Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Hidden Power of our Dark Side

At a young age individuals learn that certain personality traits, impulses, emotions, and behaviours elicit reproach and negative feedback from their family, peers, and society at large. This negative feedback elicits anxiety in the individual, resulting in these “negative” characteristics being relegated to the unconscious. Over the course of development these repressed characteristics of one’s self coalesce to form the shadow – the “dark” side of our being:

“The shadow goes by many familiar names: the disowned self, the lower self, the dark twin or brother in bible and myth, the double, repressed self, alter ego, id. When we come face-to-face with our darker side, we use metaphors to describe these shadow encounters: meeting our demons, wrestling with the devil, descent to the underworld, dark night of the soul, midlife crisis.” (Meeting the Shadow)