When traveling along the spiritual journey, one of the spaces we encounter within ourselves is the “shadow.” Just what does this mean? For most of us, the immediate sense is of something dreadful, arousing the fears that live in our unconscious and driving them out into the light–or our consciousness. And this is the process of unveiling our “shadows.”
We have great fear of what might live there, in the unlit corners of our hearts, our spirits, our minds. The natural reaction is to hold on tight to what we are certain will be taken away–our security. Let’s take a different approach to understanding our shadows, one that will perhaps enlighten you and prompt you to hang the welcome sign for the places within yourself you do not yet see. Imagine yourself entering a room that is dimly lit. Stepping across the threshold, the corners are hidden in darkness and the walls are barely visible by the hue of light. You’ve brought with you into this room a flashlight, and now through the door, you turn it on. Moving into the room, you shine the light on one corner at a time–unaware of what you might find there.
Without the shining light, these corners are in total darkness–the UNKNOWN. Whether there are cobwebs, stools, shelves, books, a lovely chair in that space–you have no way of knowing. And indeed, you may choose the path of mystery and exploration, entering the space without even the flashlight’s glow. What feelings and thoughts arise within yourself as you imagine this encounter? There may be images that come to mind of just what will be discovered in those shadows.
The dramatic presentation of this scenario might offer goblins and ghosts living in the dark corner, rats or something equally undesirable. There could be stacks of “stuff” accumulated and left to collect dust over a lengthy period of time. But there could also be something beautiful, a mural painted on a wall, kept hidden only out by the absence of light.
What we find in the shadows of ourselves can be uncomfortable or exhilarating. Either way, it is a part of who we are and we can only know what lives there when we choose to enter and examine the space. Regardless of what “material” we might find, we can discover another piece of ourselves, allowing us to step more wholly into authenticity. And most often–the greatest fear in looking into our shadowy corners is the one we have brought into the room with us–that of the unknown.
Once the light is introduced into the space, the potential is without limits. Even the most unpleasant sight can be transformed into something desirable, tantalizing, stimulating and loved. This is true of our inner space, too. No matter what you find in your darkest places, there is something beautiful just beneath the exterior of what is visible. Lift the veil, look beyond the surface and allow yourself to transition into the truth that is you.
We are designed to carry the inner beacon of intuitive knowing that directs us where we need to go on this journey. Choose to collect another piece of yourself by stepping into the shadows. Ask your inner voice to guide you…..and you will know its call by tuning in and listening….to the whispers of your heart……