2014: Learning To Embrace My Shadow Self


Being the Cancerian that I am, I’m all about reflection and 2014 was quite the year in hindsight. It was a year that stretched my soul; it was uncomfortable, I grew a tremendous amount and had some life changing international adventures.

In the beginning of the year I remember talking to a friend about how I felt like I needed to jump into the unknown without the safety net I was so used to and let things unfold as they would. There were no real expectations as to what would happen afterwards and I’m grateful for that because I think it allowed me to be more open to the changes ahead.

Looking back I see that this past year allowed me to take a closer look at my shadow self. The shadow self is made up of the parts of us that are subconsciously suppressed—or kept in the dark shadows of our minds. Judgments, fears, thoughts, feelings and beliefs that we like to avoid because they are uncomfortable. When they creep up we run for the hills. Sooner or later if we want to evolve as a person it is inevitable that we must face them.

Once we do begin to acknowledge them a better understanding of self begins to happen. The way we live our lives is a reflection of our inner state and our shadow self dictates a lot of what we manifest—relationships, career, money etc. Personally I believe this is a piece to the puzzle as to why things may or may not be going the way we want them to in life.

For example, this year was huge in regards to relationships for me. It was like a spotlight was shone in that area of my life. Relationships, romantic ones specifically, have never been a strong point of mine. And this year I really took the time to try and figure out why I keep attracting the same type of people into my life. What was most confusing was how I was saying I wanted one thing but was still attracting the opposite.

In a negative light I could’ve looked at this situation as “OK, something must be wrong with me.” Or even just place blame totally on the other person, which is easy to do when you keep having the same thing happen over and over to you. Fortunately, I refused to be a cynic. Instead I chose to explore a little deeper.

Were there fears I had around stable, committed relationships? How did the people I allowed myself to create relationships with reflect my inner self?  I really wanted to understand the role I was personally playing in my relationships vs. just hoping for the best next time around or placing blame on the other person. As someone once told me, situations keep happening to you until you learn your lesson.

Of course, I still don’t have all the answers and maybe I never will. But I’m beginning to become more aware. With newfound awareness I’m more at peace with what’s going on. Instead of becoming fully consumed in the negativity wondering what outside source is causing the unwanted results I feel more like someone looking in and am able to observe and understand more clearly.

These shadow parts of our self create a great opportunity to get creative and make change. This year’s lessons have given me inspiration to start making changes where necessary to live a more positively led life—more importantly, the life that I envision for myself. I’m also finding it’s not about getting rid of the all the things we deem negative about ourselves but more so about accepting and balancing them with the positive. Acknowledging and embracing the shadow self’s existence doesn’t only create a turning point in understanding the way we interact with the world but also in becoming more accepting of yourself.

If there’s anything I’ve learned so far it’s that change is never a one and done deal. It’s a process and with it comes the ups and downs, trials and tribulations. Therefore, I’m heading into 2015 with an open mind and heart, lessons of 2014 in tow.

So with that, cheers to a New Year! May it bring light and love in to each and every one of your hearts!

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