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18 Jan 2009

The Child Shadow

"We lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being too exacting, perfectionistic, or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by a blind ambition, or by being dissatisfied.... and not saying or doing anything about it, or by pretending we are an unending source for others, or by not doing all we can to help ourselves. Oh, there are as many ways to lose the soulskin as there are women in the world."

Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarisa Pinkola Estes

I feel compelled to talk about Shadows.

There is a part of us that is our Shadow. It is not exactly the Jungian Shadow, but very much like it. This Shadow is what I refer to as our Child Shadow. It is to be loved and handled as gently as we would a child. It is not to be feared or maligned. It is what is behind the behaviours that Estes mentions.

No matter how loving our parents or how happy our childhoods, we all have 'issues', and when we become parents we pass these issues on to our children, or ther psyches create new ones from our own.

But the Child Shadow is not to be got rid off, but rather, it's to be recognised, understood, appreciated, and healed. Each Shadow is created in Fear, so like a frightened child it needs reassurance and love. It was formed as a way to deal with the world, a coping mechanis if you like, so we can learn to appreciate it for that.

As a very empathic person I sense people's Child Shadows. No biggie, just an acute intuition thing. But it does mean that I am there for those that want to heal their own Shadows.

Today, you might read this and it means nothing to you, or you might read this and feel a heart surge. If so, you might find all this of interest. I will write about them as the impulse strikes.

I recognise 8 Shadows.

I'm going to begin with the Child Shadow of Impatience, as it has stirred something in a few readers.

It is VITAL that the references for them are not mistaken with the everyday words to which they refer. For example, the Shadow of Arrogance has similarities to but is not the same thing as calling someone arrogant. We are dealing with a subconscious thing, a psyche thing, a deeply embedded soul thing, 'kay?

Many people who do this 'work' with me, usually react defensively, that's okay, totally natural. Most get tangled in the word's everyday meaning, and some treat their Shadows as things to be got rid off. For starters, you never can. And everybody reacts to this work with their Shadow's characteristics. I certainly did.

I discovered my Shadows about 10-15 years go. I own the Shadows of Impatience and Arrogance, and a very little Shadow of Greed.

Every single person has one Shadow, just about everyone has at least 3, and many people have more. And if more sounds bad, keep in mind that some psychopaths only have one! *chuckle*

I hope you will join me in these posts, as I like to hear how the Shadows manifest in people's lives, and especially how people are learning to heal them. Please keep in mind that I am not an expert. It's just a thing I do....


  1. I'll be following your posts on shadows with interest. It wouldn't surprise me, if I had every one of those shadows in some degree or another!

    I have yet to read Women who runs with the Wolves, but it is definitely on my to do soon list.

  2. How very intersting!! I am with Shirl on this one and am now going to Amazon to order Women who runs with the wolves as this is the second time in a matter of days that it has been put in front of me!!Really looking forward to hearing more.xx

  3. How funny, I'm currently reading it! Have just read about the skeleton woman and was in tears! I'll be reading your posts on the shadows with heightened interest.

  4. Clarissa Pinkola Estes is my favourite writer and WWRW has been at my bedside for several years now. So reading a quote from her here was like a beautiful sigh.

    The rest of the post was great too. I look forward to reading more.

  5. i read that book years ago in uni. loved it, but i wasn't evolved enough then to REALLY reap the rewards. i occassionally come back to it, meaning i have a passing thought or two.

    the shadow is something i've been interested in for a few years now and very intensely interested in for about hte past 6 months. i have a wee beautiful book by robert bly called "a little book on the human shadow". i love it. it's brilliant. in the past 6 months i've read it 15 times or more and every tiem i get something new from it. mind you it;s only 81 pages, but each page holds so many rare and beautiful jewels.

    where am i going with this...? i could babble on and on and not really say anything because i'm still not any closer to understanding or knowing the shadow than i was 2 years ago or even 6 months ago. befriending the crow! that's where i;m at. still at the point where i;m trying to be friends.

    i can't wait for your next post!

  6. So true that we can't get rid of our shadow sides but rather must transform and heal them. It's like we can't be combative and oppositional but must be soft and loving and yet brave.

  7. thank you for reminding me of the shadow. i pulled out my wolves book today as a result and have already been feeling lightbulbs go off in my head, also a soothing feeling like a soft woven blanket around my shoulders. that book always feels that way to me. that and like a really tasty veggie sandwich all at once! nourishing, comforting, resonant. now off to meet my shadows. thank you.