Our lack of intimacy with our anger, fear, shame, doubt, terror, loneliness, grief, and other painful states keeps our experience superficial, emotionally anemic, and addicted to whatever numbs us to our negativity. What are exactly the shadow elements? Their qualities and traits that we typically keep in the dark and project onto others both at the personal and collective level creating the very convincing illusion that such elements don't belong to us. Exposing the solution and reclaiming the rejected elements of our being is the essence of shadow work, and also important in a call me work.
Looking back at my own personal experience, the most transformative times of my life ave been the ones which were coupled with periods of great upheaval and often pain. I can see this now, that I am fare removed form those times, but sadly, during most of them, I attempted to run from them in any way possible. (Mention Trauma resiliency)
Pema Chödrön says, "Most of us do not take these situations as teachers. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape—all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just cant stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain." (17)
Shadow work is the practice of acknowledging facing engaging and then integrating but we've turned away from, disowned, or otherwise rejected and ourselves. It is not significantly taken into account in religion and most spiritual paths especially those that use religion to marginalize or insufficiently address psychological and emotional dimensions of experience. (There's also a golden shadow, the disavowal of our very best qualities true size and real nature).
None of this is to say that religion and spirituality should be doing the job of psychology, but that they need to be more in touch with and supportive of practices like "shadow work"