Your Shadow Is Part of You. Embrace the Dark Side.
Mar 25, 2018
This week I am looking at the light and dark in my life. Through ritual, through ceremony, through workshops and experience. I listened to all the voices in my head. The ones that tell me I’m okay and the ones that tell me I am not.
I took the time to really listen to the scripts that run on a constant loop. Many went something like;
what makes you think you’re so special
you’ll never be good enough
you aren’t worthy
In my rational mind I say I don’t really believe them. Yet still, when I listened, they were running in the background like some pop radio smash hits from my youth that keep getting played on the greatest hits station of my shadow self.
So familiar, so comfortable and well worn that I didn’t even pay attention to the lyrics anymore and just sang along.
Dropping deeply into listening, really listening, it started to sound differently. At first it was unbearably uncomfortable. The words began to penetrate my consciousness. It sounded like the truth and my body went into defeat and retreat mode. I felt terrible, I felt like crumpling up in a ball of self loathing and returning to a state of primordial slime.
But I still listened.
After a bit the pain was replaced by a spark. First it was disbelief, then it turned to anger. I was angry at those voices. I wanted them to stop tormenting me. I wanted them to shut up.
But still I listened.
For a bit I railed against them, telling them that they are not true, that they lie. I pushed and shoved against them. I denied their reality, I called them unfair and they repeated the same stories.
Still I listened.
When I wore out my anger I noticed that the voices sounded differently. They were repeating the same words but suddenly it seemed funny to me. These voices that caused me pain and reminded me of hurt were suddenly like dear aunties. They scolded me while they pinched my cheek and handed me a plate of cookies. Like they only had one phrase to show all emotion and suddenly they were using the words to show me affection.
Suddenly even the humor turned to love and appreciation. These voices were just parts of myself that had been frozen in time. They were doomed to repeat the same phrase forever, yet the words had no real bearing on my life right now. At one point they were used to protect me and keep me safe. Now they just ran endlessly like self perpetuating echos. I had given them power over my life story and never reconsidered.
I realize these voices may never completely go away.
But I have a different relationship to them. They are old friends. I can look at them now with love and sympathy. Maybe soon they will change lyrics. But even if they don’t I experienced the shift that comes from really listening to myself. Why do I think my highest good only speaks words of sweetness. But listening to all the parts of myself, not censoring or trying to edit the subterranean currents of dialogue, can be the key to shifting the stubborn pattens of self sabotage and resistance.
Like the stubborn snow that can’t leave a spring day alone. The cold nights that return after the sweet warmth of spring teased us all with tantalizing promises of forever after growth and expansion.
All seasons have a reason. I can fully appreciate and love all that shows up in the now, even when it makes me a bit uncomfortable. After all, a warm spring day feels so much sweeter when the crisp frost accentuates its tender vulnerability.
I invite you to embrace your lightness and your dark with equal enthusiasm.