The Subconscious Holds the Keys: Understanding the Purpose of the Shadow, the Power and Importance of Soul Retrieval Through Shadow Work and the Truth About Our Inner Demons

As we walk and travel along our healing, enlightenment, and personal development journeys, we often encounter many things that are very new and unfamiliar to our senses and souls. We will come across roads, experiences, and situations that will challenge and inspire us and that will help us grow on different levels internally and externally. These things often ask and sometimes force us, to flex and stretch the whole of our brains while allowing it to also look to and lean on the genius that is our spirit so that we do not get lost and overwhelmed within the folds of our minds or in our spiritual and earthly travels and experiences. The things our brain cannot process and understand on its own are the things we must allow our spirit to take a hold of so that it may decipher and decode them in a way that provides total comprehension. Even if there are no words and just a full mind-body knowing and understanding through subtle soul-heart-to-subconscious integration instead.

The subconscious mind is one of the most complex components we have within our being but it is also one of the most powerful tools that we possess and I feel that it continuously gets a bad rep along with its right-hand man: the Shadow. Some people look at the shadow and subconscious as one entity but I see them as two separate counterparts who work together. Just as the conscious mind is often associated with the light body or our higher selves, I associate the subconscious with our shadow or our primal selves. I believe that you cannot have a healthy, equally-yoked relationship with Self and total mind, body, and spirit emergence if you only honor one part of yourself while neglecting the other.

So many people take the initiative to run and venerate their higher selves, while running away from, demonizing, and neglecting their shadow self, as if the shadow holds no importance at all. What I think people often do not realize is that your shadow self and subconscious can teach you a great deal about yourself and your internal structures and workings. Together they can act as both an internal and external supporting tool that can help you have positive forward movement and progression within your healing, enlightenment, and personal development journeys, just like the way our higher self can.

Our shadow and higher self share a very important purpose, which is to help us become the highest and most embodied version of ourselves. The differences between them are that they reside in different places within us and they go about helping us grow, heal and develop in different ways. We have to be willing to understand and get familiar with how they operate within us individually first so that we can then learn how to balance them and use them together effectively and efficiently. 

Our subconscious is the moon within us. It holds and guides the primal being and aspect of us that is wild, animalistic, and raw. The part of us that houses the dark feminine and/or masculine qualities we hold and where our instinctual impulses are rooted and expressed. Just like mother nature is heavily influenced by the moon and its energy, we as humans are also heavily influenced and driven by our internal subconscious moon. The subconscious motivates and drives our organic nature and way of being and that is why it is so important that we build a relationship with our shadow so that through it, we can gain a better understanding of how our mind works, what lies within the depths of it and how those things affect and manifest through us in our day to day.

When given the opportunity, the shadow can shine a light on faulty perspectives, beliefs, conditionings, and programs that are holding us back from living, growing, and healing and that are creating self-induced states of suffering, chaos, and conflict. Whether imposed onto us by our environments, culture, and familial traditions, values, and expectations or taken up by us due to traumas and/or negative experiences, our shadow, and subconscious can give us the necessary tools we need to deprogram them so we can then download and integrate new blueprints, structures, and dynamics that will have a more positive and beneficial impact on our overall well-being, sustenance, and development. Our subconscious will then be constructed in a way where it naturally and automatically works in alignment with us and not against us. It will no longer influences us to build, live and behave in ways that are a reflection of external inputs and factors, but in a way that is reflective of our true internal makeup― supporting us in building and living genuinely authentic, fulfilling, nourishing, and supportive lives.

