I'm sure you've experienced a part of you which seems...so different, so alien to your usual way of behaving. We call this our shadow. In native American culture, there is a story about the two wolves which live within us; the wolf of love and the wolf of hate. In Jung's literature, he described our personality as an interaction and expression of different 'mental functions'. We have a dominant function, which is the core of our personality, a balancing auxiliary, tertiary which lies in our unconscious and an inferior which also lives in the unconscious. These two functions are part of our shadow; the less developed parts of our personality. Theses functions can be a deep source of creativity and childlike wonder or they can be our Achilles heel: our deepest source of darkness, the parts of ourselves that cause us to make the same mistakes over and over again. Even Britney Spears wrote a song about it: "Oops I did it again."
This shadow side of our personality often emerges in periods of extreme stress or fatigue or illness, where we have less control over our shadow. And they often manifest themselves in a negative manner, showing perhaps the unlikeable parts of ourselves. It is to our advantage of course, that we understand our shadow and even embrace it to become whole beings. The more we know of our shadow, the more control we can exert over it, the more resilient we become to stress for if we understand what triggers stress and what forms that stress can take, we may avert the consequences of it and return to a state of wellness. Jung said that the emergence of the inferior is a signal from our unconscious, to let us know that something is not right in our world; an alarm bell to tell us to deal with the stress that has been building inside us. A little knowledge about our inferior function can go a long way to potentially defusing disastrous outcomes arising from stress. In the book, Getting a Grip on Stress, I describe the four functions and the impact of stress on the inferior and how one might return to wellness. If you'd like a copy of this E-book, just fill in your name and email address and we'll send it to you!