Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life. It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster. Well the Persona, according to Jung, defines who we would like to be and how we wish to be seen by the world. On the other hand , the Shadow Self is an archetype that forms part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, desires, perversions, and embarrassing fears.
Aeon for Friends
It might be that you procrastinate, waste inordinate amounts of time on a certain site or game, drink or smoke too much, are jealous, ungenerous, critical of others, depressed or lonely. These are not usually things we want others to see. But what if we tried to embrace our inner Gollum? What if we learned to love our dark side?
Embrace the Dark Side
If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected. I remember the day I fell back into my bad habits. I was in the middle of a course of CBT to help me overcome my depression and anxiety at that time in my life and at this one particular session I told my therapist I had nothing to talk about.
J ust like Star Wars characters, we all have a dark side. Our dark sides are the emotions and qualities about ourselves that we wish would go away. But just as fighting your less-than-ideal emotions does more harm than good, so does not embracing your dark side. Not owning who we are—good and bad—is harmful to our health. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , researchers found that participants who accept, rather than judge, their mental experiences may attain better psychological health. The reason: Accepting our emotional imperfections makes them feel less detrimental and all-consuming.