follows disconnection from our inner, basic human DNA-based, archetypal resources for coping, self-confidence and self-empowerment.
Author: Michael J. Meredith
Disidentification from Personal & Projected Myths: The False Sense of Self & Others
Self-sabotaging Inner Demon of Negativity: The Death-Wish Demon in Depression
Wholeness & Interconnection: Universal Oneness Psychic Research Cosmology
Chakra Dysfunction & Healing: Ambika's Guide to Healing & Wholeness
Inner Strength & Stability: Balanced Living - Balanced Effort
Inner Strength & Stability: Balanced Living - Balanced Effort