So instead of there being one whole shadow that is in line and trying to work with us, there then becomes multiple wild and uncontrolled mini shadows or “ inner demons” that begin to wreak havoc, chaos, and turmoil over us. Instead of one whisper under the moon, it then becomes multiple loud voices and overwhelming energies. All of them screaming and raging trying to get our attention as they pull the mind, body, and spirit in every which way searching for something to fix them and put them back together again. We no longer are of being influenced by one shadow, but rather multiple unruly ones and because they are all mini containers holding our traumas, pains, and negative experiences, they do the only thing they know how to do to be fixed and recognized― physically recreate and manifest whatever traumatic energetic imprint they hold. They influence us to date certain people with who we can recreate that unhealthy relationship dynamic we had with our mother, father, or previous partner. They influence us to mentally sabotage or run away from the things that sustain us and make us happy because as children people constantly told us we weren’t deserving. They influence us to physically and emotionally self-neglect and abandon because of the way others withheld their presence, love, and care from us. *TRIGGER WARNING* They influence us to behave hyper-sexually because of the sexual traumas and abuse that we were never able to address and work through. These energetic fragments can physically manifest in our lives in a multitude of ways and they can quite literally keep us stuck in the past because the pieces of our shadows and souls become frozen in those moments in time when the harmful experience occurred. We then can become emotionally, mentally, and spiritually stunted in our present day-to-day because those parts of ourselves are not able to grow, move and progress in the ways they need, that is until we go through the process of soul retrieval through intensive 1-1 shadow work. 

The shadow and subconscious can help lead you back to the parts of yourself that hold some of your most potent energy, power, and magic. It can help you reach a place of true self-actualization by teaching you how to have a more harmonious and disciplined relationship with the primal parts of you. The shadow helps us navigate through the trenches and valleys so that we can retrieve, restore and reintegrate the parts of us that have been silenced, locked away, forgotten, or stuck in loops of trauma and pain. Your shadow wants to help you reclaim what was lost, taken, and fractured and help you put it back together again so that you can become more full and embodied. So that you can grow and move in the world with a greater sense of Self, power, strength, sovereignty, and authority. Your shadow is not a demon. It is not here to torture you, destroy you or keep you chained and oppressed. It is here to help you find the keys and pieces that you need to revive and regenerate the whole of you so that you can achieve full spectrum healing and and integration between the different dualities within you. Just like the light, it is here to help you liberate yourself as you journey to become one with the Divine and with the sacred being that rests inside.

So many of us were taught to be afraid of our shadows before we even knew what they were and as we grew into adults it became second nature to ignore and hide from them. As children, we are taught that shadows are not safe or that they are mischievous hindrances like the way Peter Pan’s shadow was. We are programmed to believe that what lies in the shadow(s) are bad monsters, forbidden things, or even worse ― the dangerous unknown. As we were being taught this, we were subconsciously being encouraged and conditioned to reject certain parts of ourselves because they weren’t all full of light, rainbows, and gumdrops. Everybody has a shadow or aspects of themselves that are darker and as humans, we must hold space for ourselves to feel and understand the full spectrum of emotions that arise.

Heavier or shadowy emotions are not innately bad or harmful and it is only natural to experience them through life because not every day is smooth, bright, and perfect. As a collective we are learning that not only is that an unrealistic and impractical way of living, it is also extremely unhealthy to only focus on and embrace the positive or light parts of you. It can be psychologically, spiritually and physically harmful to suppress your heavier or darker emotions and attempt to emotionally bypass your way through life. Another thing that we learn early on that influences us to hide and run away from our shadow and even our heavier emotions is the notion that everything dark or shadowy is evil and that is just simply not true. There is a DISTINCT and huge difference between something being dark in nature and something being evil in nature. Everything that glitters and is light isn’t gold and everything dark or shadowy in nature isn’t harmful. Dark does not automatically equate to evilness and not everything evil is shrouded in darkness.

Having a strong sense of discernment and a clear understanding of the qualities and functions of both can help one understand when something falls under either category. Darkness or in this case, our shadow is not inherently bad or harmful. In fact, they tend to operate from a more neutral place and are often very playful. What can make the shadow a bit scary or overwhelming is when it is constantly being influenced by unchecked fear, anger, anxiety, etc., and unattended to trauma and pain. The way it behaves when being overwhelmed by these things is what often gives the shadow a bad rep and I believe this is what leads to the creation of what we like to call inner demons. Inner demons are the energetic and emotional manifestations of the wounds and traumas within that have grown too big for our minds, hearts, and souls to hold and contain. The more we suppress and push our traumas and pains deep within our subconscious, the more our shadow stretches and grows to try to accommodate. The thing is though, there is only so much that it can hold and when it reaches its limit it fractures and breaks into multiple pieces.

