Facing My Fear of My Shadow
Last night was rough. I admitted to a dear friend my visceral dislike of "where I am".
This morning, after my morning meditation, I remembered a video I did nearly six (6) years ago, "Embracing Your Shadow". The two (2) events (last night and this morning) prompted my revisiting that video and this blog post.
Deciding Against My Shadow
I first heard of "the shadow" in Psychology 100 my freshman year of college. Of course, since Carl Jung's theory was "dark"; I remember my 18-year-old Self deciding that I wanted to avoid dealing with/learning about my "dark/shadow side" at all costs! I remember thinking that I could "outrun/outsmart" my shadow side. As far as I was concerned, I had already experienced enough darkness. One of my motivations for going to college was so that I could equip myself with the knowledge to overcome any and all darkness that threatened my existence. The next year at 19-years-old, I would survive a trauma that I couldn't/didn't outrun. Within three (3) years, I would think suicide was the only way to be rid of my shadow. Now, 34 years after that first attempt on my life, I know that I survived, if for nothing else. . .in order to embrace my shadow. My Shadow wouldn't let me go. I am thankful.
IN "The Shadow"
According to Carl Jung, "The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself" and represents " a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well." [C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (London 1996) p. 284 and p.21] In other words, my shadow is where I've hidden the aspects of myself that I believe to be in conflict with what I really want. No wonder my 18-year-old Self wanted nothing to do with my shadow. Going down the proverbial "rabbit hole" of my Shadow still haunts me.
While I "know" the importance of shadow work; I must confess. . .
coming out of the darkness is way better than going in.
What? Did you expect me to LIE?! No lies here. As I sit here in this dark, shadowy place; my patience with my dark side is wearing thin. Yet, I persist. WHILE in this cave, I feel like THIS time the darkness will overtake me. Those aspects of me that I have refused to acknowledge about myself. . .maybe THIS time, they "win".
I know, I know. . .I've been here before. I'll be here again. My subconscious mind is going like a whirling dervish! Spinning around and around; my conscious mind is "buffering" because my subconscious is demanding for resolution. Yet, the effects of the Spiritual Work I've put in are showing up. Where before I felt trapped in the shadow; I now am somehow being strengthened BY my Shadow. This time IN my Shadow is as important to my well being as the work I've done attempting to "bypass" my Shadow.
As I write, I feel compassion for My Shadow Self. In this moment, I realize that I've been holding my breath; and by doing so, restricting the Inspiration of Spirit. So, now I exhale and let go.
Breathing Deeply. . .I feel My Self turn to Embrace My Shadow.