Embarking on the Radical Journey of Shadow Work// Part 3
Welcome back, family! Happy November & I hope you all got to enjoy the Full Blue Moon on Halloween! My husband & I had our first Full Moon ritual at our new alter that we curated in our bedroom. It was magical and I truly enjoy intimate moments like that where he and I can basque in our spiritual practice together as a unit, twin flames and partners and life.
Are you ready to read the last post of this Shadow Work series?
I certainly hope so :) Here we go!
So my work began with first determining what it meant to deeply & unapologetically love myself in a way that was truly soul-fulfilling way. This practice of self-love required acknowledgment and acceptance that although I had been through some severely traumatic experiences, achieving alignment would also require understanding that those experiences were part of my past that helped shape my present but in no way would inform my future.
Full transparency, the shift occurred when I was able to become financially independent. I felt that by taking control of my own money, renting my own apartment entirely on my own salary and not with the help of family & friends (all of which required establishing pretty severe boundaries), I was beginning to experience true independence & freedom. I had more time alone which was uncomfortable at first but as time went on, I began to fall madly in love with my alone time. At this time, I had a regular workout schedule so I was designating specific time nearly every day to exercise which had become extremely therapeutic. I’d even become a runner, putting in miles around DC, getting lost in the run by processing thoughts, feelings & emotions that for so long had been buried in my shadow self.
As I got to know myself better in my moments of solitude, I got to know what I genuinely liked & what I didn’t, what I enjoyed eating for mental & physical wellness, where I enjoyed spending money, how often I spent time with friends and in what setting, in what capacity & how often I spent time with family. I got more comfortable turning down invitations because they conflicted with the time that I was spending (re)learning myself & who the hell I was. I grew more comfortable with the word “no” and unpacked why sometimes I felt guilty saying it. My spirituality deepened and my spiritual practice became a regular part of my daily routine. I learned more about meditation, crystals, cleansing herbs and the power of the elements, particularly the Lunar Cycle. As I was refilling my cup with love, acceptance, patience & understanding, my ability to read energy strengthened and it often contributed to commitments I would or would not make because my mental & spiritual health had become my biggest priorities at the time.
In time, when I circled back to the idea of manifesting love, truthfully family, I was so “full of myself” in the most positive and healing sense of the phrase, that I was actually content on NOT meeting anyone. I didn’t want my peace (that I’d worked so hard to regain) disturbed by the unhealed energy of another man, particularly since that’s all I’d attracted for years. Looking back in all of my shadow work, one of the most fundamental things I had to give myself was forgiveness.
I forgave myself for praying for clarity and then ignoring all the signs & opportunities to achieve alignment.
I forgave myself for tolerating disrespect not only from other people but more importantly from myself.
I forgave myself for tolerating emotional abuse when I knew I wasn’t deserving of that.
I forgave myself for playing the victim when at times, I was the villain.
I forgave myself for committing to people/relationships whose energy was palpably unaligned with mine.
This took a lot of time and truthfully, sometimes when aspects of my shadow self still surface, I stand firm in the work that I’ve done and simply remind myself that mistakes were made but that ultimately every mistake that I’d made brought me to this place of pure joy & happiness. So, rather than looking back on any of these past experiences with distain or regret, I am grateful to have experienced them. It forced me to confront my shadow self, to sift through, unpack & heal from the negativity, the pain, the fear, the anxiety & the hurt, to uncomfortably acknowledge aspects of my own behavior that were manifestations of my own neglect.
My shadow self and I have since made peace; deep & eternal peace. We respect each other…me respecting aspects of my shadow self that still require time, attention & healing and my shadow self respecting the fact that there are parts of my life that I’ve healed from and have moved on from. We respect each other’s presence in this one vessel that we share and are able to co-exist peacefully because we understand alignment is only achieved if we live in harmony.
As you embark on your journey, consider using some of the following tips/self-check questions to make peace, heal & transform beyond your aspects of your shadow self that you haven't confronted yet:
Think about all of your most notable relationships (past & present). Do any of them (still) require healing?
Are there people in your life who are tied to some of the negative experiences you’ve had? Are you okay with their continued presence in your life? If so, are boundaries set up to protect you from them hurting you again? If not, what can you do to establish those necessary boundaries?
Do you find it difficult to trust people completely & entirely? Why or why not? What contributes to and/or impedes your ability to trust fully?
Are you clear with what you seek to manifest in this life? I know this is such a vague question but having an idea of what you wish to do with the life you have allows you to more clearly visualize, heal, grow, set necessary boundaries and transform into the person you were divinely created to be. Not having an idea of what you seek to manifest can often contribute to low-vibrational behaviors & relationships that’ll take you off the path towards your Higher Self.
If you are someone who prays and/or sets intentions as part of your spiritual practice, are you situating yourself to receive the blessings you’re asking the Universe to bestow upon you? Also consider this: if you received these blessings now, would you be prepared to handle the responsibility that comes with these things? Would past trauma hinder your ability to be grateful for these things?
It is often said that the root of most anger is fear so when you find yourself in moments of conflict, particularly with a loved one, spouse and/or friend, take a moment of pause to ask yourself, “what am I actually afraid of?”
Are you content with where you are in life (financially, spiritually & professionally)? Of course we’re all constantly working on being better, more aligned versions of ourselves, but are you happy with your current state? If not, are you taking the necessary strides to achieve that type of success you want? Why or why not?
Here are a few final quick questions to consider asking yourself during your shadow work.
Have you forgiven yourself for errors in judgement, choices you've made that weren’t aligned with your unique path?
We’re all afraid of something, so what is it that you are you afraid of? Is that fear tied to something you’ve experienced in the past? Is there room for healing?
Do you still hold anger in your heart towards someone? If yes, are you taking any time to forgive them?
Do you still hold pain from a heartbreak? If so, is there room for healing? If yes, what are you doing to actively heal from and transform beyond that experience?
Are you proud of yourself? Why or why not?
Do you believe you’re beautiful? This is a very important question, fam. Nobody can ever see you better than you see yourself so if you don’t believe that you are a beautiful being (physically or spiritually), that may be something you want to turn your attention to.
Are you capable of manifesting the life of your wildest dreams? Why or why not?
Do you think you’re deserving of love? Why or why not?
I end this post hoping that you’ve gained the slightest bit of insight into the process of Shadow Work. I set the intention that each of you reading this will embark on this journey with confidence knowing that you’ll come out on the other side of this closer to Spirit, closer to alignment and most importantly, closer to yourself; your Higher, more resilient, more powerful and more beautiful (and yes you ARE beautiful) SELF.