Pre-Pandemic Shadow Work

Every so often I run a self-awareness check-up to make sure I am living my life in a conscious and balanced way in both my inner and outer realities. I find that during this pandemic it is even more important to perform this sort of tune-up because of what the world experienced half a year ago. It was a very traumatic change that set off the flight or fight instincts and unfortunately, during times like these, it is easy to have those instinctual aspects take over the wheel.

Some call it “soul-loss,” others call it “fragmenting,” either way, it is in the realm of shadow work. According to Jung, the shadow is the hidden or repressed side of our personality. Shadow work is the process of recognizing and then integrating the aspects within ourselves that we disown, deny, or judge and therefore get buried in the depths of our unconscious. We deny these parts of ourselves that we feel uncomfortable with or ashamed of. However, I have found that it can also happen in very subtle ways. It doesn’t always have to be so drastic, there are a million intricacies that make up who we are.

Yes, this post-pandemic persona got you through some tough moments and helped you move forward while protecting you. And yes, you are forever changed and will keep these changes within. But, it is now time to let that part of you loosen up a bit and let go of the reigns. Allow some pre-pandemic traits to enter back into your life.

In my case, I became super protective over my family and even moved away from my city apartment and into a house closer to nature. It is something I always wanted to do and yet came up with a million excuses not to do it over the years. However, I became more rational and focused than I usually am due to the initial fears that crept in during the early pandemic stages. I unconsciously judged anybody that seemed to be on the magickal side of things during this transition and could no longer relate to most of my spiritual friends. I was in a constant state of shock and under a lot of stress. It was from this very uptight inner world that I began creating my outer reality unconsciously. I had fragmented and did not even know it until I began the integration process once again.

I invite you to perform a self-awareness check-up on yourself. If you wish you can whip out your journals and do this in writing or you can just go through the process in your mind:

  1. Think about where you were before all this happened.
    Go back to the last few months of 2019 or the first couple of months of 2020. What activities were you involved in? What were you feeling? What were your plans for 2020? What journey were you about to embark on? Why did you want to experience those feelings? What was growing within you? What were your hopes and dreams? Who were you surrounding yourself with?

    Really get in there and imagine that life before the pandemic hit the world. Get into your own skin prior to any of this ever happening. Look at it like a lifesize movie that you have just stepped into. Take your time and recreate all the details.

    Now, put that aside for a moment.
  2. Jump forward to the present moment.
    What activities are you involved in now? What are you feeling? What are your plans for 2020? What journey are you embarking on? Why do you want to experience these feelings? What is growing within you? What are your hopes and dreams? Who are you surrounding yourself with? Who is no longer in your life? Look at it like a lifesize movie that you have just stepped into. Take your time and recreate all the details as they are today.
  3. Compare and contrast.
    What differences do you notice between the past and present You? What new things do you recognize within yourself? What part seems like you’re a completely different person? What do you judge about your past self? What new emotions and ideologies do you presently observe that weren’t there before? What do you miss about your pre-pandemic self? What parts would you like to call back into your life?

    Note: It isn’t just about the good feelings or the longing that call for integration. The hard part is looking into the negative emotions. If you feel resistance, judgement or dislike toward your past self, this is a sign that fragmenting occurred and integration is needed. This means you are denying a part of yourself that existed before the Pandemic.
  4. Integrate.
    Visualize your past self standing right in front of you. Invite her/him back into your body and life. Hear this pre-pandemic aspect thanking you for getting you through hard times. Tell her/him how you are going to make room for her/his return. Allow her/him to step back into your life and begin to co-create with you in the present. You can imagine merging together as one. You may also breathe her/his energy back into your body, or just imagine you are embracing and becoming one. You can really get creative with this one.

When I did the self-awareness exercise, I realized I would never be fully happy if I denied the part of myself that existed before the pandemic. I began to open up once again to the synchronicities in life and welcomed Magick back into my heart. My spirituality began to flourish once again. I contacted friends I hadn’t heard from in a while and began thawing out from the super-rational pre-pandemic panic. I realized that, no matter what is happening on the outside, I could still feel joy and happiness on the inside. It was ok to integrate my rational side with my magickal abstract dreamer within. Both are a valuable part of my being. Balance was definitely needed and I now hold the best of both worlds.

Thank you for taking the time to do the exercise and I hope you found some value in the process.

Jenniffer ClarOscura