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Two Common Misconceptions About Shadow Work



hi this is emerald and welcome to the diamond net and today I'm going to be sharing with you two common misconceptions about integrating the shadow alright so in my last two videos I talked about shadow work and how the ability to integrate the shadow is largely contingent upon our ability to drop judgments and to learn to love and accept ourselves and others as well as to recognize within our self traits that we would habitually judge away or repress and so from this standpoint of wanting to integrate the shadow aspects of the self I think it's important to make a distinction between the light shadow and the dark shadow now this is a concept that I got from somebody named will Sharon who actually took a course with he's really awesome you should definitely check out his YouTube channel I'll link it down below but basically the light shadow could be things like hidden potential that we have like things that we've repressed a way that can actually be expressed in a positive way or at least in a neutral way things that don't cause any issues now a lot of the misconceptions come from the idea of integrating the dark shadow alright so an example of the light shadow would be lets say a naturally creative person is born into a family of staunch pragmatist that looked down on creativity and anything that really colors out of the lines now if they fully conform to that familial structure what will happen is they'll likely repress the creative aspects of themselves and so creativity itself will get relegated to the shadow and so in that sense the shadow is sort of like in this regard sort of like the treasure that's hidden in the dragon's lair there can be some negative things in the shadow but there can also be very positive things in the shadow so with the light shadow we really want to be able to reintegrate that but when it comes to reintegrating the dark shadow there are some obvious issues that come from that and but it's still important to be able to integrate it but it's important to be able to understand exactly how to do that and that's why I'm dressing the misconceptions that I'm about to go over all right so here are the misconceptions the first misconception is if I don't repress away my destructive tendencies to the shadow then what will happen is that I'll have to express those harmful tendencies so that's the first misconception the second misconception is that we should judge those who act from the dark shadow who do those terrible destructive things because they deserve it all right so let's dig into misconception number one so basically with this misconception it says if I don't repress these destructive parts of myself then I'm going to have to express them and do the harmful thing so let's say for example I have like greediness as part of my personality and I want to push that down to the shadow and so the idea is if I'm trying to reintegrate that trait then I'm going to have to express greed or do things that a greedy person would do and so that's not what shadow work is at all you don't necessarily need to express that treat because expression and repression are not opposites awareness and repression are opposites and acceptance and repression are opposites but expression is not the opposite of repression so if we have some kind of destructive trait that we know if we express it it's not going to be good for us and it's not going to be good for others then there's no need to express something in order to avoid repressing it so I've I've met some people who actually have this misconception that in order for them to not repress you know they have to be able to express whatever a tendency it is so one person that jumps to my mind right away is somebody who is struggling with anger issues who's chronically angry and they would basically say it's like well yeah if I don't yell and if I don't like break things then none of that anger is actually like coming out and so I'm just bottling it up and repressing and so I have to shout and I have to do these destructive things so that I don't repress anything but of course that's the wrong way to think about things so the idea is let's say that you have an issue with chronic anger you want to become aware of it and you want to accept that as part of yourself become as aware as possible get to know it from all angles and what will happen then is you'll notice that there's a shift in perspective and you start to see what's underneath the anger and as you go down further and further into the shadow you'll find that the most destructive tendencies often have a very very innocent beginning they grow from a seed of like a time maybe when somebody was going through a very traumatic situation often times in childhood and if you let's say draw back the idea of like that chronic anger they can maybe follow that back to a time as a child when anger was the only thing they could resort to to get control over their life maybe they had abusive parents or neglectful parents and the only way to become recognized was to express anger and so when you become aware of and you accept your shadow traits oftentimes the more destructive traits you don't need to express them but they'll lead you down into the reason why those destructive traits are there in the first place also another point that I think is important to go over relative to this misconception about repressing destructive traits the paradox is the more you repress the more likely you are to express the negative traits so if we are fully aware that we have these destructive tendencies we're a lot more likely to recognize it and say okay no I don't want to express that whereas if we make ourselves unaware which is what repression is it's a complete blinding ourselves to what's going on internally we're a lot more likely to find rationalizations and justifications for why it's okay for us to express a particular trait or to find ways for us to create a kind of back door solution for expressing that trait so again if we think about reintegration as being about awareness and acceptance as opposed to expression what we can do is then we can shift our idea about what it means to reintegrate and we can notice what behaviors should be compartmentalized or expressed in a non destructive way and then we can also become aware to the point where the emotions that are coming up and those traits that are coming up can lead us down again to what that core reason for the destructive traits are in the first place all right so the second misconception that I see most often on my other videos on the shadow is that we should absolutely be judging people who commit these destructive acts and who do bad things because they deserve it and they shouldn't be let off the hook for their bad behavior but again this is a misunderstanding of integration so integration is not about apologies 'im it's not about letting someone off the hook for destructive behavior and it's not about giving the green light to destructive behavior because obviously that wouldn't be good for individuals and it wouldn't be good for society at large now in this next part of the video I'm going to be using as an example people who have committed the worst crimes against humanity people who do genuinely heinous acts that if we let those things like those people run rampant and do what they do you know it just leads leads to all kinds of chaos and murder and destruction and suffering and so I'm using these extreme examples to show why we shouldn't even judge them but when I'm saying we shouldn't judge them that doesn't mean we should let them off the hook for what they've done that doesn't mean that we should become an apologist for their ideas or for their actions it doesn't mean that we should just accept anything in society all willy-nilly or