Some people think that shadow work is screaming into a pillow, or allowing full expression of their emotions, but this is a gross oversimplification of the role of emotions, and of the nature of shadow work. Our emotions are the messengers that communicate the current state of our alignment between our thoughts and our inner being (Source), and they provide us with detailed information, much like we would receive from the instrumentation on the dashboard of our car. While it’s beneficial that we allow our instrumentation to freely communicate their messages to us through a full range of expression, we still need to know how to listen to and understand their feedback, so that we can do something practical with it, and gain a benefit from their expression.
Shadow work is the process of listening to the valuable messages communicated to us from our feelings, and using them to isolate and become conscious of the core mental patterns that are responsible for our misalignment. Once we isolate the initial thought patterns responsible for our upsets, we are now “conscious” or “aware” of them, and our mere observation of the thought patterns (quantum observer effect) allows for them to be transformed into something more beneficial and aligned. Shadow work is the process of becoming conscious of the thought patterns that motivate our daily experiences and interactions within our relationships, and is one way in which we are able to become “more aware” and “more conscious” of ourselves. Shadow work increases our emotional intelligence, self-awareness, awareness, self-understanding, understanding, empathy, rationality, and intellectual prowess, and thus allows us to experience deeper, enriched, and satisfying relationships with ourselves and the world we live in.