As a kid one of my favorite TV shows was Dark Shadows. It was a soap opera set in Collinwood Manor, a creepy old estate owned by the vampire Barnabas Collins. It was for all intents and purposes the Twilight series of my generation. But it was just a half hour television program. Today, I want to talk about the real dark shadows we all have.
Shadows. We certainly are all familiar with them. We may have enjoyed resting in the shadow of a tree on a hot summers day. Or perhaps we enjoyed playing shadow puppets on the wall when we were younger. At some point we became aware that we also are able to cast a shadow and no matter how hard we may try we can never free ourselves of our shadow while we are standing in the light.
This gives us some definition then to what a shadow is. It is a dark area caused by something blocking a source of light. It will always have the same shape of the thing that is blocking the light. I would ask you to go back and read that again, and maybe even a third time and let that sink in before we go any further.
Everyone of us on this big blue marble we call home have a shadow self. We may refer to them as skeletons in our closet or maybe we just brush them away by statements like , that’s just the way I am. But like the natural shadows they are dark areas within ourselves that are blocking the light from shining unhindered and freely through us. And although they are shadows they have the same shape as us because they are us in a darkened state.
Facing and dealing with our shadows can be a fearful notion. But one thing I have learned in working on my own healing, dear readers, is that fear, anxiety, hopelessness and all that whole lot of negative emotions are the source of our shadows. Those type of low vibration experiences only have power in darkness and cannot live where there is light. They, like natural shadows, block Light from shining at its fullest in and through us. And not only are negative emotions sources of shadow but also any trauma that we have sustained during our lifetime but never dealt with can also become part of the shadow fabric of who we are.
I am convinced the more I work with healing myself and other, that all of us are walking around with some form of or some level of PTSD. Please understand that I am not belittling or trying to diminish our men and women who have served in the military and come back with this diagnosis. I have seen it first hand in friends of mine and I know it is a very real thing they are dealing with. My point is that each of us have at some time in our life sustained damaged to our soul and it has fractured and that fractured portion has fled away into darkness in order to hide from any further pain or distress. This is where the true work of healing is. In going in, finding our shadows (have you ever tried to find a shadow in the dark?) and then gently and tenderly dealing with them. We give them space to dialogue with us. Conversations with our shadows can take time and are for the most part quite unpleasant. It means that often we simply hold space for them and allow them to do the talking while we process what they tell us. I have seen instances within myself and others where we identify the shadow part of us we are dealing with as one thing but during the process the shadow part of us reveals its true name, its real nature which may be quite different from what we thought.
Working with our shadows is not about destroying them but about learning from them. Each of them have wonderful lessons and precious truths that lead to our becoming whole again. Remember, they are a darkened image of us. When we seek to understand this it allows more and more Light to come in until eventually the Light overtakes the darkness and rather than destroy the darkness what once was shadow is now transformed and has become part of our Light and a part of our story of healing and recovery.
The task of doing shadow work can be difficult but it is rewarding. Sometimes individuals may need help from a therapist, a trusted friend or a healer to work through this. Most often, if we are willing to honestly and openly confront our shadows, we can do the work ourselves.
There are a few things that I have found that have helped me to start shedding Light on my shadows and putting myself together again. These may or may not work for you but they are some suggestions for getting started.
Think of someone who triggers you. Most often, but not always, when we are triggered by others it is the thing about them that triggers us which is a reflection of something about us that we dont like. A part of us is seen in a part of them.
Secondly, go shake your family tree. Shadows of abuse, addiction, fear and a host of other things can cast shadows down into many generations. You may be in the shadow of an ancestor and not even realize it. You may have to go back to a time when you were a child as often this is a place where many of our shadows are created.
Find a quiet space and block out some uninterrupted time and ask your shadow some difficult questions. Picture a version of yourself sitting across from you and interview them. And then listen. Keep a journal or a notepad close by so you can write down things as they come up.Only ask one question at a time and give your shadow time to discuss it. Follow up with additional questions until you have exhausted the conversation. When you reach the end, you will notice a change. The shadow will have made its way out of the darkness and been transformed into Light. Your spirit will recognize the change. Offer thanks and gratitude to Source, which is all Light and the source of our Light
If you find this is something you want to explore further, would like to know some questions to ask your shadow or just need help in getting started I am here for you.
Aho Metakuyeh Oheisan