Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore, but which can erupt in hurtful ways. As therapists Connie Zweig and Steve Wolf show in this landmark book, the shadow can actually be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life. "Romancing the shadow"--meeting your dark side, beginning to understand its unconscious messages, and learning to use its powerful energies in productive ways--is the challenging and exciting soul work that Zweig and Wolf offer in this practical, rewarding guide.
Drawing on the timeless teachings of Carl Jung and compelling stories from their clinical practices, Zweig and Wolf reveal how the shadow guides your choices in love, sex, marriage, friendship, work, and family life. With their innovative method, you can uncover the unique patterns and purpose of your shadow and learn to defuse negative emotions; reclaim forbidden or lost feelings; achieve greater self-acceptance; heal betrayal; reimagine and re-create relationships; cultivate compassion for others; renew creative expressions; and find purpose in your suffering.
The shadow knows why good people sometimes do bad things. Romancing the shadow and learning to read the messages it encodes in daily life can deepen your consciousness, imagination, and soul.
Replacing murky psychological language with easily understood stories and characters, Jungian psychotherapists Wolf and Zweig (Meeting the Shadow) offer a plethora of myth-based modern parables for reconnecting with our "dark" sides. In this version of Jung's theory of archetypes, "banished" aspects of individuals or families--"anything that is forbidden, shamed, or taboo"--comprise a "shadow" self that is inaccessible to the "persona" or mask-like public face we wear among others. The result can be a host of problems whose causes seem diffuse, such as addiction, depression or abuse. The authors assert that by "romancing" or bringing the shadow into the light of consciousness by identifying and giving voice to its demands, the true "third body" of intimate relationships and authentic "family soul" can replace false selves. A recurring metaphor is of King Arthur's round table. In chapters such as "Looking for the Beloved: Dating as Shadow Work" and "The Shadow at Work: The Search for Soul on the Job," real-life cases of people in common situations, such as having sex with one's ex- or enduring grinding boredom at work, are analyzed in terms of which mythic character (from a wide variety of world literatures) sits at the head of one's own round table, inappropriately controlling one's actions and reactions. Everything from keeping a journal to tracking physical sensations, the authors assert, can aid in the "shadow work" of identifying and integrating such voices into an authentic self.