Sciophobia, a clinical phobia where some are afraid of shadows can make someone’s life difficult, to say the least. Then, there are those who are figuratively or symbolically afraid of their inner shadow – their dark side. While sciophobia has been linked to traumatic events and possibly heredity, the contents of our inner shadow or dark side develop through physical, mental, emotional and psychic trauma and heredity as well. However, “staying away from the dark side of ourselves” is much more acceptable and even encouraged. Fueled by religious fears, most of us try to run away from ourselves as if that’s an option. We give names like Satan, the enemy, the devil and so on. As a result, we choose to turn away from the inner mechanism that runs all the automatic systems. No wonder, so many of us are so messed up! We are trying to run away from ourselves.

Being Whole

A whole person will not only acknowledge their dark side but choose to accept it as a mechanism of significant influence in their day to day. Our subconscious mind controls 75% of your actions and automatic behaviors – That is the shadow or dark side. Uniting with your shadow helps you to make conscious choices instead of allowing your darker side to run your life. Living a reactive life where we are constantly reacting to the automatic movements of our shadow selves is counter-productive and frankly painful.

The more ignorant and fearful we are of our darker side, the more dangerous we are to the rest of the world. But that’s not all. Here are 9 real reasons to avoid those who fear their darker side

#1 They are in denial of who they are, lack understanding of their full self and unaware of the inner workings of their mind (aka zombies)

#2 They will project their worst qualities onto you so that they can resolve them. They have a constant list of enemies out to get them. When one is gone, another will replaces it. It just might be you next time.

#3 They are not ready to see the truth of all of who they are and the endless diversity of our world. They will create more fantastical, often limited and mostly protective worlds to call home. If you are not willing to live by the rules of this world, you become expendable or even dangerous.

#4 They see things one sided with only a good and a bad side. Some will include a few shades in between, but not a full spectrum of reality. The existence of infinite worlds "in-between" is not visible, audible, or sensible to them.

#6 They thrive in polarizing situations. They will often seek out outrageous views that polarize any situation instead of seeking more balanced or harmonious perspectives. They detest objections to their world view and use the word no as a silent filler. They often repeat the word NO several times during conversations without any prompting, at inappropriate times or the start of their sentence. For example, just before interjecting their view they may repeat, “no,no,no” then state something that may be in agreement. BTW this is a subconscious method for canceling the effects of what you just shared. Their inner shadow is preventing them from listening fully.

#7 They will deny wrongdoing because they cannot see the darker parts they play in the creation of their world. They may be very shallow on one spectrum or lack deeper levels of authenticity on the other.

#8 They have a low tolerance for gray or darker views inherent in all of life. They may claim to love all of life but cannot see the full spectrum of nature. They run at first sign of opposing views.  They seek to avoid any disagreement by using manipulation or outright denial that there is even a challenge that needs reconciliation.

#9 They run from ideas or people different than their own and prefer to be around those who are subservient and submissive to a comfortable thought pattern. They will even demonize those that they see as opposite to their perspective (sometimes the shades of one's skin, views, culture)

That said, our fear of the shadow self will fall on a spectrum. All of us, especially those who claim to have healed, will have some level of resistance towards their darker nature. Some parts of our shadow are genetic and not familiar to us at all. Our life journey is the exploration of all that is contained in this magic box (pandora’s box).

Take Away

When we turn our fear into curiosity, we may find the shadow is seeking the light of our eyes (knowledge and experience) to release aspects of itself from the matrix of current or past creations. The key is not to eliminate the fear but to embrace each new situation as a learning opportunity to get to know all of our facets. That’s the act of polishing the genie’s lamp or revealing the diamond-like facets of our Soul.

The key is not to eliminate the fear but to embrace each new situation that presents itself as a learning opportunity to get to know all of our facets. The act of polishing the genie’s lamp.

The WHOLE Truth

Should we stay clear of those who are afraid of their inner shadows?

Actually no!  Not entirely.  Also, it depends on the type of danger this person poses to you and society. Those who are fearful of their shadows yet find their way into our lives have a lot to teach us. The closer they are to us, the more important it is for us not to ignore their life as a living message. While this will not mean we take on their fear or try to “cure” them, it can mean just letting them be who they are without judgment or the desire to change them. We can go one step further to identify our limits by observing what aspects they fear most. It is a mirror of parts within ourselves that we need to give more light, to evolve. This level of detachment without wanting to fix others often takes years of practice. To observe without wanting to solve or interfere in other people's lives and to take it as a message for inner healing is a Zen state few can stomach. Especially for those with saviors syndromes deeply ingrained.

In summary, we all cast a shadow (ok, some folks are just shadows). While some are more afraid than others, we all have to tackle this deep inner work. Denying or demonizing parts of ourselves is not the solution. Denying or demonizing others is not the solution either. Take each life lesson as it comes - as an opportunity for deeper self-awareness and personal healing.


Published by Irmina Tutu