Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

Exploring the Importance of Shadow Work in Personal Growth and Development

A parable followed by a look at Jungian perspectives on the shadow.

Lance Baker
6 min readJan 7, 2023

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Once upon a time, there was a rabbit named Timmy who lived in a cozy burrow in the forest. Timmy was a happy rabbit, surrounded by his family and friends, and he never gave much thought to the world outside of his little home.

One day, Timmy was out foraging for food when he stumbled upon a strange and wondrous thing: a pool of clear, still water. As Timmy looked into the water, he saw his reflection for the first time.

At first, Timmy was delighted by his reflection. He admired the soft fur on his ears, the long whiskers on his face, and the strong, agile legs that helped him hop and play. But as Timmy continued to gaze at his reflection, he began to notice something strange.

In the water, Timmy saw a rabbit that looked just like him, but with a dark and sinister twist. This other rabbit had glowing red eyes and sharp, jagged teeth. It was the complete opposite of the happy and carefree rabbit that Timmy knew himself to be.

Timmy was shocked and confused by this shadowy reflection. He didn’t understand how it could be a part of him. As he struggled to make sense of it, a wise old owl swooped down and landed beside him.

“That dark reflection in the water, my young friend, is your shadow self,” the owl said. “It is a part of you that you may not want to see or acknowledge, but it is there nonetheless.”

Timmy listened intently to the owl’s words, trying to understand the meaning of his shadow self. The owl continued, “Your shadow contains all of the traits and impulses that you repress or deny in yourself. It is the source of your deepest fears and your most primal desires.”

The discovery of his shadow self was a transformative experience for Timmy. It forced him to confront parts of himself that he had previously been unwilling to acknowledge. It was a difficult and often daunting journey, but one that ultimately allowed him to understand himself better and to grow as an individual.

Timmy realized that the journey towards self-discovery and understanding was not easy, but it was one that…

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Lance Baker

A fellow observer on the journey through life. Trying to cultivate a deeper way of being in the world.