Dealing with Sexual Shadow Aspects
By Jona Bryndis
Waking up to our inner worlds often means discovering and dealing with forgotten, repressed unloved or hidden inner aspects of our personality – in self-healing we call this Shadow Work. For most of us it can come with another uncomfortable revelation – the discovery of our sexual shadow aspects.
Becoming aware of sexual shadow traits in oneself is a natural part of our self-transformation and ascension process and is should not to be judged or condemned - nor excluded. The fact that we are becoming more aware of our shadow traits doesn’t mean that we are ‘bad’ or that we have been bad in the past; it simply means that we have a higher consciousness level now and, that we can live a more aware and responsible life from here on.
What we weren’t aware of in the past is past – it's part of our learning curve and all this means id\s witnessing our naiveté in the past - but what we have become aware of in the present is now a part of our consciousness and therefore needs to be dealt with.
Dealing with shadow traits is challenging and requires a bit of courage at first, but if we face them with the tenacity of bone crushing honesty with ourselves, it can become our most rewarding training ground for learning how to transcend lower and align to higher vibratory energies:
Forgiveness, Gratitude, Compassion, Joy, Trust, Respect, Grace, Non-Judgment, Self-Love and finally Surrender – represent the main healing resonances of letting go of our past programming. They are the core energies for self-healing and positive self-transformation.
Shadow Work can also be tempting and mesmerizing and sometimes even counterproductive, if our emotional and mental state is clogged and our energetic alignment unbalanced. Clearing and Connecting modalities can help to balance our energy flow and show us how to maintain a proper heart-connection throughout the process.
Sexual shadow just one part of our shadow and cannot separated from inner healing work. Any separation or fragmentation of our inner worlds typically leads to stagnation on our journey and sometimes even severe energetic blocks.
Similar to shadow aspects in general, sexual shadow is the conscious or unconscious projection and misuse of sexuality for the means of manipulation, control, power, degradation, narcissism, egotistical release or binding of other people’s energy – simply the misuse of sexual energies for any ego-purpose or gratification.
The thing that makes most of us feel uncomfortable about our hidden or secret ego aspects coming to our awareness is partially due to collective programming but also the thought that they may not be as hidden or secret as we thought. In other words, the hardest part about dealing with sexual shadow traits is not the fact that we may have some, but the loss of our innocence and the fear that they may be visible for others.
Shadow traits develop when ego becomes controlling and out of balance – when we are not willing to work on our inner resistances and attachments and try to hide them instead. This hiding mechanism is not only a good example of the very nature of a shadow trait, but also the main purpose of Shadow Work - to learn to overcome our inner judgment by healing the very parts of us that are difficult or impossible to love about ourselves.
The development of sexual shadow traits is often rooted in collective role modeling but also through karmic collective and family aspects. Most of us relive our karmic propensities through our romantic and sexual relationships unaware of their hidden dysfunctions. It takes a moment of disengaging from our inner programming in regards to Masculinity & Femininity to realize that most of our sexual shadow developed out of defensive ego-mechanisms to cope with negative experiences of the past.
Energetically seen, ego gratification through sexual energies is located on the very same energetic level as addiction and therefore shows with very similar behavioral patterns. For many sex is the 'next best thing' to our otherwise obvious addictions, and therefore loaden with guilt and other misconceptions. Regardless of whether we use sex with another or masturbation as means to release blocked or stored energies, the energetic purpose and power of sexual energies is often completely misunderstood.
The biggest issue with the confusion about sexual energies is the what it can do to relationships. Without proper understanding of our own sexual energies it is very difficult to come to a place of positive and mutually conducive energy exchange. We often end up in unconsious control patterns whithout realizing the energetic destructiveness of it.
Common examples for sexual control patterns are: The PUSH-PULL (sexual bombardment followed by withholding), CO-DEPENDENT or FIXER (sexual pleasing based on fear of loss followed by resentment), VICTIMIZER (control through victimhood accompanied with sexual shame/guilt-tripping) or the PERPETRATOR (sexual aggression/degradation as tool for secret vengeance or entitlement).
These are just a few examples for destructive relationship patterns based on sexual shadow traits, and because they often resemble addictive patterns and usually require the willingness for deeper inner healing of both partners to be overcome.
Sexual energies and especially the expression as sexual shadow can therefore not be excluded from consciousness work. Our unconscious/ repressed/secret views, thoughts, feelings and actions in regards to masculinity/femininity/sexuality silently affect all our relationships, including the one with our children, co-workers, friends and most importantly with ourselves. Unprocessed sexual shadow traits can cause unconscious hidden agendas, guilt, blame, victimhood, anger, fear, dependencies, resentments, and inability to develop intimacy, severe trust issues and repetitive unhappiness in any relationship.
The reason why sexuality has become such a common tool for ego control, hidden agendas and expression of inner darkness can be found in the dysfunctionality of our collective programming. On one hand today’s society/media promotes overexposure through pornography, sex idols and gender roles and on the other hand it idealizes sexual repression and secrecy.