anything in our behavior all willy-nilly but basically it comes down to the difference between judgment and discernment so understand that boundaries and standards are still important and the idea isn't like so if I use Hitler for example it's not like oh you know Hitler was just a really good guy or you know like that kind of thing what it's about is about recognizing the darkness in ourselves and being aware of it so it doesn't sneak into the driver's seat and so that we can become aware of it and we can see the roots of it and that's what's really important about shadow work is being able to be aware of your entire internal state and not leaving anything in the blind spots all right so let's talk about the difference between judgment and discernment so let's take the Hitler example so what discernment would mean is basically being able to call a spade a spade being able to say things like they are or like they were in this case so I could say that Hitler committed many crimes against humanity I could say that a society ruled by Hitler or a Hitler like person is an unhealthy Society it's not good for human beings or I could say when I think about the acts that Hitler did I feel a sense of disgust all of these things are using a sense of discernment so none of these things are a judgement nor is the feeling of disgust so this works with feelings as well so a negative feeling about something is not in and of itself a judgement the main thing that makes something a judgement is when we create a counter identity to whatever that person is or whatever that trait is and so this is what a judgment is it's basically saying I'm nothing like that and then identifying in such a way that we put our blinders on to everything that resembles that person so if I look at someone like Hitler and I say oh what a terrible person I'm nothing like that what's gonna happen is that I'm going to have this concept of myself and any dark thing that relates to Hitler I'm not going to notice in myself and so this is a problem because everybody has a certain darkness inside of themselves it's just an aspect of the internal landscape there are genuinely destructive things that are just there and are there for everyone and this is why I think in the Bible and I'm not 100% sure this is an exact quote but it's something that I can recall being spoken about when I went to church when I was younger it was basically the devil is in everyone and I never quite understood what the quote meant at the time and basically the idea here is that everybody has this darkness inside of them and what happens if people hyper identify with goodness and with the light what happens is that we lose track of the darkness and like I had said before that's when the darkness takes the wheel that's when we start to not notice when we're doing very destructive things that cause ourselves and others suffering so let's take someone like Hitler himself I'm willing to bet that he hyper identified with goodness and righteousness and that he thought the cause that he was going toward was a really good thing you know and obviously we can look back and see how much suffering he caused but it was his very identification with goodness and to call other people bad that enabled him to have that sense of superiority over the various peoples that he oppressed and murdered so with the topic of integration and with not judging ourselves and not judging others it's very very important to eventually work your way up to being able to recognize the connection between yourself and even the most heinous person but this is advanced work here so this is not what you start shadow work out with you don't start shadow work out with Hitler you start shadow work out first with your light shadow integrating unrealized potentials then you go to people who may be kind of you a bit and like her maybe expressing some mildly destructive things and start to understand that and then you work your way up to the most heinous people who do the worst crimes against humanity and then you can start to notice your own dark shadow and that destructive drive inside of yourself so if you if you're not ready for it if you're not prepared what can happen is you can fall into apologize 'm and not really being fully aware of the gravity of the situation and kind of falling into that naivety of saying oh that hitler you know maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all that's not the point in this yeah obviously he was a bad guy but we need to recognize that there's a connection there or what will happen is that you get a glimpse of that dark shadow that really genuinely destructive dry within yourself and you're getting a lot of like shutting down and so you want to take this gradually and then you can move down to the more advanced things where like you know perhaps there are there are issues that you have with a certain family member who really traumatized you as a child like that's even quite advanced it's hard to accept a person like that it's hard to accept the aspects of yourself that they represent to you so as a general recap again you want to make sure you distinguish between discern and judgment and you should also distinguish between expression and just acceptance and awareness so those are really the two main things that you have to stick the landing on when it comes to shadow work you're not just like a you know you're not just becoming an apologist for all kinds of terrible things and you're not doing all kinds of terrible things it's largely about awareness it's about your ability to open your eyes and shine the light on aspects of yourself that you would otherwise reject anyway that's all I have for now I hope that you enjoyed this video if you did go ahead click the like button below and subscribe also leave me a comment I love hearing from you guys and if you feel like you know anybody that would really enjoy the content please share this video out to them I also wanted to say thank you so much to my patrons oh you guys are really awesome thank you so much for supporting me also if you would like to get weekly updates on whenever I post videos visit my web site at the diamond net org I also sometimes send out like notifications like if I'm giving away like let's say a discount or some kind of contest relative to my life coaching dream work coaching and tarot reading so if that's something you think you would be interested in be sure to sign up for content updates on the website again the diamond net org also just to give you a brief rundown of the services that I'm providing so basically with life coaching and dream work coaching it has to do with really like sort of getting your bearing on what you would like to do in life and then being able to take your yourself in a particular direction to reach your goals with life coaching a lot of it has to do with asking me asking questions and giving you sort of a space to like explore and then sort of setting down certain action steps and being a strategic partner toward you going toward those certain steps and with the dreamwork coaching it's basically the same thing but we use the dream as a start so the idea is like you are you're getting in touch with what your subconscious is trying to tell you and so you're using the messages presented by your subconscious mind and using that as the basis for the coaching so that you know what steps that you need to take in life yourself more into alignment with what the subconscious is trying to bring you toward and with the tarot reading a lot of times people will come to me for that for a sense of clarity as well so if you're looking for a sense of clarity and right now you're not sure which direction to go in life you know I highly recommend signing up for those anyway that's all I have for now I hope that you enjoyed the video and until next time keep becoming more you you

