importance of integrating shadow

all quotes taken from the Academy of Ideas blog ( and are just for my journaling notes

” The path to a greater character, to a more effectual approach to life, lies in integrating those elements of our psyche that for too long have been repressed and denied – the elements that make up what Jung called our unconscious shadow side.”

“but we also repressed positive and life promoting characteristics.”

“As a result of repressing elements of our personality into our shadow we were made tame, obedient, predictable – perhaps likeable – but at the cost of our vitality and psychological wholeness. “

“the connection between the integration of our shadow and the development of a greater character becomes clear when we understand Jung’s assertion that the integration of the shadow leads to self-reliance.”

“It is not that we want to become “evil”  in the sense of turning criminal or committing heinous acts against our fellow man, but “evil” in the sense of detaching ourselves from what we see as the flaws our moral code so we can reconnect with the parts of our personality  we lost in our shadow long ago. “

“They believe the value judgments good and evil imposed on them by their schooling, parents, peers, and society, are written into the fabric of reality itself.  They do not understand that a morality, like a society, can be sick and in need of overcoming.”

“a self-image that was constructed over years of adjusting to who they thought others expected and wanted them to be.”

“never mustering up the courage to confront the elements of one’s shadow it does not go away. Rather, it puts one in the unfortunate position of susceptibility to possession by its destructive side, to following in the tragic footsteps of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. For in public, most people are conscientious, moral, and moderate. But behind closed doors and in the comfort of hearth and home, their shadow at times turns them into marionettes – unconscious victims of addictions, strange compulsions, fits of irrational anger, and myriad of other, self-destructive behaviors.”

By not being aware of having a shadow, you declare a part of your personality to be non-existent. Then it enters the kingdom of the non-existent, which swells up and takes on enormous proportions…If you get rid of qualities you don’t like by denying them, you become more and more unaware of what you are, you declare yourself more and more non-existent, and your devils will grow fatter and fatter.”  – Carl Jung, Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928-1930

“As denying our shadow only renders us prone to possession by its destructive side, integrating our shadow into our conscious personality is crucial for our well-being. “

“there is a healthy form of aggression that is imperative not only to our psychological health, but our survival. This form of aggression fuels our sense of self-ownership, emboldens us in the face of fear, and ignites the drive to explore and master the world outside us and within.  “

“Our displays of aggression, whether constructive or otherwise, were not met with encouragement or understanding, but frowns, punishment, and even violence. And so, to adapt to our environment and minimize conflict, we learned to repress our aggression into our shadow side, and thereafter became susceptible to anger, rage, and hate. “

“There is no generally effective technique for assimilating the shadow. It is more like diplomacy or statesmanship and it is always an individual matter. First one has to accept and take seriously the existence of the shadow. Second, one has to become aware of its qualities and intentions. This happens through conscientious attention to moods, fantasies and impulses. Third, a long process of negotiation is unavoidable.”   Daryl Sharp, Jung Lexicon

“To initiate this integration process, we can seek safe, controlled, and productive outlets within which we start acting with more aggression. …But we can also, for example, work on becoming more assertive in our behavior, more decisive in our choices, more declarative and protective of our personal boundaries, or more inclined to stand our ground when tested by our co-workers, family, or peers. “

“the goal in integrating our aggression is not to become a bad person, but to get in touch with the repressed energies and potentials needed to sculpt a great and powerful character.”