If we let our shadow side surface, could we change our destructive habits?

Sometimes, it’s hard to come to grip with damage and destruction in our world – often created by humans – and not wonder if evil has won. Power, money, corporations, we destroy our lands, water, air, and food. Sometimes, it feels pointless to try and change anything.

But what if changing everything was as simple as looking at our shadow?

I’m not trying to get you to see this movie. But watching the trailer did trigger in me something that I haven’t felt in a while – an “aha”.

Many of us spend so much of our lives trying to hide the “bad” parts of ourselves from the rest of the world. I know I’ve run far from things like my therapist classifying me as narcissistic when I thought I was too good to internet date, or covering shame about issues of control with self-righteousness during the “vegan years”. I’ve pushed down thoughts of wishing to take the easy path in life because that would mean I was like “them”.

I could go on.

Everyday, it seems we are watching more and more downfalls occur, from politicians to actors to religious figures and on and on. We see an increase in bullying. Every time I hear some conservative male politician utter a homophobic comment, I bet on how long it’s gonna be until they find him in some hotel room closet with a 12-year-old boy clothed in only nipple rings and checkered socks. I mean, really people.

So what if everyone took a look at their shadow and allowed it to surface?

So what if everyone took a look at their shadow and allowed it to surface? Would that mean shit really hits the fan, that we’d be so much worse off because people would just be drinking and drugging and sexting AND sexing all the time? Or would we then be able to designate another route, make another choice?

Traveling can help open us to the beauty of the world, but maybe it’s just as important for it to open us up to our own shadows, and the shadows of others. No culture or people is perfect. Maybe then we’d stop causing so much pain for others. And, just as importantly, for ourselves.

Do you think looking at our shadows could help end our seemingly destructive natures? Share your thoughts below.

Feature photo: Hamed Parham