Glenn Chapman

30 Comments

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  2. This is very helpful!!! Especially your points about distinguishing between judgement and discernment and also between acceptance and expression.

  3. Telling children by the church they have the devil within them is abusive, By their age and thus naivety they are being preyed upon by the adults pointing their finger at the easy target of young and innocent, If you tell them they may well have the potential capacity to commit criminal acts in their lifetime, That would be healthier as it`s not treating them as criminals before any act has happened, But it tells them to look inward to challenge themselves to what they know they should not be doing, That is what I consider shadow work, Being honest to yourself, Questioning your evaluations to what you think and your resulting behavior's

  4. Bring dat money in aye, damn that shut expensive, bruvs don’t know why mans acting tough, I’m a beta white dood, a bro of the hood, dis non duality doing ma head in yeaz.

  5. Is it possible to dislike someone without projecting at all?

    Or, every time I dislike someone (even if I don't know the reason), is there projection going on at some level?

  6. So a good example of this recently for me was work where I said that a sales role isn't me. Now I'm aware of my disassociation with that aspect of myself, possibly relating to confidence and loads of stuff about how society functions, but I'm never going to work in a sales role. Is the process now complete?

  7. Yes you definitely have a misconception about shadow work and that's because it has been mispercieved through lack of experience and therefore has individual meanings for each person, shadow work may have some common tools but it is unique for each person and therefore your own perspective is just your own perspective.

