[Analytical Psychology] Continuation of Shadow Self & Soul Image: Shadow Dance

Honesty with oneself and no rash anticipation of what the other side might say are the conditions of this technique for educating the anima/animus [soul image]. What holds us back from the other side is fear. The other side is the inner “true” self. The other side is also the other world(s) which controls us and is part of us.” C.G. Jung

*NOTE term anima can be traced back to the times of Aristotle, with his treatise: de Anima (On The Soul)

In the beginning of my young adulthood I felt trapped, confused, bitter to the world, and ignored. I was locked so tight within myself, blaming others for what was going on in my life and feeling as if no one cared about me. I was confused about my external world, afraid of adulthood, and had no clue or set direction of what I wanted to do with my life after high school. As I entered my last year of high school I felt trapped, locked inside myself, and had no inkling of the sides of my personality, nor the unconscious processes. I just existed in a silent chaos of my own mind. On the outside I was quiet, but on the inside I was loud and at times screaming. I wonder if anyone really knew…

August 17th 2008

I am trapped in this room that I call mine
I am trapped, with the lose of time
I am trapped in my own mind, waiting to be free

Will they ever come and get me?
Will they ever try and see?
Will they ever know who I truly am?

I am trapped in the lives of others
I am trapped in someone else’s mind
I am trapped in a house of lies

Will this ever end?
Will I ever be where I want to be?
Will I ever have my own life?

I am trapped because I let them trap me
I am trapped because I never tried to get set free
I am trapped, but I will get out before long.

My thoughts of being trapped, feeling unwanted and ignored, became bitter towards those I envied and wanted to be like, and bitter towards those I did not care for because their personality wasn’t “good” in my eyes. I felt controlled by unseen forces, and controlled by my external reality. I didn’t realize then that it was internally where I felt the most trapped, and that it was my own mind that which is/was controlling me. It was something inside myself I was fighting, hating, and wanting to destroy instead of accept.

August 17th 2008
Revenge Is Sweet

The taste, of revenge is sweet
When you, and I meet
You, wont be the free one
You, will be the trapped one
Like you trapped me that night

The taste, of revenge is sweet
When, I catch you at your own game
You, wont know what’s coming
You, will cry in pain
Like I did that night

The taste, of revenge is sweet
When, I out smart you
You, will die in agony
You, will know my pain
Like I knew yours that night

The taste, of revenge is sweet
When, I found that you made a mistake
You, shouldn’t have let me go
You, should have known to kill me
Like I know to kill you now

The taste, of revenge is sweet
When, I see the fear in your eyes
You, are crying in pain and begging for mercy
You, are slowly dying now in agony
Like you deserve to die.

Revenge Is Sweet” wasn’t directed toward a particular external person or incident, but directed to the inner images within me; to an unseen force who I felt, and whose blurry image I have seen in dreams throughout my childhood. I didn’t know then – I didn’t know up until very recently – that this poem is in relation to my shadow self, my oppositions, and my need of controlling them, and remaining in constant control, instead of just letting go.

“You, will cry in pain
Like I did that night… You, will know my pain
Like I knew yours that night.”

The above quote is in relation to my animus, my other side, that I was fighting against in my dreams, and periodically through certain events in my life. The night in the poem is a symbol of the darkness of unconsciousness. I was not only fighting the need for control of my own life, but the need for control within myself; I wanted to destroy this force that was controlling me. The emotions I felt at this time I directed toward an unconscious object, as well as towards external objects, instead of accepting them within myself.

Since 2011 I’ve dabbled in the area of dream analysis, analyzing my own dreams, by keeping a dream journal. Though I haven’t kept up with my Dream Journal recently, I did consistently from 2011 through 2012, but once 2013 came I lost track of my dreams. I recently re-read my Dream Journal and found some connections, in a series of dreams. What brought me back to my dream journal was a dream that has returned to me recently, a dream from my past I haven’t had in over a year. This dream series seems to arrive in my periods of transition. I am grateful to my self that I began this Dream Journal.

Since my childhood, as young as I can remember recalling my dreams (probably as young as seven years old) I’d dream of a figure who’d chase me; it was the symbol of my nightmares and reason why I feared the dark for so long. This figure, in the beginning, was only a Black Thing – a black form – with glowing yellow eyes. When I was little I thought it was a monster, maybe the “boogey man” or “alley monster” my mom created to scare my siblings and I so that we wouldn’t wonder off outside after dark, or wonder off into the alley way (hence, the Alley Monster was created). Every few months I’d have a dream of this Black being, that had no real form, but would chase me. I always dreamt of my own home, with my siblings and sometimes parents, and I was always chased out of my home by this force, and no one else was conscious of this existing force within my dream. In the dream, they’d go about their normal functions, ignoring me and this black thing that’d chase me, but never catch me. I’d always wake up after I left my house, running down the street, with thoughts of “I must leave town, I must get away, so this thing will not kill me.

