Exploring Your Dark Side

Everybody has within themselves the element of duplicity. There’s nothing scarier than facing the deepest realms of our self, but how can you completely and wholeheartedly accept who you are if there are sides of yourself that you’re too afraid to explore?

Every story has a hero and a villain, and in your story you’re both.  All the bright aspects and all the dark aspects of your self orchestrate the melody of your song, but in order to truly hear this song you have to learn to listen… To listen not only to what you want, but also to what you’re afraid of. Your fears and your darkness are not detached from you, do not disregard them… Analyze them, internalize them. The shadow is always there and it will always be, but the shadow can look big or it can look small depending on the angle from which the light caresses you. What is the size of your shadow?

Famous psychiatrist Carl Jung described the dark side of a person as their “shadow” which contained all of the things society teaches us to repress: greed, anger, hatred, fear, our raw sexuality, and our primitive side. Jung believed that this latent energy is present in all of us, in many instances forming a strong source of creative energy.  It’s really the same as the Japanese principle of Yin and Yang: that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for without darkness there cannot be light.

By getting to know your dark side you can know yourself better and become a better, more authentic version of yourself. This doesn’t mean acting on your darkest instincts, but rather acknowledge your feelings and work through them, instead of pretending they don’t exist. Taking a deeper look at what makes us uncomfortable and why is a useful tool for self development.

That being said, stay true to yourself, pay attention to your instincts, feelings and personal tastes. Maybe you don’t like the same things others do, and that’s okay. We cannot fix that which we do not understand, after all. Ensure that you adopt an analytical, nonjudgmental and compassionate attitude toward yourself, rather than playing the prosecutor and judge which hinders your ability to embrace your shadow self fully.

Ways that can help you to embrace your shadow self:

  • Ask the people close to you what they feel your greatest personality flaws are
  • Art and writing
  • Practicing meditation
  • Developing self awareness

14 replies
  1. lunawhispurr
    lunawhispurr says:

    In witchcraft we often talk about our shadow selfs and the struggle of facing it being it’s a mirror of everything we hide. BDSM is still a very taboo topic and I feel that there’s beauty in diving into yourself with your deepest darkest desires. It’s truly a fascinating thing facing yourself.

  2. vetcos
    vetcos says:

    A very interesting topic and definitely on the mark. I’ve definitely had to try to find ways of working with my darker side and thanks to recent(ish) interactions with individuals i’m using that energy for cosplay and writing.

  3. Fredrick_Z
    Fredrick_Z says:

    Thank you Victoria 🙂

    I enjoyed reading this, and getting a sense of how you find integration of Jungian aspects.

    We are fluid and complex creatures with shifting desires in each moment, with each touch; and we can evolve to find inner truth to allow all of our self to thrive!

    Have you read Hermann Hesse’s c.1919 book “Demian”? Within the text, the author illustrates Abraxas, as a counter to the dualism that was gaining strength around the time of the industrial revolution. We felt a rift sexually when René Descartes’ c.1641 mind-body dialogue was mis-understood to state we needed to divide somatic (embodied) experience from perceptual (psychological) logic.

    I’m tired of having to define myself
    Sweet or savory,
    Black or white,
    Friend or lover,
    Man or woman,
    Dominating or submissive,
    Saint or whore.
    Fuck everything having to be labeled and classified!
    ~The Composer (one of the poets in The Poetry Brothel)
    Erika Lust “Cabaret Desire” (2011)

    I am going to be teaching an “Abraxas: Healing Holistic Balance” ritual workshop about healing dualism at the Shadows and Light virtual festival at the end of the month, if you want to attend: https://bit.ly/2EWAwSJ

    • Victoria
      Victoria says:

      @Fredrick_Z I am so glad you enjoyed the read, I appreciate your feedback as well as introducing me to the concept of “Abraxas”, very interesting indeed.
      The Shadows and Light festival sounds wonderful, I must look into it further. 🙂 Thanks so much!

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