Manage Your Shadow

Violence can be tamed by breaking the shadow side of your personality into manageable bits.
When you have been treated unjustly or personally harmed, the natural emotion is anger. If this anger canít get out, it festers and grows in the shadow. Lashing out when holding it back no longer works; this anger leads to a cycle of violence.

This is a kind of double bind: If you lash out and return the harm done to you, you have done something evil, but if you keep the anger inside and harbor it, you can feel just as evil.

Yet violence can be tamed by breaking it down into manageable bits. Negative emotions feed off certain aspects of the shadow that are very manageable:

The shadow is dark. Everyone has a shadow because of the natural contrast between darkness and the light.

The shadow is secret. We store impulses and feelings that we wish to keep private.

The shadow is dangerous. Repressed feelings have the power to convince us that they can kill us or make us go insane.

The shadow is shrouded in myth. For generations, people have seen it as the lair of dragons and monsters.

The shadow is irrational. Its impulses fight against reason; they are explosive and totally willful.

The shadow is primitive. It is beneath the dignity of a civilized person to explore this domain, which reeks of the smell of the prison, the lunatic asylum and a public lavatory.

Negativity assumes its overwhelming power from the fact that it feeds off all these qualities at once: A secret, dark, primitive, irrational, dangerous, mythical evil is much less convincing if you break it down into one quality at a time. But this process of bringing evil down to scale won’t be convincing until you apply it to yourself.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2004).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Terry V.
Terry V.2 years ago


Nr B.
N B.3 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

helpful information

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thank you for sharing it!

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thank you for this article.

heather g.
heather g.3 years ago

I accept that we all have a shadow side. Since I have moved to a smaller community, I have observed people living in and displaying the shadow side of their nature in actions which they take every day.
I have learnt that I don't have to understand this behaviour, simply accept the world as it is not as I wish it to be.
However, without being judgemental, I still often think about how very different people can be in different countries. Every day on TV news one is shown the extreme suffering people endure, say in Syria or Gaza, where their lives are under threat, their homes are bombed, their family members are killed, their food, water and medical supplies are insufficent, their education is compromised and their poverty is all-encompassing - yet they don't wallow in drugs and alcohol, or use language that is interspersed with curses.... It's an interesting comparison. However, the suffering of others is painful to be concious of...

Diane Piecara
Diane Piecara3 years ago

Thanks for these healing words.

Ruth R.
Ruth R.3 years ago

Walk in the light and love and recongnize to forgive and make time to forgive, and then keep doing the good that you know to do.

Catherine Crouse
Catherine Crouse3 years ago

That was just awesome and I really loved it. It was like a movie, it was like love, it was like living in the real world, and very deep! hehe

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

no one knows