Every now and then you can be reminded that you are not perfect, that you don't always do what you think you should or that you sometimes think thoughts that are less than pleasant. This could be called the shadow of yourself - the darkness that lurks within and appears on occasion.
Hiding from the shadow or not facing can work for quite a long time. You can just pretend it's not there - ignore it and wait until it fades. This usually happens quite quickly. Alas the shadow can also return unexpectedly. It can create quite a shock when it does.
So maybe it's best to face your shadows. To confront them head on. To notice when they appear and learn not to be afraid of them but rather to use them as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. The shadow side can feel like simple discontent or dissatisfaction or it can be stronger and more like shame or guilt. Noticing these feelings and recognising what has triggered them can help to understand what is important to us - what has caused such feelings and what this means about our values and beliefs. For example, if we have upset someone and this caused us to feel bad, it tells us that this relationship is important to us and is worth preserving - which might take some effort of course. Ignoring the shadow side might involve dismissing the other person, not taking responsibility for the other's upset or not even noticing. It's clear then that not facing the shadow side can cause damage to relationships, as well as ourselves as we attempt to avoid the feelings harbored by the situation.
So facing the shadow side takes courage to face the situation, recognise the feelings and then make some kind of sense of it in order to decide on what action might be useful. In doing this our shadow side can become our friend and help us improve our lives and relationships.