Facing the Shadow

Turning into the Shadow sounds scary and elusive, but in actuality it is the most empowering act one will ever do. The Shadow represents our feelings and emotions, our fears, shame and regret. The Shadow is the Dweller of the Threshold, and what we all must face, feel without judgement, and integrate, to reconnect to the True Self. Many people think that if they put those feelings aside, or put it on a shelf in the back of the mind, and ignore it, it will eventually go away. It never does. It does not matter if we create every distraction in the world, whether that is drama, overworking, food, exercise, hobbies, pills, alcohol, sex…whatever! We can run and run, but eventually we will have blamed everyone and everything around us, participated in every drama, including revenge. Achieved every goal, ingested whatever we could to numb ourselves, and still be left with this feeling of unfulfillment and longing. This feeling of unfulfillment, longing or boredom has a purpose. Its purpose is not to endlessly torture us to no end. Its purpose is to bring us back home.

To actually feel the Shadow completely sounds like a situation in which we may never escape. What if we really felt everything completely, and acknowledge every dark aspect? Would we fall into a deep abyss and never come out? How could we really feel the fear, sadness, hate, shame and regret? We might go insane, explode, or do something irrational, and hurt those around us! But, in actuality the opposite happens. All of those difficult or horrible situations occur when we do not do the work, and face our shadows. The Ego, or Shadow wants everyone to believe that the truth within us is so horrendous, that the shame would overtake us. It wants us to live endlessly in fear, regret, sadness and hate. In truth, if one actually wholeheartedly confronted the Shadow within, its power would be completely lost.

Confronting the Shadow sounds like a daunting task, but once we decipher the difference between the real, authentic Self and the Shadow, it becomes easier. Start by asking, “Is what I am feeling coming from Love or Fear?” It may not feel like fear, but if it is not love, then it is the Shadow and stems from fear. Make the time, to be alone, journal write, and sit with the feelings. At first it may be difficult to express, or even know what it is that is being felt inside. The feelings may seem to come from one issue, but through deeper exploration, may be rooted in a completely different place. To be completely honest with oneself, without judgement, is a skill. Remember our true fears have nothing to do with anyone else. It is what the pain represents, that has power over us.
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If we completely feel the pain, or fear, the emotions, and stories build within us, like a great hurricane. They can appear to have such power, and take over, spinning around us, creating havoc on our minds and hearts. But, if we really wholeheartedly feel, unconditionally accept, and be present, a consciousness will be discovered. An awareness that is separate from the storm. This awareness is still, peaceful, yet powerful, like the eye of a hurricane. The emotions, stories and pain spin around, but the observer is detached, and completely aware. The observer is our True Self. It is not the stories, or fear, shame, guilt and anger. In this moment of complete awareness, unconditional love and peace, the heart stays open… and the storm lifts.

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