A Mindful Doctor – Me and My Shadow

We are beings of light and love yet we do cast shadows.

Our shadow aspect of ourself is all our negative aspects that we hide in our subconscious, and by its nature we are largely unaware of it. However we can get to know our shadow by bringing to mind the sort of people we dislike and the things we really cannot tolerate about them. They may be self centred, arrogant, moody or selfish. What we need to do is to ask ourselves if we have any of these attributes ourselves. Of course our immediate reaction is to reject the idea, ‘How could I? These are the very things I am against’ you might say. Yet on careful consideration you may begin to realise that sometimes you may be like that too.


When we feel we disapprove of an attitude or behaviour in another it can be a projection of our own shadow aspect onto them. Projection is an important thing to understand as seeing another human being as being different to us and ‘as other’ leads to prejudice, hostility, violence and as we know wars. We do not have to look far for examples of attitudes to race, sexuality and immigration to recognise peoples projection of their own suppressed negativity.

We Need to Integrate Our Shadow Aspect

It is a step in self-development to recognise, and indeed integrate, our shadow aspect into our consciousness. It certainly is not easy, and requires courage, determination and persistence over a long time. Yet it is essential if we wish to bring harmony and peace to the world.

Next time when you feel you begin to feel critical of someone, just check in with yourself that you have never thought, said or behaved in that way yourself at any time in the past. Say hello to your shadow, ‘I see you shadow. You are part of me, but I am not going to give you power by allowing you to express yourself.’ I take a few breaths and consider what may be helpful and healing and let the light and love from the source flow to them.

Craig Brown

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