Blinded by the light: The Shadow Series
The danger of strict orientation to positive thinking & light
This piece is one of the most important things I have shared in a really long time…..
My research and studies involve understanding the shadow side of the human psyche, including psychopathy, narcissism, and the criminal mind. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a detective. I saw, felt, and sensed things ‘in between’ words and worlds.
As a child roaming the woods looking for ‘bodies,’ convinced I was going to solve a crime. I didn’t know what psychological profiling was; otherwise, I would have likely gone in that direction for my career.
When I was 18 or 19, I dropped out of my criminal justice program, where I was studying forensics and psychology, and my plans to become a forensic pathologist bottomed out; I became lost in a dangerous and disenchanted world.
Life happened… a lot of it, and in painful ways. I have rarely expressed or shared the extent of those years outside of therapy and with very few people.
Life has this funny way of giving us the education we are meant to receive beyond the books and classrooms of our comfort.
I survived various traumatic events involving harmful people and situations. To this day, I am in awe that I lived through the things I did; I encountered many disturbing and predatory personalities and stopped counting the experiences I could recall when I hit 17 of them.
Now, fast forward… I am back in school for my Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with an emphasis on Jungian archetypal studies, which combines so much of what I wanted yet didn’t know that I needed.
We never know where our true interests will lead us unless we follow the breadcrumbs…
Why am I sharing this?
We fear what we don’t understand, and therefore, there is a tendency to avoid and unconsciously dismiss the things that scare us or make us uncomfortable.
Highly sensitive and/or empathic individuals have a deeply embedded tendency to hold the darkness and pain of others.
This is often a messy, undisciplined, and unconscious way of operating, and porous undefined boundaries make these individuals more susceptible to predatory individuals.
Just as the highly sensitive and/or empathic person has an amplified sense of intuitive awareness, they can also be blinded by their own wounds, which happen to be the area of expertise of the psychopath, narcissist, and criminal mind.
These personalities have a radar for knowing whom to groom and in what way; these types of individuals lack the compassion and empathy the highly sensitive individual or empath often feels overwhelmed by.
It was believed that these extreme shadow personalities didn’t have feelings and were completely void of empathy, which is true to a degree. Yet, criminal profilers, neuropsychologists, and forensic psychologists now say these individuals do feel.
Still, because their intrapsychic vision is oriented to the ego and not the self, it is easier for them to treat others as objects and have little regard for human life. The way this manifests, just like everything else, falls on a spectrum of intensity.
If we only focus on the light, we can easily dismiss the behaviors, actions, and agendas our internal guidance system is alerting us to when we encounter the shadow in these intensely distorted forms, and the wounded healer is one of the most vulnerable archetypes of this power dynamic.
This is not to say we should live in fear…yet, the more present we are, the more embodied we are, the more we know our own vulnerabilities, the more we strengthen and establish our discernment skills.
Just because something or someone presents as enlightened, spiritual, religious, or of the light does not mean it is safe or aligned. One of the best skills you can cultivate is learning to discern between intuition, instinct, and compulsion.
At first glance, they are subtle differences.
Yet, as you sink further inward, you will begin to uncover what drives and motivates each one.
Here we discover the orientation toward the ego or the self and the impact of the archetypal influences of the unconscious within the human psyche.
More to come….. for now, trust your intuition yet build your ego strength and discernment
Words: Melissa Kim Corter
Photo by @i_am_nah (Unsplash)