Looking Inwards: Performing Shadow Work

β€˜Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.’

Carl Jung

Love has been a huge theme for the second half of 2021. Self-love, finding a lover, the meaning of love, discovering parts of life that you love, and so on. Through engaging dialogue with countless people, I discovered that love is a choice and a sacrifice. Whether it’s putting yourself over others, or vice versa, you’re constantly making the choice to do what either feels right to you or is best for you. As 2021 came to an end, I shifted my priorities around from fun to realigning myself back to the center. This entailed saying no to what doesn’t serve my well-being and performing inner work to understand what was keeping me from a more fulfilling life.

The latter half of 2021 has been advantageous. It’s really helped me recognize the insecurities I had in myself, how much self-love I lack, and to be honest with myself. Some growing pains I’m learning to overcome are:

  • When do you know when it’s time to walk away?
  • Where do you draw the line of how much you’re willing to tolerate someone if they’ve disrespected you?
  • Are societal norms inhibiting you from telling the full truth?
  • When is it okay to be your authentic self?
  • Is there such thing as right person, wrong timing?
  • Why do certain things increase your cortisol levels so easily?
  • We go through obstacles to get to where we are and appreciate what we have then, but why is the journey arduous and requires us to be patient with ourselves?

While some of these questions have been answered at a surface level, it circles back later to look for a deeper answer as I grow further along with life. It’s easy to conceptualize these questions, but I find it much more gratifying once it’s experienced by yourself. Performing inner work is not as easy as it may seem. I actually wrote this piece a few months ago but am now getting around publishing it because of my desire to “perfect” the blog and finding the energy to power through with making it coherent.


When do you know when it’s time to walk away?

It’s something I’m definitely getting better at. Thanks to friends and reflecting on my past mistakes, I know what parts I do not want repeated which has helped me make that decision to choose myself over the other person. This may be contradictory to many of my situations, but again, I do think you have to go through them in order to fully understand how much you value yourself. There’s a difference between spending time with someone who exhausted you vs making you feel good but wasn’t ready to be with you. At that moment in time, they may have been the right person for you to learn a lesson you needed for yourself. Whether it was to grow you in becoming a better person, or learning you deserved better…

IG – thegoodquote



Where do you draw the line of how much you’re willing to tolerate someone if they’ve disrespected you?

There’s an old adage that says, β€œfool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Once you go through the pain of deprecation, it’s a natural reflex to never want to feel that again. However, the other way to look at this would be to ask if it’s they who disrespected you, or yourself? What if it’s just your ego that is hurt and you’re choosing to blame the other person? This is where you take yourself out of the situation and look at it from the outside. If you’ve been hurt, does that come from trauma with your inner child, or was it solely an unethical act?

Experiences are meant to happen to become lessons learned so they won’t happen again. You draw the line when you feel it in your gut. Our bodies often identify feelings before our brain does from past experiences so it’s second nature for you to act on them. The hard part is learning to break the toxic cycle. This is when you’ll keep running into similar scenarios again until you learn to put an end to it.


When is it okay to be your authentic self?
This isn’t an easy answer. At the end of the day, it’s from the start of an encounter. But some people aren’t ready to handle the full you from the core. They need to be eased in bit by bit. And sometimes, the cold reality is that you need to play the game to win. I learned there are two paths I can choose: being authentic from the start or winning the game first before doing that.

Is there such thing as the right person, wrong timing?

I now understand that there is. Some people just aren’t in a similar stage of life or ready to commit. You could meet someone who mirrors your values but doesn’t have the capability of being a partner at the moment. Or you met someone who is ready to take it to the next step with you, but you don’t feel the same because you want to keep looking. The paradox of choice, but also a pivotal moment where you need to ask yourself what it is you really want.

Why do certain things increase your cortisol levels so easily?

This seems pretty easy.. I think it’s when things don’t go the way that I feel frustrated because I’m not in control of the situation. My body gets into “attacked” mode where breathing becomes more difficult and I become agitated. Practicing peace is an ongoing mental exercise I am working my way towards improving. We are constantly challenged to keep our energy high with the inevitable ambiguity of events thrown at us.

We go through obstacles to get to where we are and appreciate what we have then, but why is the journey arduous and requires us to be patient with ourselves?

If everyone went through the same events at the same time, it would make life mundane. Everything happens to everyone when the time is right. Some people go through events earlier than others because it’s what the universe had in store for them, while others needed to go through it a later time. Timing is key and it’s something that we cannot necessarily control, but live. We live in the moment and prepare ourselves for what we think is to come. Whether that’s setting goals or aspirations for our personal/professional life. It’s something that keeps us going so we won’t lay in idle. Every day wasted is another day you cannot get back. While being patient for what you want to happen next, the only thing to do is fill it with something else that can only benefit you.

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