Friday, 11 July 2014
The Word of the Week - Embracing the Shadow (Pt 1)
I am open to embrace the shadows within me in order that I can reveal more of my light.
What is the shadow side of ourselves? This is the energy that is fuelled by fear and the ego that causes us to expose our frustrations, anger, negative behaviours, unskilled outbursts and generally the darker side of our nature. It will also cause us to have unkind thoughts and possibly follow through with acts of wrong doing. We all have a darker side to our nature and contrary to belief it is not for us to totally eradicate this part of ourselves but to actually embrace it. The spiritual journey is one of paradoxes, statements that seem to contradict each other but are in fact the duality of all life , for example how can you know good if you do not know bad or that the idea of beauty depends upon something being identified as ugly.
Such is the place of our shadow side and our light side, the two that generally oppose each other but could not possibly exist without each other. When I use Louise L Hays phrase of “You are perfect, whole and complete,” it means that the duality that we perceive of ourselves is in reality just one. All from the one mind and the one consciousness, living in perfect harmony. We can exist happily within the duality of life, once we have learned to recognise our shadow thoughts and habits. Our higher mind can view the shadow side of ourselves impersonally, by acknowledging the dark. For example, you get frustrated by a loved one’s behaviour which irks you and you become angry or unkind in your thoughts. You embrace the feeling of this anger rather than supress it and you acknowledge yourself in that moment that the angry side of you feels hurt or annoyed. Now instead of voicing your anger and annoyance which will result in only talking to the other person’s ego, you direct the feeling more positively. This is where all your practice with choosing higher thoughts come into play because with an unskilled mind this will not work. Whenever you are pointing the accusatory finger at someone else always remember that three fingers are pointing back at you, this observation taught to me many years ago, is a helpful reminder that instead of looking at someone else’s shadow, you have three major reasons to look at your own shadow….so look at them.
Flipping the negative to a positive means that the energy of anger you feel can be redirected with your thoughts and dialogue with your higher self that enable you to take a wider view of the situation rather than your current narrow egoic view. You ask the question, are you really angry for the reason that you think or are you really frustrated at yourself and taking it out on someone else? When you answer honestly, this energy is redirected from dark into light because your authentic self takes the reigns and steers you towards healing, towards love and towards the ever increasing light that resides in you. More often than not in my own personal experience, I release any pent up emotion by either punching a pillow and screaming out loudly or I exercise by giving my body a good work out. The point is in the first instance I give my emotions a safe outlet for expression
Just for today, have courage to acknowledge the shadow side of yourself, for it is only when we truly look at our behaviours that we diminish the illusionary power it has over us.