Embrace Your Shadow Side To Become Your Better Version

We Are The Good Part That We Recognize, And Also The Bad Part We Want to Hide.

Frederico Costa
3 min readOct 1, 2021


Photo by Riccardo Mion on Unsplash

When we feel guilty for something wrong we’ve done to someone, our mind at the time starts looking for reasons to erase that guilt. We start thinking about things that make us feel less guilty. We say to ourselves: “But I’m not a that bad person. I’ve already lent money to that person in the family, I’ve already reached out to whoever needed it, I’ve already avoided a traffic fight…”. Our mind starts looking for everything good we did, and it’s not a lie; we’ve done these things. They are good deeds, but that doesn’t erase what we do poorly. Even if we try to do that, the bad stuff is still there. We need to understand that we are all of this at the same time. We have goodness and badness within us.

I heard the following phrase the other day: “Embrace your shadow side because it is part of you.” It’s no use believing that we’ve already reached the level of saying we’re just goodness. The truth is that we tend to think that we are that person who always arrives smiling and kind at the Thanks Giving dinner when in fact, we are also that grumpy guy who badmouthed a lot of people before meeting all of them at the damn party that we didn’t even want to go.

We are the good part that we recognize and be proud of, and we are also the bad part that we ignore. In my understanding, we are like that because we are in evolution, and this evolution is gradual.

Yeah, honey, don’t be fooled into thinking that evil is only in others. On some level, we are all part of that group of people who do not practice material detachment or are not bothered by the pain of others. Of course, some people aren’t looking for that kind of evolution, and that’s okay. Nobody has to follow this path in life, and everyone takes the direction they want.

The most common is to see people who want to be more on the side of goodness than evil, but many do this trying to sanctify themselves after every good deed they do, falling into the trap of thinking that this will erase what they do bad. The solution is not to become a copy of Mother Teresa, simply because that is a mere illusion that only puts us even further away from being good.

An important and effective step to becoming a better person is recognizing that it is evil within us and not just in others. We cannot hide the evil we carry. I’m not saying that for everyone to put this evil out and go around practicing. When I say not to conceal our badness, I am talking about not hiding from ourselves.

Recognize when you feel jealous of something or someone, for example. It’s very common to say that we don’t like someone when we’re just jealous because the other achieved something we didn’t. Deal with it instead of deluding yourself with a lie. It’s not easy to look inside and admit our mistakes, admit our badness, acknowledge that we’re not perfect and that sometimes we do things for others that we don’t want them to do to us.

But nobody evolves without changing, and nobody solves a problem if they don’t even recognize it exists.



Frederico Costa

I’m a journalist covering Brazil and LGBTQ community affairs. Brazilian-American with base in São Paulo. 🏳️‍🌈🇧🇷🇺🇸