Emotional Allergy: The Shadow self we are repulsed by

Emotional Allergy: The Shadow self we are repulsed by

Emotional Allergy: The Shadow self we are repulsed by

 As Ken Wilber writes in his brilliant book Spectrum of Consciousness "In all cases of Shadow projection we have neurotically tried to render our self-image acceptable by making it inaccurate". In doing this we take qualities that we exhibit and due to a belief that they are undesirable we fracture them from our ego and delude ourselves into thinking that they are not part of us. This fracture, aside from costing us a great deal of energy to maintain, means that we punctuate this aspect of ourselves into our environments. Essentially seeing what we don't accept in ourselves in everything and everyone around us. This can be both positive and negative emotions and positive and negative qualities that for some reason we don't own and won't accept as being something that we are or have been.

Ken puts it all very well here



So how does this relate to allergy exactly?

Very simply. If you are having a strong reaction to a situation that you have problems processing due to a disturbance in your body energy; doesn't that sound like an allergic reaction. Especially when this type of emotional allergy, this thing that  we are repulsed by or can't own, may only appear in a specific situation or around a specific person. 

We know it is this type of Shadow reaction as well by the fact that when we encounter the trigger, we are not just informed that it is there i.e. there is 'John' and he's depressed again; but we are strongly and emotionally affected by it, i.e. oh god I don't want to see 'John', his depressive behaviour really leaves me feeling down and drained. So when we are strongly affected by something and not merely informed by it then it is very likely to be a one of our own Shadow elements. The allergy part of that is spotted when we are repulssed by or can't go near that person/behaviour/concept without it strongly affecting us.

So how and where do these 'emotional allergies' happen?

They tend to take place at fulcrum shifts. Parts of our lives where we are in a process of differentiation from the current stage of being, tanslating into the new stage or while we are integrating into the new stage. At any one of those points you can create an unhealthy dissociation which comes from failing to dissolve exclusive identity with past stage or failure to integrate new stage.

This alienation of aspects of ourselves has two basic consequesnces to our lives:

1. We no longer feel these aspects as ours, and so we can never use them, act upon them, satisfy them: our base of action is thus drastically narrowed, reduced and frustrated.
2. These facets now appear to exist in the environment – we have given our energy to others, and so that energy seems to turn on us, to boomerang.

You can learn more about shadow aspects on the Integral Life website under their Shadow Module of Integral Life Practice.

So what can we do about it?

There are a number of psychotheraputic interventions that can be used to help with this situation.

For many years I have used kinesiology to help to identify and re-integrate these fractured parts of ourselves. I also run regular weekend workshops on Reclaiming your Shadow (please contact me if you would like to attend the next workshop or arrange one in your area).

Other really useful techniques for managing this aspect of ourselves is the 3-2-1 process which allows us to identify a Shadow projection and to reclaim it for ourselves. A short film of this can be found here in the resources section and the a written description can be found for it here. This process, which once mastered, can be used at anytime, anywhere, is an amazing tool for helping to reclaim those lost aspects of ourselves that give away so much of our power and energy to others. I suggest you practice it reguarly and really master the technique.

It is important to recognise that we can 'react' in quite dramatic ways to aspects of life that come to us from all quadrants of our experience. By acknowledging this simple idea it makes us more able to address accurately the source of distrubance in our lives. If we can do this then we can be more efficient and effective in developing, growing and remaining as healthy as we can be simply because we are not limiting our perspective to only one presentation of reality, but are open to the multiple perspectives which can impact on our lives.

I would love to hear your feedback on experiments with these techniques and this aspect of allergy. Please be encouraged to leave your comments below.


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