Shadow work is a buzzword nowadays. Everyone seems to be intrigued by their own shadows and the idea of looking inward so they can heal their own darkness and transmute it into light. Deep stuff, right?
I remember when I first heard the term “shadow work.” It was shortly after my breakup (perfect timing!) and I was so fascinated by what shadow work was and how it could help me heal. During that time period, I was trying to rediscover myself after being in a four-year codependent relationship, so as I was googling ways to heal after a breakup, I came across shadow work and was immediately drawn to it.
Quite frankly, I was tired of my own bullshit. I wanted to understand why I kept attracting the same partners and situations over and over again. I wanted to learn how to step into my power and set my boundaries. I wanted to be in a relationship that helps me grow and spiritually evolve. But in order to have all of these things, I knew I had to look at my own traumas and triggers, which is terrifying to do. I knew I had to shift my own beliefs and behaviors and become a healthier person for the next person to come into my life.
Taking responsibility is KEY here. We can’t change what we aren’t willing to look at. The first step in doing shadow work is understanding and accepting that we have our own darkness and the traits that bother us in others exist somewhere within us. The next step is to write down the negative traits all your previous partners had. What were the things that pissed you off? What were the things that you couldn’t stand? When you do this, you’ll find a pattern of the certain type of partner you’re unconsciously attracted to. It’s also equally important to make note of the positive traits your ex partners had too, that way you can better understand your own values and needs. The final step is to release judgment towards your ex partners and yourself. This work isn’t about blaming or shaming others and ourselves. It’s about getting to know who we are and learning how to use our insecurities, shadows, and darkness to become healthier versions of ourselves.
Take a look at the positive and negative aspects that you wrote about your previous partners. Are these traits a reflection of you? Do you find that you also possess these behaviors in one way or another? Everyone we date is a mirror. When we can use that to our advantage, we can shift our beliefs and behaviors and ultimately attract the right partners into our lives.