  8. Oh yeah… the light shadow is a huge item… yeah yeah yeah don’t be hiding your light in a bucket under the bed. Who cares if you are rebuked for letting it shine forth. You are right, repressing the light shadow is cultivating weakness. How can it be wrong if it feels so right.
    Hey you tapped into something so positive. What an insight. Repressing the good is definitely self destructive. We become inured manifesting the good, maybe even become judgmental to righteous behavior.
    Hitler could have been a blessing if he integrated his shadow… he started off with energetic creativity. Good insight on Hitler… would’ve should’ve could’ve but didn’t.
    Love the light shadow insight… it sounds liberating. But don’t be phony and just talk that talk without walking that walk. You’re gonna get ridiculed that way. Thx

  9. I work in Jeffersonville Indiana, sheperdsville Kentucky and scottsburg Indiana which I know my shadow but these fools wear a red mega hat made in China. Downey California

  10. I agree that some things confused me now and made me think.

    Isn't the reason why we feel disgust that we have already identified ourselves as something superior to the target? "I am a clean person while they, those disgusting people, are bathing into the mud"-kind of thing.

    For that reason, I believe that what Hitler did was inhumane and terrible, but I would try to avoid calling it disgusting or associating it to such a feeling (it is something anyone could do under similar conditions as Hitler). I might be wrong there, but maybe, I have to think more about these…

  11. Well put. This really lit up a couple of novel perspectives I've been feeling around for. Great distillation. Thanks for pulling these intelligible pieces down from the emergent dimension and into language for us.

  12. My biggest problem with doing shadow work is denial.

    Im not sure what i can do about something thats intentionally put there – and that i dont even know that exists or where exactly it is.

    I tell myself im not judgemental about traits and about anything in shadow work , but that might as well be denial too. it most likely is and im probably very judgemental.

    How do i get through this roadblock?

  13. You vids would be alot better to watch if you took out the fake background and actually filmed in various natural backgrounds 😉

  14. Is integrating our negative traits kinda like negotiating with our self about how far we wanna take those things? So for example if you are generally lustful and are in a relationship you can negotiate with your self by being harmlessly flirtatious but drawing a line at that?

  15. Additionally to becoming aware and accepting the shadow, sometimes one may find a way to transmute destructive shadow tendencies into a creative alternative. For instance: one could consider writing a book about one's deepest darkest fantasies in order to express them and potentially earn some money, launch a career and receive lots of flattering e-mails from fans who crave for the next volume to consume 😀

  16. Love those hand-movements. You were raised a Catholic, weren't you?

  17. So anger and rage are important evolutionary things to grow and develop. Not to be experiencing in extremes all the time via dysfunction. But enough to keep you moving and respond to injustices to the self and your fellows.

  18. Great videos Emerald! Thank you for spreading Jungian ideas & walking through these concepts. The world needs it now as much as ever with such popular mass minded movements hyper identifying with the good well being oblivious to the bad that is unconsciously at work. You are doing God's work.

  19. it was quite the video and the way it mirrors my life is … well … disturbing. I discovered I have such great anger in myself, demonic anger even. At first, I wasn't not only unable to control, but unwilling to do so. When I "woke" up from that spell, I learned about the concept of "disintigretion" … basically taking all the corresponding flaw of your qualities (in my case, switching from a non-judgemental pacifist to a destructive wrathful person).

    Looking at your video, it seems to me that my ego was repressed and became my shadow while my shadow became my ego … not exactly healthy.

    On the other hand, I am not sure I am entirely sold on the "light" and "dark" shadow concepts … sure you can shove up a lot of good qualities and potential, and it was certainly my case as I discovered recently … On the other hand, so called "light" aspect can really be detrimental to your life and "dark" shadow ones can really be a resources … that is if you use them wisely.

    I am having entire conversation with asphodle, the demon inside me, about many things, and the fact that she isn't the demon that she appears in my nightmare but rather, a force of nature that can protect me (and sure, cause an unbelievable amount of destruction if wielded without wisdom).

    But hey, what do I know? I am still a beginner on the subject (and was thrusted directly into the difficult part of shadow working … not that I was aware of that at the time :O ).

    Also, see what I did there? Disintigretion … sounds like the opposite of integration, don't you think?

  20. Very cool video! I like that idea of a light shadow, kinda like hidden potential or unexplored talents! Your smart!

  21. Honestly i have more resentment towards my roomates and family than i have towards people who have commitmed crimes against humanity.

  22. if you can do a short video about practical day to day tips on how to do shadow work, it would be very useful 🙂

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