CHASING OUR SHADOWS
One very often overlooked characteristic of light passing through and around something is that it almost always creates a shadow in its wake. As we grow and evolve as human beings, we pass through experiences in life that help us grow and expand our light. Our consciousness. The thing is at the same time as we grow in our own personal light, we also grow in our own personal shadow. The light and the shadow represent two sides of the same coin. The coin of our true whole self.
I spent many years reading spiritual and self help books, most of which talked about transcending our ego and dissolving our dark and negative thoughts. Helpful in the extreme. Enlightening, certainly. Motivating massively. Healing? Not quite. You see in focusing so much on the light aspects of my consciousness and trying to transcend or bypass my dark, I ended up ignoring a key part of my soul. That of my shadow.
A beautiful author that I have recently come across, Bill Plotkin, describes our shadow as a big sack that we drag along behind us for most of our lives. In the sack, we put the character traits that we don’t like about ourselves, the fragmented, denied parts of our consciousness that we would rather not face and the memories of those tough, dark moments when life challenged us to the max and we behaved in ways that we were not always proud of. Feelings of vulnerability, shame and guilt usually accompany the lessons of our shadow, which is why we often fear to go there. Some people spend lifetimes dragging their shadow behind them and pretending that its not really there. Some brave souls turn to face the contents of our shadow sack only to turn tail and runaway again when we encounter the self made demons within. Others however, know that until we are able to not only face and acknowledge our shadows but also love them into merging with our entire being, that we will never be integral and whole. We will never be able to be fully human.
I have found more recently as I have moved through my Quest Coach training that my commitment to 100% walk my talk has led me directly into my own inner shadows caves. In making a stand for the integrity of my soul, I have ventured into the caverns of my shadow and started to heal the fractured parts of my consciousness that I have spent years denying.
In particular I recently found myself facing up to a big fat projection from my childhood. The prelude to this event was when I started to consciously surrender my ego’s life agendas to the wisdom and power of my soul. In the course of doing this, I found myself led down a surprising path towards the recreation of my business and the focus of my work shifting towards writing and storytelling. During this period, my Quest coach Catherina and I ended up in a dialogue around truth speaking and the degree of truth held within my website holding message. It was a transformational process where I was able to question my motives on every level and see where I was still creating separation in life. During these conversations, I noticed that I was feeling ‘bullied’ by Catherina’s emails. I worked through my ego’s desire to create separation between us and focused in on where this was coming from, knowing full well that I create everything in my outer experience as a mirror of my inner. On a plane journey to Denver in January, I fell into a deep meditative sleep and suddenly had a vision of ‘the bully’ as played out by different people across my whole lifetime. I saw that in some form I had always had a bully showing up in my life and that the bully had always been a female. From the girl on the porch swing when I was four, to Jennifer in Kindergarten, to Ruth at school, to Jackie in my first job…the female bully had caused me unending pain over the years. I also saw that these outwards manifestations in the form of different people must have been sparked from a source in my own psyche.
I started to examine where I had been bullying myself over the years. Where had I backed myself into corners and criticized my differences to others, cowered in the face of my challenges and fears. Boom…….the door to my shadow flew open and off its hinges. I stood there looking at the bully in me full in the face. I saw that each and every time I had backed down and surrendered my truth to that of others, I had bullied my own intuition and authentic wisdom into submission. Each time I had molded myself to please others instead of following what I knew to be true; I had been forcing myself to succumb to…myself and my own ego. Crazy!
I was able to breath and love myself. To laugh at the beautifully human insanity of it all. To forgive the behaviour of my ego that had remained hidden in my shadow for so long. To be so grateful that I was able to see this part of myself and come into a place of healing and wholeness. Of course this was just the beginning of the process. Over the course of the next few days, I allowed myself to go deep into the sack of my shadow. I was able to see, love and reclaim several of my egos lifetime projections connected to the bully. These included the people pleaser, the coward, the needy child, the lonely woman and the rebel. All of whom were rejected aspects of my personality I had hidden in my shadow as I had grown. Massive healing unfolded in the silence of the mountains as I claimed back all of my projections.
On returning after my solitude, the actions to embody wholeness and integrity that had once seemed so hard to my ego became the simplest thing in the world. Being secure and confident in my own truth. Speaking it from a place of deep love for all those concerned, most of all myself. Staying in silence and listening to the whispering wisdom of my darkness and my light. For both are teachers of the highest order.
On speaking my truth from a deep place of love, Catherina was overjoyed. She reflected of course my own deep inner joy of coming to a deeper place of wholeness. From here on in, the path to truth and love and the fullest expression of my soul will lead me to both the light and the dark places in the forest of my soul. I will walk them all, knowing that all are love and that peace will fill me as long as I am solid in the unfolding truth of who I am.