A recent post, featuring an excerpt from "Betsey's Retreat" about the qualities of the unconscious self, brought up a series of comments and emails.

In the post I referred to these qualities as shadows--a term I adopted from Jungian psychology.

A quote from the excerpt included:

"These shadows dance within us in dreams or fantasies and without us by showing up in feelings and behaviors we don't understand."

...and, in the correspondence that ensued, the question of "What do "shadows" even mean?" came up more than once.

The Shadow Self is an expression that refers to our subconscious:

‘‘sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life’’ (cited in Diamond, p. 96).

Aspects of the mind of the soul, elements of the Shadow Self can be destructive, divisive, and self-sabotaging when they remain repressed.

For years, twin flame love was such an aspect for me. It descended into the ashes of my shadow after I dismissed it, in my teenage years, as being unimportant. As a result, it remained dormant--surpressed--for several years, during which time it would emerge and manifest itself into scenarios I initially invited and created and then ultimately ran from. These instances always felt confusing and very painful--until I started to understand.

It was my soul in the end that helped me. Eventually, in meditation--before I met my true twin flame--I started to feel what I needed to "see." 

"I mainly felt grounded and serene when I meditated, but there were also times when sadness would ensue, and I didn't always know why. Sometimes all I knew was that I had to observe the feeling and permit it to well up in me. As uncomfortable as it might have been, I had to allow myself to feel it. My grandmother used to say that every soul has a story. Seemingly, I was tapping into mine." ~ The Power of Twin Soul Love (Vol. I)

At the same time, beautiful feelings came up, too--which allowed me to experience pure twin flame love in the form of energy for the first time in my adult life:

"Through meditation, visualization, dream analysis, and a little creative writing, I had started to get to know the trusting fragile essence that often came to me in my fantasies and my dreams, and somehow, it was making me feel more and more complete."

Once the shadow of the twin flame rose from the unconscious to my conscious self, I united with my true love within and then, shortly after, in the 3D world, as well. 

It's important to note that not every aspect of the shadow Self is dark and in need of healing. Shadows involving love, intimacy, sensuality, and/or sexuality, simply need to be "seen," felt, and embraced so that we may reach the inner state that cultivates balance and love--real love--from the inside out.

Blessings and love,


mary dunlop