From a young age, society drums into us that we must be good and that anything deemed as bad within us is shameful and therefore must be kept hidden. Yet, the more we deny our shadow and push it away, the bigger it becomes. Our shadow likes to be heard and will take the first opportunity it can to explode onto the scene causing all sorts of havoc along the way.

Just look at the news for evidence of where seemingly respectable people go and do something completely contradictory to their character like stealing, bullying, sex attacks, murdering to name but a few. The shadow though can be less extreme and still cause problems. Things like eating chocolate cake after juice fasting, sleeping in when you should be studying, and spending the last of your wages on clothes when there are bills to pay, are strains of our shadow.

As an escape mechanism we often project onto others, judging them, blaming them for what is ultimately our stuff. Next time you read a novel or watch a movie try and spot the projections where the protagonist and antagonist are often more similar than either of them care to admit, mirroring something in each other that they either both have, hide or lack. The same is often true in reality.

So how come we try to escape ourselves? Probably because we all like to feel like we belong. During our early years when we idolise the adults in our life, any comments from them, either said innocently or with the goal to scold, bruises our ego. That first pain cuts so deep that we will do anything not to feel it again so we learn to adopt a protective persona, hiding our pain, yet paradoxically this becomes our prison. Every time we come into a situation that reminds us of this pain, it has the power to hit where it hurts. For our ego this only reinforces that we aren’t totally good, and therefore we believe we are not good enough.

Embracing our dark side is not about being evil, nor giving the ego a free rein. It’s about learning to work in unison with our two polarities and thus harvesting our full potential in life. Recognising that we are flawed as human beings and that light and darkness can’t exist without each other is a positive step, for to only accept one aspect of ourselves builds unrealistic expectations that few can ever meet nor sustain for long. It is after all in the darkness of the womb that the miracle of life is conceived and at the same time life needs light to grow. Reflecting back to the most troubled periods of our lives it has been during these dark times when we have given all we can and dug deep within ourselves that consequently we have transformed.

Your shadow, believe it or not, is trying to help through what could be perceived as misguided love. It wants to show us aspects of ourselves that we need to work on. If we listen to what it has to say, we can find a balance in our life. There won’t be the need for it to go on the rampage as it will feel heard. At the heart of our shadows are deep-seated insecurities that when acknowledged and faced lose their power as we move from the irrational to conscious thinking.

The comedian Russell Brand is an example of a person who has embraced his shadow. An ex-addict, it is through his courage to face his own shadow that he has healed and transformed his life and consequently that of others.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on the road to peace with your shadow.

 1 Buy a journal and try writing to your shadow

Say to yourself, I acknowledge that my shadow wishes to communicate with me, let’s talk, listen and share. Let it all come out and try and do a few pages each day for forty days and see if anything changes.

3. Try matrix reprinting

An energy healing system created by Karl Dawson that uses quantum physics and science. One benefit is that it allows you to go back and heal painful memories from your past.

3. Kundalini yoga

Is a powerful science. Check out this ego changing meditation to help you operate more from a place of presence instead of fear. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karena-virginia/ego-eradicator-a-one-minu_b_6076804.html