Doing the shadow work: guilt, shame + fear
Life really does seem to move in seasons. Sometimes we stand up, out and proud in the starkness of bright sunshine, and other times we slink away into the shadows to lick our wounds. I currently find myself in the latter season, one that I’m often wishing I was done with, though I know it doesn’t work that way.
I’m dedicated to my growth and the reason is not at all selfless: it’s not just because I want to be a better person, that’s just a side effect, but rather because I want to improve the quality of my life. I know that when I grow, and move through my shadows — any elements of low self-esteem, guilt, shame, fear or lack of self-worth — and own those aspects of myself, I get to experience a new level of abundance, joy, ease and inspiration. I manifest cool stuff and get experiences that I’ve been yearning for.
Recently, the deep shame that I come from a dysfunctional family background has been playing its turn in my eyesight, begging me to clear it and let it go. It’s not something I hide, but I also don’t feel comfortable speaking about it openly. Most of my family members are estranged from one another, and I’ve had to put really strong boundaries in place to liberate myself from the drama that this separation has brought up.
How that has impacted me is in my judgement of self-worth. There is an underlying subconscious belief that because of those particular circumstances, I am not as worthy of the things that I want, as others might be. This dysfunctional family shadow plays out in ways that make me shrink and play small instead of owning my worth. It limits my ability to go after opportunities and attract positive circumstances at the level that I know I could once I clear them.
When I reframe the story, I recognise that my family is not an extension of my self-worth and that the circumstances give me a level of insight, compassion and freedom that I might otherwise not have. Plus, it’s propelled me to advance my own inner- and shadow work at a much faster rate that I might have if I wasn’t facing this kind of discomfort.

Often these shadows are blocking us from stepping into our full worth and authentic self. I ask myself the following questions to get clear on those blocks, and use my sovereign process to release them:

  • Whom will I hurt by becoming my fully powerful and authentic self?
  • What am I afraid will change when I own my worth?
  • What will I lose when I step into my power?
  • What will I have to let go of when I am my most powerful self?
  • Who will suffer by doing so?
  • Whom does it serve my playing small?

Once you know the answers to those questions, you shine the light of awareness on them and they will start to dissipate. Imagine how you will be different when you are fully embodying your authentic expression.
This kind of shadow work might bring up a lot of shame, fear and resistance. We have to be willing to feel it and be still with it. The only way to process it is to allow yourself to embrace and integrate and shadow stuff and acknowledge it. Then it stops having power over you.

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