Inner Resistance and the Shadow Self


By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness

This was written for the 178th issue of The Culture of Awareness Weekly Newsletter, which I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the newsletter helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post.

My goal for the past few weeks has been to stay active with writing, music, exercise, meditation and everything that’s helpful and important to me. I’ve found, however, that it’s pretty difficult.

It isn’t actually hard for me to stay active, because I always have something to do.

What is difficult is my resistance to working harder and getting more done, and since many of us are in a phase where we’re testing ourselves and trying to reach new heights, we’ll inevitably encounter a lot of internal resistance.

I’m no longer comfortable staying on the same level, and I want to explore everything in a deeper way.

I want to explore certain social and spiritual themes more thoroughly in these writings, accomplish more with music and learn/feel more in meditation.

I want to stay physically active and feel clearheaded as a result, hence the exercise and attempts at healthy eating, but my own fear and hesitation are stopping me from reaching the next level.

This is why I wrote about fear last week, and if we let it, it will prevent us from living with purpose.

It can prevent accomplishments for the betterment of humanity that we’ll be proud of when we look back, and we’ll miss the chance to have that feeling if we give in to it and hesitation, distraction or anything that holds us back.

I share this thought frequently, and yet, acting on it is difficult. It’s one thing to know something, but another thing altogether to understand it. I have yet to truly understand a lot of the musings I share, but I know them at the surface and feel compelled to spread the word.

As I’m confronted by personal obstacles that seem enormous, I’m starting to understand the value of willpower.

Everything in life comes down to our willpower and the choices we make, and some people (including me at times) give their power away to their unconscious desires and habits.

They aren’t in control of their willpower when they err, because they give in to subconscious impulses that, if brought to the surface and understood, they could heal.

This is another example of something I know but have yet to understand, and along with willpower, I’m learning that the subconscious is important in all of this.

In our subconscious (and beyond) lives the higher state of consciousness so many people strive for, but it also contains our shadow self and the aforementioned desires, habits and destructive tendencies that comprise it.

One can be a great person at the surface and have the best intentions for humanity, but in most cases, unresolved darkness still lurks below. The big secret is that we all contain this darkness, and until we work through it, it will continue to subconsciously influence us.

To really understand this concept requires the acceptance of light and darkness as shades of the same divine color. It not only requires an acceptance of the existence of darkness (which doesn’t mean we have to give in to it and feed it), but the willingness to stop resisting it.

When we stop fighting the darkness – in our world and in each of us – we can heal it by giving it the space to make itself known.

We shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed about our shadow side, because again, it lives in pretty much everyone. The only people it may not live in are those who are enlightened and have actually resolved all of their darkness, but their numbers are small.

Once we fully accept it, healing it becomes easier because we’ll no longer resist and repress it. Getting comfortable with it is the best way to overcome it, and if we don’t try to overcome it at all, it’ll influence our decisions forever.

In my opinion, creative work helps and is helped by the surfacing and healing of the shadow self. Creative work helps us get beyond a space where it can influence us, and things like writing can help us explore it and find a viable solution.

We can write about our troubles or our inner demons, and we don’t necessarily have to share it with others. We can do it for personal reasons and get something from it without sharing it, and writing is an effective tool whether we use it publicly or privately.

Whatever method people use to surface the shadow self, it’d be much easier if everyone were open to helping them through it instead of shaming them for qualities that live in everyone.

Most people suppress their shadow side out of fear, guilt, shame or any other quality that aides this suppression, but they might be willing to work through it if they could get it out there and receive compassionate help.

Like so many other things, the conscious community can show the way when it comes to compassion, openness and acceptance. The first step to doing this is also the first step to healing the shadow self: accept the oneness of darkness and light.

Accepting that the light and dark are one allows us to enhance the light while being strong when we witness negativity and chaos in the world, and in any situation, acceptance is the first step to healing.

The darkness won’t scare us or bring us down when we accept its existence and live in the light regardless, and then, we can be the light in the dark for others.

Too many people are trapped in their own self-created hell, and instead of avoiding them or pretending we’re holier than them because of the way we try to live, we can shine our light around them as much as we would someone we consider ‘awake’ and accept them like we would anyone else.

We should obviously set limits with those who’ll take advantage of us, but beyond that, we can show love and kindness to anyone we encounter.

Illuminating our inner darkness helps us see that we have no reason to judge others, especially those we don’t consider ‘awake’, and it’s humbling to know that we all struggle to see the light.

Even those who seem the most enlightened are either struggling in darkness or struggled immensely to get where they are now, and everyone grapples with duality in the beginning.

It’s necessary and unnecessary; necessary because it helps us to see that the light and dark are one and unnecessary because we wouldn’t need it if we were already aware.

I believe we took on a ‘veil of forgetfulness’ when we came to this place, however, so duality is actually a teacher.

It helps us merge our understanding of light and darkness, and then, we can become true lightworkers by sharing good vibes unabashedly and unconditionally with a world that needs it.

The term ‘lightworker’ is popular and unpopular in the conscious community, but I think working with light is a real phenomenon that, once we become aware of, can change our life and give us even more purpose.

For me, it translates into sharing positive vibes with everyone and everything I come across, including the earth itself.

It means kindness, sympathy, compassion and the willingness to put others’ needs before my own. I struggle with it like other things, but it’s a potent and helpful form of lightwork nonetheless.

Meditation, creativity, lightwork and so many other things are extremely helpful in healing the shadow self, and while the most important step is to accept the shadow’s existence within us, it helps to be creative, meditate on our struggles, and fill our physical and spiritual vessel with as much love and as many good vibes as we can muster up.

Beyond generally helping us feel better, exercise helps the light pour through – whether during a creative session or at any other time. This is why I try to keep up with it and maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle.

We’ll each have to find what helps us in the struggle to resolve the shadow self and transform from within, but these things help me and they seem to help a lot of others.

I hope these suggestions help you on your journey, because it isn’t always easy and we could all use something to ease the difficulty.

There will come a time when we can share our hardship and compassionately listen to the struggles of others, but for now, let’s be strong as our perception of duality continues to intensify and ultimately fade.

The end result will be pure oneness, and we can speed up the process now by accepting the darkness and enhancing the light.

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