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Law of Polarities, embracing your Shadow

Updated on July 23, 2011

What is the Law of Polarities and the Shadow?

Do you ever find an aspect of yourself so unappealing that you wish you could extract it through some form of magic? Many of us have aspects of ourselves that we judge harshly and do our level best to restrict it, hide it and deny it.

The law of polarities is the law that states that for everything there is a light side and a dark side. Examples are daytime and nighttime, winter and summer, good days and bad days…and so on. The same is true for our talents and gifts.

In our personalities, this polar opposite is called the ‘Shadow’. Carol Pearson writes about this in her book ‘Awakening the Heroes Within’ – embracing your Archetypes. In this book you can take a series of personality quizzes coming up with the primary Archetype of your strengths, and the shadow archetype of your weaknesses.

You don’t really have to take a test or know your archetypes in order to learn how to embrace your shadow side. Embracing simply means acknowledging and giving its due. For instance: you are a great salesman, top of your company. It seems to come natural to you compared to some of your co-salesmen. You have a natural trait of persuasion…the shadow side of that trait could be your natural ability to manipulate others in order to get what you need or want. If you are aware of this trait, it is nothing to hide from or deny…instead, be aware when you are beginning to use it and honestly acknowledge it and change your communication asking directly for what you need or want. If you know you won’t get it outside of manipulation then you may want to ask yourself if you are now trying to take advantage.

What we Resist...Persists

Many of us hate to be angry. You may have been taught that being ‘angry’ is bad or to show anger is evidence that you cannot control your emotions. The polar opposite of anger is kindness and although kindness is preferred, anger too has its place. Anger unacknowledged becomes rage and rage is much more difficult to control or even understand since it is usually a conglomeration of a multitude of different emotions. Anger can be a conduit for change if one is willing to look at it closely. Let’s say you are in a relationship that is very abusive emotionally or physically, each time you experience this treatment, you get angry…anger being a secondary emotion may indicate fear and/or hurt. Only by identifying anger can you then identify why you are angry and look to change your situation. Anger can be destructive when it builds up into rage or is turned inward becoming depression.

One way to accept the Shadow is to a) listen to it b) find the positive aspect that is its opposite, you may be surprised and find a hidden talent, and c) dialogue with it, usually you will find it much more manageable and you are taking a huge leap to self-acceptance and loving yourself.

It’s really true that if you don’t love and accept yourself, there is no capacity to love and accept others.


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    • Lily Luna profile image

      Lorri Woodmansee 6 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      You are so right, Jama. We really need to change our perception of anger. It doesn't always mean violence and aggression. Anger can keep us healthy if we are willing to acknowledge it. :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      May I add that anger is only one of *64* emotions humans are capable of expressing? One way or another, repressed anger will eventually manifest itself, either outwardly as rage, or inwardly as depression, neither of which is healthy.

      Personally, I think it can also manifest as a debilitating disease, or even as a cancerous tumor. Repressed anger, after all, is a tangible thing that the body considers a foreign object that if not eliminated in a reasonable amount of time, has to be "stored" somewhere until it is.

      Therefore, I have NO problem "blowing" when I'm angry, but not necessarily at the object or person that caused it. For instance, going into a sound-proof room or out into the country miles from another living thing and screaming my guts works for me. Beating one's bed with a baseball bat or other solid object also works quite well.

      The point being, we should no more fear expressing anger than expressing joy or happiness, because they ARE opposite sides of the same coin.