The dark side

devil girl

For every positive, there is a negative. However, although we might want people to believe that we’re all goodness and light, the truth is we’re also made up of feelings and desires that are not always so pretty.

The gift of the shadow

Debbie Ford, author of The Secret of The Shadow, laughs as she remembers how she learnt to see herself both ways.

” I used to do affirmations at night with my tape recorder, “I am lovely, I am sweet”, then I would wake up in the morning furious! “Now I understand that I hadn’t learnt to live with my dark side. When I did, those dark parts came bearing gifts “ and when I embraced them, my life transformed. “The gold is in the dark”, as Jung said.

You can run … but you can’t hide

Tricia Brennan runs shadow workshops throughout Australia. She teaches that the dark shadow contains “the aspects of your nature that you think are unacceptable “ the darkness or ugliness you won’t admit to because you’re scared it’ll make you unloveable.” “The dark side is where we dump anything that we’re not comfortable with,” she explains.

Ignoring our dark side won’t make it go away either.

“We attract whatever aspects of us we have forgotten or denied,” Tircia says. “People will mirror back what is within us, because subconsciously we are drawing it in through the law of attraction. “Those aspects will keep showing up that way until we make peace with that part of ourselves.” This is, she claims, the point of balance “ embracing it all without judgement. If you want to find your shadow, Tricia suggests looking for evidence in your life.

Mirror Mirror

Normally, what angers or irritates us about others is the part that we don’t like about ourselves, she says. Are there people in your life who play out your shadow? Write down anyone or anything in your life that keeps making you mad. It could be …

  • Parents, family, siblings
  • Partners and lovers
  • Colleagues
  • Your body
  • Recurring patterns in your life that you don’t like

Now comes the tricky part “ see if you can find that quality in yourself.

Embrace the dark

The best way to explore your shadow is to shine a light into the darkest recesses of your personality. Like the attic, with its forgotten treasures, you may find something valuable there! To discover your dark side, write the answers to these five questions on a piece of paper …

  1. Which part of yourself do you always deny?
  2. Which parts of yourself are you afraid of?
  3. What are you afraid that someone will find out about you?
  4. Make a list of words that you don’t think could ever apply to yourself?
  5. Now write down how this part of you as served you, and why it would be good to accept it.

According to Tricia, there is a gift in every shadow, if you look hard enough for it. “The benefit to owning your shadow is that you are no longer afraid of it,” she says. “When you bring this part of you out, your dark and light can then operate together, and this is the true balance you desire. “Then we have the power to choose who we want to be, rather than being what we think we need to be in order to be loved and accepted “ and the people around us will probably change.”

Let your light shine

For some people, it’s not the dark they deny, but the light shadow. This is made up of the power you pretend you don’t have “ aspects of your nature you may have dismissed, thinking you are not good enough or worthy enough to claim them as your own. To claim our light shadow side, answer these questions …

  1. Who do you hold in awe?
  2. What qualities do they have that you admire?
  3. What nice things do you find it difficult to say about yourself?
  4. What fears do you have about admitting these things?
  5. Imagine a range of T-shirts that say, “I am sexy”, “I am clever”, I am gorgeous”. Which would you find most difficult to wear? 

Find Tricia Brennan at

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