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“He was a good kid.” “She was the quiet type.” “He kept to himself, had only a few friends.”

Do those quotes sound familiar?  They should if you’ve ever heard of a horrible, tragic event, and no doubt you’ve heard this repeated over the past several months. I’ve heard this so many times I can speak the very words before the reporter does and I expect many of you can and have as well.  But they never really have an answer do they?  It’s always the same questions about how did no one know or notice that something was wrong with this/these person(s)?

I got me thinking about why these things seem to always go hand in hand and a was reminded of something I’d read about years ago at Uni.  I’d taken psychology and it was something I’d read by C.G. Jung that crept back into my mind.  “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”

Now, I am not a psychologist, nowhere near.  I’m simply trying to figure out this question for myself, feel free to join in, correct me, or ignore me.

Everyone has a dark side, but we’re taught from day one to suppress our shadows in order to fit in with society, so is it such a surprise that whenever something like a pre-meditated murder happens that everyone who “knew” the culprit(s) says they were nice, they never would guess that this person could have done such a crime, there were no signs, etc.?  We’re taught to put on a mask, to fit in, it’s the same with whatever society we’ve been born into, it’s you will suppress this shadow or you will suffer the consequences.

Some of us try to deny our shadow, but most of us can recognise our shades and we find a way to acknowledge and release it without harming anyone.  Think about how many great and celebrated works of art have a dark story behind them.

We all have a shadow and no matter what we do, how we try to forget and deny it, it will always be there, it’s only when we recognise and accept it can we deal with our shadow’s.  We all must, do this because the alternative is, well, open up a history book or turn on the news and find out.

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