Shadow Identity: Inside You Someone Waits to Emerge
The shadow is the unacknowledged part of ourselves. Inside you, that shadow someone has been waiting to emerge for a very long time, like a butterfly from a cocoon. You may well encounter that someone, or aspects of her or him, in your dreams. That person may be an elusive stranger, or someone who urgently cries out to you to open your doors to her…or him. The shadow can be many things.
The shadow someone who waits to emerge may contain elements of you which have been forgotten or even repressed since childhood. Or, that “someone” may appear with elements that have never before been in your conscious mind. He or she may represent something new in you, a reality about you held in the depths of your unconscious, waiting until now to emerge and encounter you in your conscious identity. You may well find that you are not always entirely comfortable with this one who wishes to emerge!
Depth Psychology and Emergence of the Shadow
The calling of the /a-midlife-transition is to assist in the encounter of the one who wishes to emerge with the already established identity of the person who starts to hear the call of their inner self, in whatever form that call takes. The /a-midlife-transition recognizes that these are elements of one and the same person. and that, for a person to love, accept and acknowledge him or herself, the known self and the undiscovered or emerging self must embrace each other. Then the person will live in the awareness of his or her true self, and her or his own real life.
Yearning for Transformation
Something inside of us yearns for this. Something in us may also be aware that such a transformation takes effort, and is only acheived if we devote ourselves to the goal, and move past that part of ourselves that would tell us that everything is OK the way it is, and there is no need for us to change or grow. The part of us that is caught up with inertia, that would tell us that even though things don’t seem the best, and that life is less than satisfying— or even less real — than we had hoped, it is better to let sleeping dogs lie…or sleeping aspects of the self.
Depth case studies, especially Jungian analysis, is all about the process of awakening sleeping shadow aspects of the self. It is opening gates within you, and allowing exiled aspects of your being to walk through those gates.
What will that someone who emerges be like? The answer to that question will be as unique as you are. But the encounter with the undiscovered self will ultimately be a homecoming.
Who is Waiting to Appear?
As you read this, there are aspects of who you are of which you’re aware, and aspects that are in the unconscious. Who is it who is waiting to appear in you? What is there that is part of your nature that is yearning to reveal itself in you? What kind of healing would those parts of you bring?
Have you ever had the experience of encountering an aspect of yourself of which you had previously been unaware? Such experiences can sometimes be profoundly transformative. If you were willing to share about such an experience either in a comment or vie email, I would love to hear from you.
Wishing you and your emerging self every good thing as you travel on your personal journey to wholeness,
Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst
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© 2011 Brian Collinson