This is why shadow work is so important because it is the process of going within and sometimes even back in time to retrieve those pieces of us so that we can bring them back home, love on them and mend them back into our souls. Shadow work is the process of going deep within the depths of our heart and mind so that we can put the fragments of our subconscious back together as we allow it and our shadow to help us revive and reintegrate the parts of us that were in a sense energetically and spiritually dead or disempowered. Shadow work is about reclaiming your time, life, energy, and power back as you call all parts of you home in the name of Love, truth, justice, and righteousness. It’s the process of liberating and freeing yourself internally and externally so that you can walk this earth as the sovereign, autonomous, and divine being you were born to be. At any given moment, no matter how many times or how long it takes you CAN call all of those parts of you back home. You CAN reclaim all of your power back from those harmful people, things, and/or experiences. You CAN retrieve those parts of your soul and bring healing to their pains as you take the time to listen to them and give them a space to wail, shout, and rage. You CAN put the pieces back together so that you CAN grow, develop and expand the way that you want, need, and desire too. You CAN obtain peace of mind. You CAN mend those pieces of your heart and soul so that you can come back into total fullness, wholeness, and unity within Self.

It is never too late to start the healing journey and it is never too late to embrace working with your shadow and subconscious. Healing, obtaining peace and becoming the most authentic, healthiest, and happiest version of yourself is possible. It is not a privilege allowed just for some rather it is a birthright for all. We all have the right to pursue and have joy, to live a life full of harmony and grace as we embrace our truth and purpose. This is what we are all here to do and working with our subconscious and shadow can help give us the keys, power, courage, and strength to do so. 

It’s true, our pain only belongs to us, but if we embrace the alchemist within, we can turn that pain into something that can help, inspire and support other people as they walk along their healing journeys. No one was meant to carry and work through everything alone and that’s why it is so important that we give ourselves permission to share and speak out but to also permit ourselves to seek help and support outside of ourselves. Yes, we must learn how to show up for and nurture ourselves, but I am a firm believer that the love of a friend and/or community unit provides some of the most powerful medicine that could ever be given. We do not have to travel this journey of healing alone and we do not have to fix it all ourselves. Sometimes there are things we are not able to give to ourselves but our support system can give them to us in mounds. There is no shame in accepting help whether it’s through another person or even prescription medication. Healing looks different for everyone and everyone will require unique methods of treatment and support because no two wounds, souls or life experiences are or manifest the same.

It’s so important that we focus on our own needs and experiences so that we can seek out the path and help that is most supportive for us. Healing is truly a journey and it is so very important that we extend ourselves grace and patience as we work on ourselves and move through life. No one on this planet is perfect and there will be times we fall short, take a misstep, and have days where we just simply cannot ― and that is okay. Healing, mending your heart, and retrieving and restoring parts of your shadow, mind, and soul are not something that can happen overnight. Hell, it’s not even something that can happen over days or a couple of weeks. Healing and shadow work require lots of time, energy, diligence, and patience as we do the work and build our spiritual, mental, and emotional resolve and strength along the way. As we take each fragment and each wound baby step by baby step, one day and a sea of tears at a time. But most importantly we must remember it is possible. That we will and can make it through. That we are deserving of peace, happiness, and joy. That we are more than capable of showing up for and supporting ourselves as we allow others to show up for and support us along the way too. We must remember that it is a process and that Rome was not built in a day. Even on the days when it feels like the London bridge is falling down, we must remember that we can always get to the other side because we have the bricks, the Gaul, and the nerve to fucking do it—even if we have to take another way or build another fucking bridge.

We must never give up on ourselves because we deserve Life. We deserve so much fucking Life and to have every ounce of joy and bliss that we desire. So don’t be afraid to listen to your shadow or allow it to guide you to the parts of you that need the most love, tenderness, and care because as scary as it may initially seem, know it will only open up more avenues for love, peace, and healing in your life. Know and trust that you are always protected as you go within the healing chambers of your heart to be the balm of healing and relief that your mind, body, and soul are looking for. Even if you have to do it a bit shaky, believe that you do have the power to be the divine physician you’ve always needed. It is in you and the Divine is assisting and supporting you every step of the way. So the next time you hear your shadow call your name, fragmented or not, stand tall and stand strong. Reach your hand out and dare to go within to bring more of you back home and back into you.

— Seylah Solana Love

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