As I grew up, as my psyche mind developed and matured, this “black thing” turned into a figure that appeared human, a male figure, that which was never clear, but always pixilated. But the dream was always similar, this being would always chase me out of my home, out of my safe cocoon… and usually the setting was at night (symbol of unconsciousness).

As I hit my mid-teens, as puberty came and went, the image became more complex. The “black thing” turned into a real human being, and always male, and always changing. I’d dream of this random male figure that had multiple disguises. Sometimes, he’d even speak to me, a phrase or two I’d understand, and the phrases were always the judgments I placed on my self, or a fear I held but never spoke out loud. I’d wake up always right before the kill… or rape. As my psyche developed, so did the ways this being would try to kill me – or control me. The longer I ignored this being, the more innovative it became. Sometimes it was a clown (I always hated clowns), sometimes even a Chucky type doll – yes, even as a teen nearing adulthood, I’d dream of a killer doll. It sounds comical, but it was a symbol of me going deeper into my unconsciousness, old fears coming to the surface. But still, I ignored them.

As my 18th year came around, so did thoughts of adulthood, and with that a fear of the unknown. Uncertainty has surfaced. I became petrified of leaving the nest, leaving my cocoon of safety, and entering the brutal world of adulthood. A feeling of loneliness and depression sank in.

As I became even more introverted and tuned into myself, I began researching spirituality, and with that came the finding of Carl Jung’s works, and the discovery of the Unconscious processes, individuation process, and archetypes. I became obsessed with this knowledge, and it has driven me to where I am today. My dreams then evolved, or more correctly, I became aware of my dreams and no longer ignored what was happening inside them.

In 2011 I began dreaming of an older woman, who had many characteristics of me, but she always played the antagonist in my dreams. She’d play along with the male figure I’d see, who I termed my “animus”. The woman I began to see in my dreams is my Shadow Self coming into consciousness. She was someone I envied, hated, yet wanted to be; she was beautiful, confident, but seductive. In my dreams she’d try to destroy what I loved, go after what is precious in my life, and this was symbolized by a dream of my nephew (who was only 1 years old in 2011). I sensed she wanted to kill him, and my fear of her dissolved as I went after her in my dream, trying to get her to leave the house. Once I defended myself, my animus appeared – the male figure who always attacks me in my nightmares – and this time he appeared as a strong built man. I, too, for the first time, tried to fight him in my dream. I didn’t want these enemies of mine to go after my nephew, my family, those I hold dear. I was pushing and pushing the man and woman. The woman retreated… the man nearly was defeated, but he spoke to me in the clearest of voices. In an icy, unworldly tone, he spoke “You can not defeat me, you are nothing.” With those words I was startled awake. I was pushing him out an unmarked door, and closing the door on him, trying desperately to close him out, but with those words I lost my hold of the door. I woke up just as the door was flung open, and he re-entering, ready to attack me. This was dreamt over a year and half ago. I have yet to have another dream with this particular being in it… but I did have a significant dream in June of 2014, that inspired a poem…

June 24th 2014
Blue eyes

Blue eyes haunting me
Taunting me
Calling to me in silent speech
A silence that which shant be breached
Oh, I love those blue eyes
Blue eyes of a stranger in disguise
Who holds troubled lies
An anger expression is upon his brow
Which makes me ponder, what did I do now?
To deserve this feeling of distress
Oh, what a mess I soon will be in
From a man with blue eyes, hair black as night, yet highlights shimmer the color of the moonlight
“I hate you” speaks his facial features
“I love you” shows through my desperate gaze
The knife of the blade he holds in his left hand reflects the full moon’s light
Oh, what a scary beautiful sight
In one swift motion the knife swipes through the air and lands upon my throat
Last thing that is felt is the cold steal blade before it slices my skin
Then – nothingness
A ghost girl in the night

