Do you remember some of the things your parents told you not to do?

If you were a girl, these things may have sounded like: don’t be so bossy; don’t fight back; don’t you dare get those shoes muddy!

If you were a little boy, you might have heard things like: don’t be so loud; quit crying, you aren’t hurt; and don’t act like a girl.

All of these things that were are told, the stories we are given about who we ought to be, are packed away in a dark place where we generally don’t dare to look…our Shadow.


We all have a Shadow side, whether we acknowledge it or not. It’s there, holding all of the shut up and be kinds and all sorts of things we have tossed into our Shadow packs over the years.


 There is even the Golden Shadow, the wonderful parts of ourselves that we have disowned. The Golden Shadow is what creates idol worship, not of idols but of other people who we think are amazing and wonderful.

You may be wondering if we really need to do something about our Shadow? Do we have to look at it? Do we really need to drag all of that out into the sunlight?

Well, not if you want to continue on the path of oblivion. Plenty of people go through life constantly angry, constantly playing the roll of victim, never taking back their own power or owning their own amazing selves. If that’s what you’re after, then no, you don’t need to look at your Shadow but if you want to find the root of your anger, envy, of your projections then you will need to shine some light on your Shadow.

As always, we have choices. We can FEAR: Fear Everything And Run ORFace Everything And Rise! If you’re reading this, I suspect you’re already leaning toward the 2nd option.

Simply acknowledging that you have a dark side is the first step. Yes, it is there! The next thing you might do is to fall in love with your Shadow side. Do you know that some of the most amazing parts of your psyche are hidden there?

Think about anger and how many of us repress our anger. Anger can be highly beneficial, it can save lives, it can burn away the dead wood and leave us a clean field for growing something we want to nourish.

Then there is the Golden Shadow, all of those things we negate in ourselves and overly admire in others. Do you know that you have those same abilities? Acknowledging your Golden Shadow won’t automatically give you the singing voice of Bing Crosby or Renee Fleming, but it might give you the bravery to sing whenever you want to and to enjoy it immensely! How would that feel?

Obviously the examples above are limited but imagine what you can do by opening up and falling in love with this amazing, hidden side of yourself! If you are ready, there are resources listed at the bottom of this article.

Here’s to you, healing and wholing yourself into an even more amazing human being than you already are.

This post was originally written for Crossroads Healing.

Be Essert is a facilitator for the Shamanic Priestess of the Sacred Shield and Shield Maidens. Both processes are focused on helping women or girls honor their sacred nature, sovereignty and divity through a series of initiations. She is also a Space and Personal Clearing Practitioner; a Reiki Master; a Cranial-Sacral therapist; an herbalist; and a Holistic, Professional Organizer. Be lives in Chesapeake, VA with her family, 3 horses, 2 dogs, a goat and a menagerie of other animals.

Further reading, mainly feminist: The Shadow King by Sidra Stone; A Little Book on the Human Shadow by Robert Bly; Unplugging the Patriarchy by Lucia Renee.
You might also want to look into participating in a Shamanic Priestess of the Sacred Shield circle. One of the most critical and life-changing components of this process is the Shadow Work weekend.

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