Shadow work is often considered mirror work, because we access and work with the deep wounded parts of ourselves in order to transmute them to heal. Those who trigger us, are really triggering the parts of us that are still left unhealed. We cannot rise above the pain until we’re willing to submerge ourselves in it without resorting to poisonous methods of coping or unhealthy deflection. If we can learn to trust ourselves, we can better discern who else to trust in our circle. When we know ourselves best, we can be confident in the way we feel or think about situations.

As children, we knew if we liked or disliked someone. We knew if we trusted someone or not. Our gut told us so. But over time, we were made to suppress our instincts to fall in line with societal, environmental, and parental expectations. We were taught to sit down, be quiet, and comply.

No. Don’t do that. Don’t do that anymore.

Everything in your body is telling you to honor what you know is true and real. You don’t need to guard yourself with impenetrable walls in order to maintain clear boundaries. You don’t need to hide, or isolate yourself, or remove yourself from life to avoid people who will hurt you. You already know how to manage a healthy force of protection simply by standing firm with who and what you allow in your intimate space.

Trust you knowing. Change your circle. Face your triggers. And let yourself be who you were before society and trauma told you who to be.

Shadow work is raw. We face the ugliest parts of our inner selves and learn how to stop playing victim to our life’s circumstances. We face our excuses and complaints, and recognize how toxic our tantrums are. And then we change it. We decide right then and there to change it. We are no longer victims. We remember we never were, and this is when we get to move into a position of strength. We get to look back on life and realize we made it. We lived through everything that tried to devour us, including the beast within ourselves at the core.

Debbie Edwards