The definition of a shadow is defined as: A dark figure or image cast on the ground or some surface by a body intercepting light.
The shadow is the element of yourself that you consider negative. That part of you that you would dare not show to the world, for fear of rejection.
The shadow can also be a major source of anxiety or shame, so we keep it hidden and locked away from the light, because it’s too painful to expose.
The shadow can become damaging when it gets out of hand.
Shadows can lower your immune system.
Create long term dis-ease.
Trigger the fight or flight response.
From personal experience, I’ve seen it as one of the main factors in autoimmune dis-ease, sickness and chronic pain.
Your shadow is a tricky one, it also includes positive traits, such as weaknesses for feeling empathy for others. For example, if you were told at a young age: “It’s weak to cry or feel your emotions.” You’ve been taught as a child that feeling equals weakness. If those feelings are shut down early, the child only sees it as I must be un-lovable. Now, in your adult experience you may find it hard to feel empathy for others.
Society has taught us what it means to be the MAN.
Tough, strong, unfazed, keep it all together, don’t cry or look weak, have little empathy.
It’s no surprise in our society now, that men are more likely to commit suicide.
The pressures are great.
This toughness is presented to the world as a mask and this mask is a pretection from how we truly feel inside.
Men and women who are the most aggressive on the outside, are usually the
most sensitive, hurt and empathetic people on the inside; but they haven’t
come back to their true nature.
We all come out of the womb crying, but at some point we as adults, have lost the ability to authentically feel our emotions.
Over time, this disconnect from ones self and emotions create a ton of pain and conflict in the
body, mind and spirit. It keeps our true selfs from shining through.
The most common internal shadow, is the belief of not being good enough.
This internal limiting belief becomes an obsession that’s cast on the outside world, as the need to achieve more.
Prove more, attain more. Soon the realization hits that nothing we do, or
achieve will ever be good enough.
We continue doing things in our outer world, to avoid how we truly feel inside.
There’s no such thing as perfect.
let that sink in. It doesn’t exist; perfection is unattainable. Perfection is one of the main personality traits in people who suffer from chronic pain and disease.
One day I pulled off the side of the road to capture a picture. As I sat there looking through my view finder on my camera, I discovered a part of the road surface was cast in shadows from the tress.
As I looked at this I began to think, “What if shadows aren’t darkness,
but more so, signs of light trying to cut through the darkness.”?
Ancient texts says this very well: “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under
a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to
everyone in the house.”
We all come from Love. An innocent child, then life happens, traumas happen. Programs are put in place and we run a loop of who we THINK we are.
In the words of the Dali lama. “Events and environment shape our beliefs.
Beliefs shape our thoughts.
Thoughts shape our words.
Words shape our actions.
Actions shape our outcomes.
Outcomes shape our destiny.”
“One does not become
enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making darkness
conscious.” We can awaken our blind spots and allow light to shine through.
Ways we avoid our shadow
- The constant need to talk, or talk over others
- Not listening
- Proving to others
- Projections onto others
- Being and thinking like the victim
Remember that inner child is always inside of us screaming for attention, to be heard, to be validated, accepted and loved.
revealed something fundamental about our psyche.
He maintained that “We
all have a shadow side to our personality. The shadow personifies
everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself.”
‘Our shadow aspects cause us anguish, and much of our mental energy is in
the denial of our perceived imperfections, but we cannot see our shadow
aspects except through projection.
We don’t know what to do with such feelings, so we put them onto others, or keep them repressed entirely.
Those who repress their feelings unconciously, experience chronic pain and dis-ease.
Try this exercise.
Go one day without saying a single word, one day of absolute silence.
Notice the feelings. Observe your emotions and thoughts that come up.
This is your shadow popping into the light.
What can you do to let your light in?
You must acknowledge and embrace this part of yoursef first. “Everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
A friend of mine once said, “when you know who you are not, then you know who you are.”
Love. Attention. Acceptance. Validation. Praise?
When you find yourself in a pattern or caught in a loop, ask yourself: What am I trying to get out of this? Love. Attention. Acceptance. Validation. Praise? or what feeling am I avoiding?
What feeling or reward do I want? Why am I lacking that feeling inside?
Where did that come from?
Then react differntly and do something different from what you’ve always done.
Religion has taught you to hate your shadow, they even go as far and call it the enemy or the devil. This very notion creates internal shame and conflit. What if your shadow was there to help you? What if you embraced this part of yourself, loved this part that is screaming out to be seen.