So knowing all of this stuff and having awareness of our shadow is great, but now what? Integration can be tough - it is often subtle, passive and happens over time. Each time you are triggered, have awareness of what is happening and choose a new behavior, you are further integrating your shadow. And sometimes you might lapse into shadow, that's okay, this work is a cycle and it takes time for the changes to be obvious.
One thing I have found in myself, friends and clients is that our environment, relationships and present experiences deeply affect our ability to create changes in ourselves. One of my favorite quotes: "if you think you're enlightened, go home for Thanksgiving."
Which basically means...you think you make a lot of progress, and then you are around certain people and find yourself majorly triggered into a temporary behavioral regression. This is super normal, which is why making major changes is incredibly hard to do around the people that we inherited the wound from. It is also hard to do while in current toxic relationships. If you are working on co-dependency...it will be a struggle to do this work while regularly engaging with avoidant people. I won't say it can't be done, but it is a challenge. It is the same thing with our environment. I have also found living where we grew up can create a stuckness in subconscious work. You can work through it, but you do need to know what to expect and that it may be a fight.
The major keys to quicker integration are:
1) Awareness - know when you are slipping into shadow + why
2) Non-judgment. Be kind to yourself. Accept that you are exactly where you need to be and do not judge the shadow you uncover.
3) Patience. We have to go through it, we have to be in it. This is not a process that can be rushed. If you are experiencing resistance, show up for it but do not keep pushing. I have found the sooner I accept something, the sooner it shifts.