SHADOW WORK VS SHADOW WORSHIP
To me, there is a massive misconception between ‘shadow work’ and ‘shadow worship’ going on in society. The shadow, to me, is self love hiding in unconsciousness waiting to be discovered. Shadow work for me is facing my unconsciousness, meeting it with understanding and allowing my shadow to transmute into its true form- love. Meeting my shadow is powerful, intense, private work in which I move through whatever unconsciousness has come into my awareness for me to make healthy choices. Therapy is shadow work to me. A space where a studied professional can hold a retainer of self love and self acceptance reminder while being a powerful sane advocate for my health.
Shadow worship, on the other hand, to me is not meeting the shadow, it is a clever parade of avoiding the shadow. Shadow worship in my experience, as I have spent quite a large part of my life doing just that, actually enables the shadow to stay shrouded. When the shadow calls out to be heard and is not only ignored, it is praised, then shadow runs the show and does not get to reach it’s true form. Praising/avoidance of shadow is to me the abandonment of shadow. The abandonment of shadow is the abandonment of self. Abandonment of self is the root of acceptance of deep abuse consciously and non, including self abuse. In my experience shadow worship, because it was a fanfare of shadow avoidance, actually enabled a conversation in my body of not being worthy of the love that was waiting for me in facing my shadow.
In my eyes, BDSM is shadow worship, rather than shadow work.
In leaving the BDSM world I now choose to do my work rather than disrespect the path of my shadow by worshiping it. The shadow’s purpose to me is to show me the diamond in the coal to remind me I am worthy of love. To remind me, I am love.
*To be clear, the context of this is based on philosophy, not religion.