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Shadow Self

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By Joe Niemiec

We often do workshops dedicated to the shadow side of ourselves, that part that either consciously or unconsciously we hide from the world. Occasionally it sneaks out, everyone is surprised, except our closest friends who have experienced it and love us anyway.

The idea of shadow work is not to destroy the shadow but to embrace it as a part of ourselves while moving toward a higher consciousness from which to live. The embracing of the shadow allows us to become more fully integrated in our “being” and live from a more mature perspective.

Could this be what we are doing as a national consciousness? Could that shadow part have come out, we felt it, and demanded change before the integration and wholeness was achieved?

We must embrace, not destroy the shadow. I would like to have a cool, pat answer but the truth is that this is as messy as it gets. Our challenge is not how to destroy the perceived “bad,” rather how do we integrate it so as a nation we can become whole and move forward with integrity?

I do not have an answer. I pose the question so each of us can reconcile within ourselves the challenge and move forward with love. Institutions create the need for change when their survival becomes tantamount to anything else. It is the individual, not institutions, that create change.

Joe Niemiec

About Joe Niemiec

The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles.

He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.

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