How to Remove the Emotional Charge from a Shadow Trait

Do you feel taken advantage of? Manipulated to do things because you are after all a good person; helpful and compassionate? Do you have a hard time saying no and setting boundaries because it feels “unkind” and “selfish” to do so?

You would benefit from embracing your shadow side: that selfish, unkind, bad person inside that you have tried to starve and smother. The moment you can accept that part of you, other people in your life cannot guilt you anymore into doing something that you do not really want to do. They cannot plug into your shadow anymore.

Try the following exercises (based on Debbie Ford’s work):

1. Enlist the help of another person and sit across from each other. Say to this exercise partner, “I am a bad person” or “I am unkind.” Your partner replies, looking into your eyes, “You are a bad person” or “You are unkind.” Then it is your turn again to say your statement, and so on.

At first this will feel very uncomfortable; it might bring up emotions of anger, shame, or other strong reactions. However, as you continue with this exercise with the intention to truly own and accept that trait, the emotional charge the words have for you will disappear.

Alternatively, you can do this exercise by yourself by looking into a mirror. Say “I am unkind/selfish/a bad person/etc” until you have worked through the emotional charge.

2. Do a brief meditation or relaxation exercise to meet this sub-personality that you have disowned. Go inside with the intention to meet this “unkind and bad person”. Notice how he/she appears to you, what shape and age he/she is, how he/she is dressed, how he/she smells and sounds, etc. Give him/her a name to really personalize that trait.

Then have a conversation with him/her. Ask your shadow side what their gift is for you and how they are serving you. Find out what he/she needs to be fully integrated into your psyche. Once we are clear on how a hidden trait is positive as well, it is easier to embrace that part of us.


If you want to find out more about shadow work or the upcoming Shadow Energetics Workshop facilitated by Darryl Gurney in May please contact Angelika


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