Shadow Work 101: Just Claim it All

January 13th, 2021

By Sarah Elkhaldy

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

People will say you are too love and light if they are not comfortable with the light. People will say you are too negative if they can’t face the darkness in this reality. They will say you’re egotistical if they are not comfortable with owning their own power. They will say you are too spiritual if they are not comfortable with Spirit. See the pattern here?

People are going to say what they will in accordance with their level of perception as well as their capacity to integrate each aspect of Source. Due to the depthless analysis and cursory impressions from society, everyone who is evolving into their sovereignty will have to choose what they value more: the perception of others or honoring their own path.

A frequent theme during a spiritual awakening is outgrowing an environment that use to be gratifying and has now become restricting. Maturing beyond a familiar level of consciousness can seem to come with more trouble than it’s worth. With constant projections cast from others who are triggered by our growth, and misperceptions by those who aim to diminish or control our experience, it can make spiritual evolution not the most attractive life path to venture down. Many times, we unconsciously seek consent from others to allow us to grow. What we are innocently asking for is a mirror in the external world to validate what is taking place in our internal world. This isn’t so horrible once it’s demystified. We want permission.

One dynamic we can get wrapped up in is unconsciously playing the game of “Simon Says” where we slow down the pace of our expansion in order to match those around us for fear of being talked about, ridiculed or judged. If we choose to play this game, we wait for those around us to approve of our actions as we hold back our self-expression. We can end up potentially avoiding harsh projections from others this way, but we also end up robbing ourselves of experiencing our full potential and a life we are in true alignment with. I call this “prisoners policing other prisoners” because that’s exactly the energetic dynamic that’s playing itself out when I see this come up for a client during an energy healing session.

Connection is necessary but it doesn’t have to come at a cost. The underlying fear is that if we lose the approval of those that we rely on for connection, we will be all alone. While this fear is not unwarranted, in reality, we are only denying ourselves our own totality by allowing our expression to be limited by the judgments of others. We judge others because we judge ourselves, because we were judged by others who were judged themselves…and round it goes.

Connection is a core need for humans and connection plays a part in why we seek permission in the first place. Humans are interdependent, it’s a natural instinct for us to want and seek support from our peers. Supporting one another is how we will thrive as a collective moving into the new paradigm. The difference between wanting support and wanting permission, however, is that with permission we are asking someone to give us the green light to do or be whatever it is we believe we need permission for. This creates a sticky dilemma since needing permission makes us entirely dependent on the feedback we are getting from whomever we’ve bestowed the role of authority figure to. Consider the weight of that position for someone to hold. We may be seeking consent from people undeserving of that role with their own constraints and programming to abide by simply because we need that mirror.

Sometimes all it takes is just one person to validate our development and that’s all the reflection that’s needed in order to help us tap into our own power. It’s a tiny miracle when someone comes along and shows us the encouragement and acceptance we desire. But what happens if we can’t get that need met, or we have outgrown our current support system? It’s that unknown territory, the empty space between becoming a target of scrutiny and finding fulfillment on a soul level we fear most. We are always given some form of assistance along our path; it just may show up nonlinear because our greatest transformations are made during the times where there is the most uncertainty.

It doesn’t help to look at asking for permission as negative, neither is it inherently good or bad. It is just something that helps us until it begins to hinder us. Up to a certain point we can’t continue our growth through someone else’s authority, so we are going to get placed in circumstances where we are denied permission all so that we can become aware that we were asking for permission. There will be people we interact with on our path who get activated to play antagonistic roles. It’s not that they are aware of it, but its archetypal energy working through them that we’ve mobilized in response to our evolution. Friction is a huge catalyst for growth and part of becoming sovereign beings is the ability to allow ourselves to be misperceived by others without it spiraling us into an existential crisis.

People can spend their entire life unfulfilled by the course of their life choices all because of fears relative to accessing their own power. This doesn’t mean we have to compensate for our insecurities by fully immersing ourselves into the ego, it just means we stop avoiding judgment and become conscious of where we placed limitations on ourselves. Forgive yourself for allowing the judgment of others to hold you back. We humans are innately unique in many ways, but some themes are downright universally, underwhelming trite, and this is one of them, so don’t give yourself a hard time about it. This world was taught to relate to one another through judgment, fear of shame and lack of depth. We are on the verge of learning a new way of being and that starts with developing the courage to break down the barriers between us and all parts of our self we were too afraid to claim.

If we really want to be insightful, we could turn inward and see why we choose the people that we do to give us consent in the first place. If we are giving others the power, on some level, to give us permission, why not use it as an opportunity to find out what needs are being communicated behind that tendency? Our reasons don’t need to be made out as monsters and demonized but only better understood and empathized with. Whenever we engage our innocence in inquiry, it should be done with tenderness rather than contempt.

We could use self-inquiry as a way of cultivating knowledge of self by understanding what exactly our needs are. When we’re clear on what we need in order to feel safe enough to grow, voice the needs out loud to yourself. This method helps develop transparency and intimacy with our shadow by neutralizing any shame we may have around wanting approval or even having for needs in the first place. The alchemy of this practice is that our needs shift just by knowing them better and giving them our unconditional presence.

When we liberate ourselves, we are liberating others through our example.

Recommended articles by Sarah Elkhaldy:

About the author:

Sarah Elkhaldy is an energy healer trained in shamanic and holistic healing modalities that address soul loss, trauma, supporting the body in detoxification of chronic stressors and regeneration.

She is the administrator of the social media account: The Alchemist, where she shares esoteric knowledge to help humanity gracefully tap into our evolutionary potential. She considers it her work to connect the higher with the lower; the outer world with the inner world.

 Sarah hosts retreats and workshops in Los Angeles on Alchemy and Shadow Work.

You can get in touch with Sarah here:


Crystal Bowls

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