The dream was, again, a setting in the night (unconsciousness). I was sitting in a car, waiting for my mom and sister who are inside a one story home, which has people laughing inside, as if it is a party. The party is near its end. As I was waiting, I noticed a car driving up the dark road, a 50s type car. The car pulls up beside the one I am in, and I recognize the man, who had a 50s hair style and wear. He looked at me with a look of hate. He had blue eyes, and dark as night hair; he looked very familiar yet I did not know who he was. He got out of the car, and as quick as a flash, he had my car door open before I could hit the lock button. He slid into the passenger seat and had a knife to my throat before I could fully react…

The poem is a symbol of love, hate, fear, and death. But it is all symbolic. The blue eyes of the man is my animus, his eyes are my reflection. He has a hate filed gaze, while I feel love and fear despite the knowledge he wants me dead. I don’t fight like I usually do, in this dream. The knife reflects the full moon’s light, the light of unconsciousness, my awareness of an unconscious motive. I am being consciously awakened, and it was a fearful sight. As the knife landed on my throat, I of course awoke, knowing my fate. I did feel the cold steal and sting of the blade, but it all was quick. I saw blackness before I awoke. I am the ghost girl in the night, a spirit within my unconsciousness. The ghost is a sign of being awakened into a new state of being, an old existence dying. After this dream I no longer feared the being I call animus, my opposition I’ve seen throughout the phases of my life. I accepted what I was feeling, the situations in my life. Clarity began to form. Inspiration rose over the months. A new poem formed from at the end of the year, after another vivid yet beautiful dream, on the day of Christos birthday…

December 25th, 2014
Dark Uncertainty

I’ve known you for many years
Been with you through the tears
Believing your lies and fears
But that was just a dream
– Dark uncertainty

I see a boy I once knew
With perfect eyes of blue
Blonde hair as of the sun
I felt I as if life just begun
– Dark uncertainty

Within a dream I saw your future in a glass
Two shadows dancing in the sky
Above a field of broken dreams
A storm forming
– Dark uncertainty

I thought I knew you for so long
But it was only make believe
You showed your self in true form
A dream within a dream
– Dark uncertainty

Hot breath on cool skin
Smell of decay within the hot air
Blonde, blue eyed sky of despair
Troubled expression showing a storm
– Dark uncertainty

Red shirt that you wear
Blood of the dying sun
You and I are done
I’m no longer within
– Dark uncertainty

What a perfect way to end the year, a dream of entering consciousness. The dream was a representation of my animus in a disguise of a person I knew in real life, but haven’t seen this person for a couple years now. The blonde hair as of the sun, symbol of entering consciousness, blue eyes is the sky. New beginning was felt, yet a hint of uncertainty. Transparency of the future was seen in a glass, and two shadows of figures above a field of dreams yet to come true, storm of chaos forming, the chaos of the unconscious symbolized, again with uncertainty. Then realization came, the truth of knowledge, and seeing someone how they really are, away from the imaginary image created by a delusional fantasy, a dream within a dream feeling, with uncertainty.

Hot breath, cool skin (heat of the sun (consciousness) meeting the cold of the moon (unconsciousness)), smell of decay (knowledge of death) red color of the dying sun (ending of a phase, letting go), once the image was let go, certainty formed, and uncertainty vanished.

The moment I accepted my feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and sadness the blurry image of the animus force came less often. It lost its control over me. I accepted its existence in my life. We became friends, heart companions in a relationship of compromise despite our oppositions. We grew to love each other, even if we are opposites. This means, I grew to love the other part of me, I accepted it, and now am working with it. The acceptance brought new perceptions, new patterns of behavior began to develop, and old patterns of behavior died. I learned to laugh more, to control my emotions but still cry in private when I needed to heal and let go, and I learned to speak up for myself. This new phase of me is hard for me to grasp still, and at times I’m still shaky and revert to familiar patterns of behavior, but I’m learning to stop doing this. Each day, week, I grow and develop more. And I have learned to be happy, patient, and aware of the here and now, not just the future and past. Through my new found knowledge of existence and way of being, JUST. BEING. I gained new friendships, and flowed into a new love relationship – the love of my self and my opposition, the two sides of me, that which are connected by intricate nuances of multiple personalities, realities, perceptions, and ways of being, but which each function simultaneously together.

shadowdancePablo Neruda

Through the darkness of unconsciousness… I found me.

AAFoundMySelfbirdpinFound me.

3 thoughts on “[Analytical Psychology] Continuation of Shadow Self & Soul Image: Shadow Dance

  1. Pingback: Dream Journal 18: Peculiarities of the basic Psychological Functions in the Introverted Attitude | Inside A Soul

  2. Pingback: The Current ME | Inside A Soul

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