According to the psychologist Carl Jung, the Shadow Self is made up of the aspects of our personality that we choose to reject and repress. Most of us never know our shadow as those elements remain in our sub-conscience and only manifest themselves through what he terms as projection, where we openly dislike these traits and behaviours in others. He argues that we distance ourselves psychologically from the behaviours, emotions, and thoughts that we find dangerous and that, rather than confront them, our mind pretends that they don’t exist.
Examples of things which are part of people but they choose not to acknowledge would include aggressive impulses, taboo mental images, shameful experiences, immoral urges, fears, irrational wishes and unacceptable sexual desires. Clearly anything which we find unacceptable to our moral idea of who we are could form part of our shadow and, therefore, it will vary from person to person, and from society to society. Although I can’t say that I am really a follower of Jungian theory, I do find it interesting and thought that it fit the Sinful Sunday prompt of shadows quite well.
I would say that as a person I know myself quite well and would be accepting and aware of some of my shadow behaviours. Perhaps that takes them away from it being my shadow self as they are now in my conscience, but that would sort of ruin my post so I am going to stick with it. I am not a psychologist so apologies to anyone reading who is, and feels that I may have misrepresented the idea. Although I am open on my blog about some of the types of behaviour and thoughts listed above, I still live in the shadows in terms of the outside world.
Even the image I have chosen is not the one I wanted to post where a lot more of those parts of me society would feel I should hide, were visible. So I do temper myself and this leads to frustration for me at times. I would like to cast off my shadow and step into the light, but I don’t feel that my life could take that right now. There are definitely things that I have repressed, but others that I have accepted in myself and yet am not willing to stand judgement for by others. I use risk to act as my conscience and it moves between the two parts of me which exist in the two different worlds.
I weigh up the risk to keeping my reputation intact and take only the chances which I feel would be more easily explained away. This does not sit well with me and I long to be able to live a life where I can feel more authentically me, but currently, my livelihood is too important to shift the scales of risk in the direction I would like them to go. I suppose because all of this is considered consciously, the projection which would, according to Yung, cause resentment in others doesn’t exist, and I admire those who are braver and more authentic than me.
I do resent the social constraints placed upon me which I know is a different thing. This image seemed to symbolise the situation I find myself in as the shadow created on the wall is barely discernible now, due to my need to darken more of the image that was intended. It pushes most of my body into the dark shadows so that I become almost merged with the other part of myself. I am left with lots of darkness and lots of shadow and just the small outline of light which traces the curve of my body. This is not how I want to be seen, but it feels like all that I can show at the moment, and so I have settled on this for now.
Part of the original version of the picture is used for the featured image so you can see the difference. All I did with the edit was to increase the shadows a little.
I understand completely, I’m thankful for the glimpse you allow us here on your blog!
Thank you. That is very kind ?
I so feel your plight. Beautiful image and thought-provoking post.
Thank you. I think in time things will change and I hope to be able to change along with them. I can be a naked pensioner ?
I love the simplicity of the image and beautiful shadow you create. Really interesting words to accompany too.
Thank you gem. We tried a lot of different things which were more elaborate but didn’t work so settled on this one ?
I love the emotion of this shot and your words, and I admire your ability to bring beauty to something difficult. May this year bring you more light than shadow…
Thank you very much Annie. I find I am happy with the way things are although I would like to change them too if that doesn’t sound contrary ?
I love everything about this post. The image is breathtaking and your words hit home with everything we face on social media as sex positive folx. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for that. The support from likeminded people is always so encouraging ?
A wonderful image. It’s too bad we have to worry about how others will accept our “shadows”. But as shadows go, yours are exquisite!!
Thank you Michael. I guess things will change slowly and my risk matrix may shift ?
The original image is gorgeous, and so is the edited one, even though it’s a shame you have to push yourself into the shadows. But, I understand the why behind it, the fact that you have to stay in the shadows, because society doesn’t allow you to be out in the light. That’s the real shame, that we are confined to the shadows of our being, even though we want to be in the light.
I agree with that. My work is the main barrier really. Most other things I think I could deal with but such is life. I enjoy my job so that does help and I am lucky to have both worlds ?
Such a great image. And let’s celebrate our bodies even in the shadows.
Ahh thanks missy. I do feel so much better about mine so even posting things with limits helps ?
The original is lovely but your edit alongside your words is very powerful. I have to say the darkened image really does highlight the beautiful curve of your waist and hips even though we have lost the rest of you I find it really sensual
Thank you Molly. I feel positive that I want to share more as that was not something I felt a few years ago ?
Thank you ?
This is a very erotic image! I love how there’s only a bit of the side of your body visual, as well as that little part of the wall on the side while the rest is covered in shadows
Thank you. We took a few different ones that day as HL liked the light and the shadow it created and they came out quite well ?
Those hips look beautifully feminine, lovely image missy
Thank you PS ?
Beautiful image, so simple but beautifully accentuates the figure and leaves you wondering x
Thank you Muse ?
I really like the picture even though it hides me than you want to show, it also makes the parts that are hidden more intriguing. I can understand that it must be very frustrating to not be able to show the world all that you are and that you need to restrain yourself and always push things into dark corners. It can be difficult to prioritize what is most important to us, when whatever choice we make, can leave us emotionally frustrated. Fortunately, you don’t have to hide all that you are, and the little that you can give us, we are so happy to be able to behold.
Thank you DS. This is such a supportive community that it inspires me to want to go further ?
What fascinating words, and a mysterious image. One of my main reasons for my blog is to ‘step out from the shadows’ in terms of sexual desires and particularly body image. I don’t find posting images of my lumps and bumps easy and I know there are some people around who have formed their own opinions of me and do not like my images or blog but I do it all for me!
I think that is the very best attitude to have. I also blog for myself and have been lucky to have had very supportive feedback so far. The odd think isn’t but those who are more then make up for it. I can relate to it helping your body image issues too. It has done so much for me ?
I totally get where you’re coming from in this blog post, it really resonated with me. I love how you have used the filter and the concept of shadow to highlight the beautiful – your body, your sexuality, your true self x
Thank you very much for such a lovely comment ?
One word about the image – Glorious
With regard to your words – we have spoken about this – and FYI I think you are authentic just as you are x
Aww thank you May. On both counts ?
This is beautifully expressed.
Thank you ?
Lovely photos both . . . and beautiful words, beautifully explained.
Xxx – K
Thank you. Very kind ?
That curve in the darken image – wow <3
Thank you ?
Very interesting for me anyhow, as I love shadows! Rather peculiar actually, I find the use of shadow all the more thrilling both in pictures & imagination! Xx
Thank you and I do know what you mean. Sort of like leaving something to the imagination? ?
There are so many of my kinks I shy away from and struggle to voice within my partnership let alone publicly. Likewise I wish I was able to share more of me but work prevents that.
I know I’m contradicting myself with those two statements but I think you know where I’m coming from 😉
I do. And I think some kinks are really hard to share. They are often hard to even articulate or understand in my own head. They just are. Thank you ❤️
Stunning shots, both of them and words I can relate to very much, I particularly like the second image for its symbolism and contrast – gorgeous capture!
Aww thank you kis. That is a lovely comment
As I’ve noted before, I feel your pain and share the same social constraints that won’t allow me to be known for what Or who I am. And that’s a fantastic pic!
Thanks QH. Hopefully in time circumstances will allow is both a bit more leeway ?
Simply beautiful, Missy.