The Halloween Shadows

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The Marilyn Monroe costume? What about the Superman outfit with the cape or the vampire with fangs?

Ever wondered why you always seem to gravitate towards specific Halloween costumes?

Why do you suppose this is?

We often think of costumes and disguises as things that we use to hide behind. But what if I told you that you were actually trying to ‘show,' more than you were trying to hide?

The spirit of Halloween can often bring out a very different side in all of us - a side that of ourselves now has permission to emerge due to the holiday. This can be a part of ourselves that we do not honor or show easily or often enough (a more "hidden self") that we do not really allow ourselves to express easily or with comfort. However, Halloween is the one time of the year when this part of ourselves can, literally, come out and play. This is the side of the unconscious self that Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called the ‘Shadow.'

The ‘shadow' can sometimes produce positive qualities. Especially when we are able to masquerade as someone else or express an aspect of ourselves that does not normally get a voice. Oftentimes guards come down even after disguises are removed. The person that they become while in costume, is the same person that they've been refusing to acknowledge when the costume comes off. ?

The good news is that celebrations like Halloween can often allow our ‘shadow' to project the positive aspects about our personalities. These can be hidden qualities that we possess, that can actually work for us, but that normally would not have the opportunity to come out. For example, a person that is normally very conservative, can let go and be free to explore these hidden qualities about themselves. Certain costumes can have a very empowering effect on certain people.

Halloween isn't just for kids, anymore. Embrace the side of you that has a tiny bubble to surface. Just let loose the positive qualities that you've been hiding all year long. Don't be scared at the sight of your own shadow!

Happy Halloween!


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