On our journey we face many things. One of which is our shadow side. This could be our most frightening battle of our whole hero’s journey. Facing our shadow can take us to our knees and become the undoing of everything we have accomplished. This usually happens during the Resurrection part of the Hero’s Journey before we can come home with the elixir.
What is our shadow side? Our shadow is that which we have not become in the everyday world. It is what we have chosen to hide or put aside. There are many reasons we choose to put aside parts of ourselves. Most often it is for survival.
Over this past week I have faced my shadow side although I did not recognize it as such until this morning. I awoke gripped in fear. For some reason rather than choosing a better thought or reaching for something that would make me feel more at ease I asked myself why am I experiencing this fear? The answer came loud and clear. It is your shadow side. In that moment I know that by repressing my shadow side over many, many years I was somehow holding myself apart from what was fully available to me now in this life that I have chosen to live. Our shadow is that part that we know somehow (but cant figure out what it is) is blocking us from our dreams. It is the subconscious programming interfering with our conscious desires – it is the last barrier between you and your dream. As distressing as it was to be dealing with shadow work what was more frustrating is that I asked for it. When you ask the Universe for something it happily provides you with the opportunity to experience it.
While I was watching the Pale Report, Astrology Forecast for the week of May 14th Tom Kaypacha Lesser (my very favorite astrologer) he spoke to the idea of moving into the balance of our masculine/feminine selves by letting go of everything that was holding us back from passing through the eye of the needle. I remember thinking, “What possibility is there to let go of that I have not already?” Carl Jung spoke to this masculine/feminine as representing our shadow self. By recognizing all that we hide – our strength and our softness and embracing it we can move into the ultimate of self-love – so that we can move forward into Union of all. Love is all there is. You are another me, I am you so the things I choose to hide within myself are the things I will see reflected back at me in another. Within a day I began to see reflections I did not like.
I want to clarify here – what you see reflected back at you can be the behavior/or part of your personality you have chosen to hide/put away or it can be played out in that what you have denied yourself and put away gets pushed even further until it is necessary for you to change. For example, if within your shadow self is the heart of an artist but you have pushed that expression of yourself to a back place so that you could become a successful “money maker” you may very well be annoyed by those around you who seem not to value money or the stability of living a nine to five kind of job. The latter could present itself when you have denied yourself to be taken care of because you are busy taking care of others. Suddenly the needs of others becomes so great you are pushed to a breaking point – you are unable to take care of them because you are so depleted that self preservation is the only available resource you have left.
I know I am creating something in my life that brings me joy, that feels so right, that is my purpose. So why did this shadow side show up now. That is simple. It is because learning to be fully present in everyway is necessary in doing our souls purpose. As long as I denied a truth that existed inside of me (conscious or not) I could not be in alignment with my whole truth. The easy, the hard, togetherness and separateness, strength and weakness are all parts of the whole. By recognizing and embracing the dark my light can shine brighter. By recognizing and loving what we choose not to be as much as what we choose to be we can relax into a satisfaction and gratitude of what is and what is unfolding for us – we are holding nothing back in fear or morning nothing that was not chosen. We have light our darkness with our light and where there is light there is love.
Here are three questions that came up for me for me this week. I can’t say they came up in neat tidy questions but the answers were shocking to me as I faced them. I can’t imagine not having my boys as my first priority but when I allowed myself one moment of thinking what I would do if I walked away from everything I cried for a life I never choose to live and by crying for a life I never got to live somehow I felt more gratitude for the life I did choose and all that I have done with the life I did choose.
- If circumstances were different (you had all the money in the world, you had support of the best and brightest, you did not have the responsibility you have now) what would you be doing differently with your life?
- If you had what you give others (time, energy, money, ideas, power) all for yourself what would you do with it?
- If you had a voice (respect, knowledge, a degree, a platform, a message) would you be braver? Who would you be with that voice?
The freedom you may feel by recognizing and embracing your shadow may just give you the open door to move closer to your dreams faster than you ever imagined. Sending you so much love on your journey to discover the hero within.