Why do we need Shadow Work?
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
~ Carl Jung
To continue with the house metaphor used to describe the shadow, if we choose to only live in the known rooms of our house, we can’t know the whole of the house in which we live. We cannot fully inhabit our lives if we do not learn to befriend our whole selves. To live the life we are called to live requires this shadow work. Depth psychologist, Dr. Bill Plotkin, writes, “To proceed toward wholeness and manifest the promise only you can bring to the world, you must investigate your shadow. It contains values and perspectives needed to round out your conscious personality. It contains personal powers you’ll need...on your journey.”
Ancient wisdom reminds us to stay awake to the whole of who we are because, when we don’t, there are personal and collective implications. When we do not enter the “rooms” within our “house,” those unknown rooms will become known in many other ways. Carl Jung writes “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. At all counts, it forms an unconscious snag, thwarting our most well-meant intentions.” Through our projections and relationship struggles, dreams, emotional reactivity, bodily discomfort and pain, and possibly addictions, we come to know what is longing to come forth and be known in ourselves. It takes a lot of work to avoid the whole of who we are.
Springhouse has a bold vision. We want to be a place where people feel a true sense of belonging to themselves, their community, and this planet. This is why we offer programming not only for teens, but for adults too. As Plotkin points out, the shadow journey is the work of young adulthood and adulthood, and Springhouse offers doorways to explore the many rooms within you that are not yet known.