There are so many aspects of myself that I have spent years finding new ways to look around and avoid. What I have learned so far on this path, can really be summed up to a single act.
Find, acknowledge, accept your own shadows.
What is a shadow? The definitions are slightly varied here or there, but the core of it is this: A shadow is any aspect of yourself that you avoid.
Need examples? Some of my shadows I have found are these…
- My cruelty
- My Ego
- My hatred
- My anger
- My Recklessness
These are aspects of myself that I had avoided for years. And after spending some really difficult time sitting with those feelings, learning to accept them as part of me, and moving forward, I feel something important has shifted. My understanding.
I have always run away from the aspect of myself that was cruelty.
But I realized that Cruelty is only one end of that spectrum The other end is Generosity. And many problems in my life have fallen into line, by simply accepting the balance that swings between Generosity and Cruelty. Remember, only acknowledging one of the two, leaves you without balance, and out of control. Accepting the aspect that my value judgements dislike, I have found that the skill I have that makes me so efficient with my cruelty (my tongue, and ability to say exactly the right words to hurt someone) is actually a skill that is equally as strong with Generosity. I learned that I also have the ability to say exactly the right words that someone needs to hear, to allow themselves to heal.
I have so many shadows. The 5 above are simply the ones that are the loudest, and somewhat more simple to deal with for it. But there are so many other shadows that overshadow aspects of our lives. And some are far more profound than others.
This past weekend, I did some hard extremely hard work, and encountered a shadow that I didn’t realize I was holding onto. When I was 16, I moved out of my parents house. And there was a physical altercation that was the trigger point for me leaving. The physical altercation did not actually cause this shadow. It was the fact that while I was ‘facing-off’ with my step-father, my mom was standing over his shoulder, not doing anything. I completely accept that she was probably terrified. But that moment, told me that she didn’t care enough about me or my safety, to overcome her fear. I realized that it put her in almost a paradox, where every direction she felt like she failed. I left home, because of that.
It didn’t end there though. This past weekend, I re-encountered this experience, again. This is not the first time I have looked at this shadow, and found a new dark spot. I felt that deep sadness. It sat right over my heard Chakra, and was a black-hole density of sadness. I let myself go into that feeling to work through the problem and I cannot tell you the challenge it held for me. But I came through it. And I saw things much more clearly. I saw that I have the ability to cut my caring almost as clean as with a blade. Just like I felt from my mother that day. I found that I fear that my kids will one day see that I didn’t care, so I model myself after this “ideal” i have where my efforts can be so forced as to feel in-genuine. That made me feel sick. This insidious shadow snuck into the core of who I am, and could have possibly ruined my goal of having my kids remember our time together as happy, and knowing that we could be authentic and true with each other. Realizing what that one shadow, thatI didn’t even realize I still carried, had such a profound affect on who I currently am. And how holding on to that memory was such a strong item causing self-sabotage made me realize that I need to look so much deeper to clear the stigma of my shadow self, accept me for me, without the burden of those stigmas, and to grow.
I feel so much lighter, and I feel so ready for the challenge.