January is a month of hope. With the sense of renewal that comes with a fresh year, we often catch ourselves dreaming of a smarter, fitter, more successful version of our little old selves. And so, with a list of resolutions as long as the ride back home from our New Year’s celebrations, we start the painful process of “bettering” ourselves.
It’s a lot of pressure to endure during winter, while the looming shadows of seasonal affective disorder and the post-holiday blues threaten even the most motivated among us. Rumor has it, most resolutions end up being dropped on the third Tuesday of January.
The most radical New Year’s resolutions don’t always reflect the healthiest of mindsets. There’s no denying that bettering yourself is a noble goal. However, there’s a difference between improving and aiming to change yourself entirely to attain an unreachable ideal.
Being human means embracing both light and darkness. That’s where the concept of “shadow self” comes in. Despite it being an intrinsic part of our psyche, we strive to destroy it. But what if we embraced it instead? Our shadow selves can teach us a lot – about love, acceptance, and growth.
So this year, instead of changing yourself, why don’t you try changing your perception?
What’s your shadow self?
The concept of shadow self was defined by Carl Jung to describe the parts of ourselves we’re ashamed of. Envy, pride, sloth… Each and every one of the so-called deadly sins could feature on the list of things we often try to hide about ourselves.