Journaling for the Soul: Your shadow self

One of the biggest reasons people start journaling is because they want more happiness and abundance in their life.

And to accomplish that you need to do the shadow work.

Because shadow work plays a huge part in the healing, accepting and embracing of your shadow self.

If you don’t do the work, the things in your shadow self will still linger over you, weigh you down and sabotage you at every step of the way.

Beneath the social mask you wear, you have a hidden shadow side.

It’s the impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part of yourself that you generally try to ignore.

Your shadow side is a source of emotional richness and vitality. And acknowledging it is a pathway to healing and living an authentic life.

Shadow work is the process of exploring that inner darkness.

And precisely because uncovers every part of you that has been disowned, repressed and rejected, it’s one of the most authentic paths to enlightenment.

Shadow work exposes the parts of yourself that are far from perfect, have needed healing from childhood or adolescence and may have led to things like abandonment issues, attachment issues, deep-rooted insecurities etc.

Shadow aspects can also include things like guilt, jealousy, ego-centricity, unhealthy competitiveness, greed, extreme stubbornness and self-destructive tendencies.

Whatever it is, it’s behaviour and not character.

Meaning that you can change it since it’s rooted in something that’s not permanent.

We’re adept at hiding our shadow self and pretending it doesn’t exist while we feign perfection for the outside world.

But there is power in sitting with your shadow self and looking her in the eye.

Your journal is the ideal place to make space for her.

To open a dialogue with your deep inner self and explore what it feels like to have this shadow self.

Through the process of journaling, you can listen to what your shadow self has to say and find compassion for yourself.

Through regular journaling, you bring awareness to your shadow aspects and help them to heal, rather than sweep them under the rug and hope they’ll mind themselves.

Spoiler alert: they always spill out and start back-seat driving your life.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

– Carl Jung

There’s only one thing you can do.

And that’s owning yourself holistically and whole-heartedly.

This isn’t about perfection – because nobody’s perfect – it’s simply about bringing authenticity and honesty to the page.

Without judgement, criticism or shame.

There’s no set structure. Write organically and naturally as the thoughts arrive.

Remember: your journal is for your eyes only, so don’t censor yourself from yourself.

Don’t overthink or second guess yourself. Write whatever you’re compelled to write, long or short, and know that it takes courage to face your own shadow self.

And above all; be kind to yourself.

This is about creating more balance and peace in your life and you can only do that if you put your burden down.


Who triggers you?

Think of someone who bothers you and reflect on what it is about this person that bugs you. Reflect on what of the traits/behaviours might also be within you.

One way in which your shadow self shows up for you is in what you find most difficult or distasteful in others. Those issues are often a reflection of parts of yourself that you find unlikeable.

Ask yourself questions like: What is it about this person that I don’t like? Do I find that I have some of those same traits sometimes? What makes it so difficult to be around them? What parts of me does that person enliven when I’m around them? And how do I feel about that part of myself?