Signposting the Shadow


The thing that triggers a knee-jerk response of dismissal, denial or instant condemnation is usually a signpost to the shadow.
What do you vehemently deny?
What do you not want to hear?
Where is the skin thinnest?
It´s ethical to staunchly reject something that is truly unjust.
To block out energies, people or activities that are harmful.
To protect others who cannot defend themselves (and want that help).
But that´s not the kind of response (or cause) I´m talking about.
You know what I mean …
More often that not, our expressions of righteous condemnation stem from unresolved trauma, undigested experience or unprocessed emotion.
Or the need to ridicule, tear down or poke holes at others who are different ….
Or to question their right to exist, to be what they are …
Or to run away from them
So much of that comes from the fear of invalidation rather than anything to do with the Other.
Now _that´s_ a lot harder to swallow.
There is this great misconception where experiencing the shadow (going through hell, the shit, pain, etc. ) is equated with understanding, accepting, healing from or transmuting it. . . .
That is a different skillset.
Experiencing pain and learning how to heal are two different experiences, though the former often catalyzes the latter.
The pain and the battle scars are often used to signify the shadow.
This is an incomplete equation.
Look also to the skin that healed, or the scar that (at least partially) faded.
That is a more complete equation.
It is not a great stretch to say that we have learnt to romanticize the pain of the shadow, rather than the actually process in learning to heal (from/through) it.
This then makes the process of talking about the pain – and remaining within the identity created by it – more comfortable.
(Which defeats the deeper purpose, and possibility offered by the shadow)
(1) Finding a facilitator who can actually handle their own personal shit and create a safe container for another is rare.
(2) Finding someone who really wants to do that work, without wanting to sugarcoat a bitter pill – or take a shortcut – or resist change – or project massively on others – – – is rare.
There are some beautiful articulations on doing ´shadow-work´ … but doing it for real – – is rare . . . and way less popular.
Because it asks you to get uncomfortable, uncertain – and vulnerable. And to be okay with it.
And that´s difficult for many, especially when you are raised in a culture that finds security in a stable, defined sense of personal identity.
To question the nature of the self, in ways that go beyond philosophical postulation, the very idea of the ´I´ .
Eventually it dissolves ´I am – I want – I need – I feel´ – and the journey transforms entirely.
Spiritual bypassing occurs when individuals seek to reach ego-dissolution before even acknowledging there is an ego to begin with (and eventually finding out that too is temporary).
Taking that cold, hard, long look in the mirror and coming terms to what you are (for now) is one of the most rewarding things you could possibly ever do.
Staring at it with self-hate is certainly an experience …. but it doesn´t bring you to the alchemy that is possible in shadow.
When you surround yourself with what you want to hear, as opposed to what challenges you to self-growth …
Well… let´s just say it ain´t gonna be pretty when that bubble bursts 😉


Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
The Sky Priestess


Topic: Beyond Construct – Transcending our Concept of the Feminine Experience
Date: 12th January 2018
Location: Tempe, Arizona

Click this link for more information on the event.

Terms of Use and Sharing: Feel free to use the Share button on FB or Reblog on WordPress for personal, noncommercial or educational use with all links intact. If you are an organization, institution or individual seeking to use this material for promotional purposes, please ask first. If wanting to include this information into your workshop materials or written work, please cite accordingly as this is original research material. All information provided, be it through sessions conducted or this post is non-liable and is not intended to replace professional legal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and/or financial counsel.

Post © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2018. All rights reserved.

Public Domain Image. Old Sundial by George Hodan.

2 thoughts on “Signposting the Shadow

  1. alchemist0310 says:

    you made it to the states dear dr. B!

    Wow, beautiful. you are blessing us here. Wow, would i love to come to tempe to see you! hmmm. maybe?!!

    much love from seattle… one of your huge fans




Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: