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Shadow work: The path of the heart warrior

Carl Jung once said that shadow work is the work of the heart warrior. Damn straight. There's nothing more brutal than turning to face everything you most fear about yourself. And therein lies the medicine of this practice, because once you face that which you most fear, you are free.

Shadow work invites us to face the totality of our being with honesty and openness - an openness to witness all that we once deemed to be too ugly, too unacceptable, too shameful, too impossible to acknowledge about ourselves, and subsequently shoved into the deepest, darkest recesses of our hearts. When these aspects of our being are discarded and denied, they find other (often more nefarious or unhealthy) ways of being expressed from the murky depths of the unconscious mind.

"Your 'shadow' is nothing more than the part of you that is unconscious and therefore hidden from your awareness. The unconscious is filled with all kinds of things that you have judged as 'unacceptable' about you. And shadow work is nothing more than the art of making the unconscious, conscious and the unacceptable, acceptable." - Teal Swan

Why would you endure this agonising process of self-scrutiny, I hear you ask? Because beyond the veil of the seemingly separate, fragmented, deficient and shameful self is the love, the life force, the Divine presence that binds this world into being. And when we are willing to face the most seemingly unloveable facets of our being with tender curiosity, we are dissolved back into that loving embrace. We return home. We see ourselves as we truly are, beyond the distortions of the psyche and emotional body.

This is awakening. It is a homecoming; a remembrance that everything is an expression of the singularity of no-thing. Nothing can remain untouched, unseen and unwitnessed on the journey back into the Divine embrace. Embracing every aspect of this earth-bound human experience with love is the way home - including the parts of us our ego once rendered "unloveable".

Tash x

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