This discrepancy not only prevents healthy expression of sexuality but also the development of intimacy and trust in relationships. It often leads to a false identification with ego desires, instant gratification and lack of proper boundaries. Psychologically and energetically, this gap between collectively programmed gratification and hidden/repressed desires promotes addictive and sedative behaviors; it advertises fast results, minimal risk and maximum control of the desired outcome – hence provides a perfect ‘breeding ground’ for the development of sexual shadow traits.
The main issue with the exposure to ‘socially accepted’ control patterns, be it sexual projection, pornography, substance abuse, electronics/internet, narcissistic display, greed, gluttony, consumerism, fantasizing, etc. is that they have become so common nowadays, that many of us even don’t realize the unhealthiness of this inner programming. It's our perceived 'normal'. We unconsciously loose touch with our true needs and end up lacking healthy relationship skills, which makes it practically impossible for us to understand and respect our own sexuality and that of others of course.
It is important to understand that sexuality is not the same as sexual shadow. Sexuality and its expressions, such as playfulness, romanticism, raunchiness, or primal physicality are neutral in itself, and part of our physical experience as humans. It is comparable with hunger, thirst, need for shelter and social interaction.
Between two people in a mutual and loving relationship all these expressions can be healthy and a great way to connect and share if individual boundaries, mutual respect and compassion are provided; but it takes work...as does the positive fulfillment of any of our human needs, such as eating together, living together, playing together, working together, procreating together or communicating.
One effective way to address and heal our sexual shadow aspects can be found in heart-centered Shadow Work. Shadow Work is the process of healing our unloved, repressed or disowned personality aspects through self-transformation, transcendence and reintegration of all our shadow traits and aspects.
The main purpose of this inner work is to learn to accept and heal our hidden parts by exploring their true nature and finding their hidden treasure, so that we can reframe those often repressed parts and begin to feel more self-loving, whole and holy again.
Shadow Work often comes with profound spiritual growth; especially in combination with heart centered self-transformation modalities, such as energetic connecting work. It can help to balance our feminine and masculine aspects, reunite our fragmented/separated Self and guide us to rediscover our Inner Divinity and the Divine in All.
For many of us dealing with our sexual shadow aspects still remains somewhat challenging and will often be revisited on our journey. The best way to handle our sexual shadow is to look at it the same way we would look at any other hidden ego-aspect. Whatever our actions, thoughts, inner sentiments or unconscious projections are, the question whether we are dealing with a shadow aspect always depends on our inner attitude and energetic alignment.
So, in the end the question is not if my sexuality or my sexual shadow is ‘bad’ (there is no such thing) - the question is: Is my expression of sexuality based on LOVE (expansiveness of energy) and therefore TRUE or is it based on contractive ego energies, which require energetic binds, hooks, ties and control mechanisms (emotional and mental vampirism) to be sustained?
From an advanced spiritual viewpoint anything not TRUE to us is a violation of our expression of Divinity/True Self. Acting on sexual shadow, be it secretly through sexual projection, phantasizing, pornography or openly through sexual or verbal degradation, defensiveness, victimization, power or control mechanisms compromises Divinity in us and others and leads to fragmentation of Self.
This short article can only give an introduction on this very complex subject. On a practical level it is much more difficult to discern our attitudes/energetic states/ motivations/intentions; they are over-shadowed by countless defense patterns and survival programs from our past. However, if you understand what it is 'to be congruent' or 'true to yourself' really means, you will be able to feel out which of your expressions are true and which are not - bit by bit.
Shadow-Work means learning to overcome our past experiences, defense mechanisms, and fears, before we can establish new healthy patterns and boundaries.
Shadow is nothing but doing/feeling/thinking/acting on something that is not true to ourselves, and then going into lower states like shame, guilt, blame, fear, pain, pride etc. afterwards to fulfill the shadow-cycle, which is responsible for projections, control mechanisms, unhealthy patterns, hooks, binds, etc. to hide/cover up for the initial untruthfulness/incongruence or 'violation of our True Self', as I call it.
When working with your sexual shadow try to look at it just as any other incongruence you can feel about yourself...do not make it special...it is not. Instead, focus on what feels true to you and change/correct some of your patterns as you go.
The process of Self-Transformation is:
1. Reflecting & admitting
2. Clearing & accepting
3. Connecting & changing
4. Integrating & transcending which leads to
5. Healing & Amending.
(short: Clearing, Connecting and Integrating)
Part of being human is to bounce back and forth between various energetic states; this too needs to be accepted and surrendered (integrated); But the development of our consciousness enables us to liberate ourselves from the control patterns of lower states and therefore to choose which state we want to be in. The purpose of our life then becomes to strive for transcending lower state as they arise with no need for defense or control patterns.
We will never be perfectly aligned - if that was the case we would become Divinity itself and wouldn't need to be here anymore ;) but we can strive to become the best expression of Divinity according to our personal potentiality.
Thank you for your time.
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