What Godzilla: King of Monsters Taught Me About Shadow Work

The 2019 monster film Godzilla: King of Monsters is the perfect metaphor to discuss the demons that lurk beneath our sunny demeanor, and how making peace with our demons can lead to a brand new existence, free from the chains of fear.I’ll start with a plot re-cap for those who haven’t seen the movie.

It all starts of with Godzilla wreaking havoc on San Fransisco. The main characters, Emma and Mark, are a married couple who lose their young son during the destruction.

Fast forward five years, and there is a re-awakening of an even bigger, badder monster than Godzilla, named King Ghidorah. It turns out Ghidorah is actually an alien from another planet, attempting to harvest Earth for its own uses.

The Navy almost kill Godzilla using nukes, but the main characters know that Godzilla is the only one who can defeat Ghidorah. (fist pump!)

The team rescues Godzilla from the depths of the ocean, and even though Godzilla is responsible for the death of Mark’s son, Mark is willing to ask for Godzilla’s help to defeat Ghidorah and save planet Earth. (double fist pump!!)

Now for some Metaphors

Godzilla: Represents our inner demons, past traumas, the memory of the things that happened to us that “took everything.”

Ghidorah: Represents true evil – the enslavement of the human mind. Don Miguel Ruiz writes about the mitote, a parasite that lives in the human mind, controlling us through fear and negative emotions. He describes the mitote as a many-headed hydra, much like the way King Ghidorah is represented in Godzilla: King of Monsters.


Although Mark Russell endured the loss of his only son, he makes the decision to help Godzilla. It is only through Mark’s transformation of perception that he is able to truly assist Godzilla, and therefore prevent the world from falling into the hands of unspeakable evil.

How must it have felt for him to re-awaken the beast that took everything from him so many years ago? I can only imagine.

Just as Mark had to look at Godzilla through new eyes in order to move forward, so must we look at our innermost demons through new eyes. This seems impossible, and feels impossible, because, after all, the demon took everything.

I don’t deny the pain that my demons have caused me. They destroyed something innocent and then fled the ruins to hide in the depths of my being. The idea of re-awakening them seems counter-intuitive, even suicidal.

But when we look at what happens when demons lie dormant for too long, we learn that there is something much worse to fear: and that is fear itself.

By avoiding our demons and keeping them numb and asleep deep inside of us, we simultaneously allow a creature far more destructive to grow within us.

A life spent avoiding the demons, avoiding the monsters, avoiding confrontation for the illusion of safety, is not a life at all. We came to Earth to live fully, not half-lives.

If we live in avoidance, we are not truly living. Something else is controlling our lives – fear itself. We allow fear to control our lives when we avoid facing our shadows.

The metaphor of what happens if King Ghodirah wins (the end of the world, of total destruction, of complete enslavement) is not over-dramatized. For this is what happens on an individual and a collective level when we choose to ignore our demons and allow fear to run the show.

A New Vision

Who can say what it feels like to face your demons? I feel that we each have our own monsters to face; each one of us must go through our own dark night of the soul.

Transformation often happens behind closed doors, in dark places, where no one but you can see the ugliness and turmoil spilling out. This is why a caterpillar goes into its cocoon to transform; what terrifying mysteries occur during that transformation is for each of us alone to discover.

Often, during transformation, we feel we cannot survive. We feel that awakening our demons will surely kill us. We may self-harm. We may turn to substance abuse. We may break with reality completely.

Yet somehow, life finds a way. It may take weeks, months, or years, but eventually, we emerge from the reckoning with our demons. And we emerge anew, with new eyes, as a new person. We emerge as Christ from the grave, after three long days, reborn through faith alone.

This transformation is the stuff of real magic, and it can transform even the ugliest demon into something so powerful that it can defeat the true evil.

What is your Godzilla? What demon have you buried so deep within you that you are afraid to face? Often, facing that demon is exactly what will give you the strength you need to live your life fully, openly, and without fear of the past.

Turn to the depths of your soul, the darkest part, where your own personal demons slumber.

Find a safe place to cuccoon, and locate the anger, trauma, abandonment issues, or whatever else you try to hide. Awaken that sleeping beast, because facing your darkest fears may be the key to defeating the true evil, which is any force that asks you to submit to something other than your true self.


Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂


By justpearlythings

I am a writer, a lover, and a believer in the good things in life. I write about mental health and wellness, along with book reviews and fashion opinions. My blog caters to thoughtful, growth-minded women and men, and offers insights and personal challenges that provide a space for relevant, meaningful connection. The World Wide Web is vast, it contains multitudes, and so do we as people. I believe that through self-awareness and honesty, we create a more loving planet for everyone. Feel free to follow this page and share it with friends and family. Love, Pearl

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