Into the Deep – Learning from the Shadow Within

Into The Deep - Artwork by Stuart Griggs - www.stuartgriggs.comBy Jennifer Deisher

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Featured artwork by Stuart Griggs

We have a misconception in our society and within our belief systems that challenges everything we think we know about learning self-love; we are taught on a most basic level that honest emotional expression is weak, vulnerable, childish, and even unhealthy. As adults, we regularly delay and suppress our deepest emotions, and it is here that we see ourselves running away from self over and over again.

It is most important in this journey to come into balance with our “shadow side” and learn to love this piece of ourselves that we may find unlikable or even unlovable. It’s actually quite sane and normal to fear this side of ourselves on some level due to the decisions that we sometimes make from this shadowy place. The fact of the matter is that we humans are wired to be fearful of our shadow side. This is why we have to be willing to be the distant observer of our fear; by learning to have a healthy respect for it and the reactions it can bring into our lives, and understanding the decisions we make in fear may not be the most rational or objective, we can re-write our story from a place of integration, balance and honesty.

Honest, intimate, and loving connections can bring up emotional issues that are looking for healing or release. It is this light of love that can shine on our darkest places, leaving us to face what we perceive as ugliness within ourselves. The truth is that emotional expression is a most beautiful form of art that tells us everything we need to know about our spiritual complexities.

The Serpent in The Deep

We ALL have a “snake” or “serpent” within — what we perceive to be a fear, insecurity, aggression, or weakness. Most people fear and “hate” the serpent just for being itself, and this in itself says so much about our egotistical, fear-based or “reptilian” brain, depending on how you choose to look at it.

When one comes face to face with these fear-based emotional complexities, it takes great discipline to be the distant observer of our “fight or flight” reaction that happens automatically in these situations. Sometimes, when the shock value is high enough, we don’t have the option to sit back and observe. We are then left to experience our own personal brand of fall-out, in what are actually very normal, earthly re-actions.

The Light in the Shadows

When we feel desire, it tells us where we have longing in our lives.

When we feel angry it typically comes on the heels of some form of pain, and lets us know where we feel threatened or “tread upon” in some way.

When we feel lack, it is because we are working through a process of feeling there is something we once had but has now gone missing.

When we feel resentment it is because we feel violated in some way.

When we feel guilt or shame it can point to a place of conscience, where self can be more accountable to self.

When we feel jealous or insecure, it tells us we feel fear of “losing” something or someone that is important to us on some level.

When we feel alone and abandoned, it is in our solitude that we find out what we’re made of as it’s only our perception that sees us “alone” in the crowd.

The list goes on and on…

Into The Deep -2- Artwork by Stuart Griggs -

… but the gist is that our emotions tell us everything that our spirit needs us to know about where we need energetic clearing or detoxification. Where we get into trouble is in thinking that our emotions and/or the unfiltered expression of those emotions is ugly or wrong somehow. When we accept this limited belief, we begin to settle for less than what our true self seeks to have in our life experience. It forces us to push away the emotional expression of our “fear” — the very thing we are trying to express and shed in the first place.

Observing the Serpent

If we can find a way to truly be the distant observer of our “serpent”, we can begin to suck the “venom” out of its actions and reactions. When we suck the venom out of our fear, we don’t have to be afraid of its reactions or its tendency to sabotage anything healthy that comes into our lives. We learn to love our serpent just for being itself, and from here we can admit to ourselves when we’ve made subconscious, unhealthy decisions that negatively impact our lives and/or cause “regret”.

Sometimes we need help or intervention with this, because many of our venomous ways were created in childhood, and we are very comfortable with the patterns of behavior that it created deep within us. But if we are unwilling or unable to recognize how our inner serpent re-acts, we aren’t being true to self and ultimately begin to settle — with self and within our relationships.

The Key to navigating our journey into the deep is to remember that there is nothing wrong with what we perceive to be our “negative” emotions; rather it’s our job  to dive in, explore the depths, and experience negative emotions  – and  in the process, to overcome this perception and learn to Love every aspect of Self.

Into The Deep -3- Artwork by Stuart Griggs - www.stuartgriggs.comWhen we love our inner serpent that lurks in the deep, it becomes docile and only bites when its very clear boundaries are being violated. From here, we can use the venom as medicine, to find positive aspects and strength where we perceived negativity and weakness. When we learn to recognize our fear, we can grow and branch out like the Tree of Life, instead of continuing to run round and round on the “karmic wheel” of venomous decisions designed by the ego to keep us from our best and truest self — the fulfillment of our deeper purpose. When we go into the deep and learn to really evaluate the choices and decisions we have available to us, we react from a healthier emotional space and rely less on impulsive decisions made from fear instead of self-love.

Always remember that we are beautiful souls who are ALL worthy of unconditional love on the most fundamental of levels — and that we ALL came “here” to experience just that!

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About the author:

Jennifer Deisher

Jennifer Deisher is an empath, intuitive, emotional healer, spiritual transformation artist, and the writer of the Moon Hippie Mystic blog. Aaron Deisher is a psychic medium, shaman and intuitive specializing in behavioral and paranormal aspects of spirituality. Together they founded Blueprints For Butterflies as a safe, loving space to support people who are awakening and making a spiritual connection with their Higher Self. Offering professional healing and reading services, they work to help others confront their ‘demons’, realize their divine spiritual, emotional and creative blueprint, and create a life that resonates with their unique energy signature.

For more information or to book a session, please visit or

This article revised and adapted for Wake Up World by Andy Whiteley and Jennifer Deisher.

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