Loving The Light + Shadow Within You
When we’re new on the path to deepening our consciousness and healing it’s easy to get caught up in only honoring the progress we’ve made and not recognizing the places in which we need more work. Especially when we feel we’ve made profound change in our emotional and mental health, it can often feel scary to recognize that we’re imperfect and that there’s always more work to be done.
It’s not to say that we should be critical of ourselves or not acknowledge all of the great progress we’ve made but it’s important to remember that we all have the light and shadow within each of us and healing is a constant evolving process. I personally don’t believe it ever “ends”.
Very few reach enlightenment in this lifetime. But we can become more conscious and more healed as we move forward on our path. As we move forward along our path, more will surface that needs to be healed. Sometimes it’s something new that we haven’t dealt with before. Sometimes something old resurfaces because we may have not fully resolved it the first time.
What is shadow?
When using the word “shadow”, I’m referring to our pain. Our triggers. Our wounding. The dark stuff that we all carry. The light is our joy, creativity, and our gifts. It’s the radical compassion and love within us all.
If we push the shadow away and say, “I’ve already worked on this” or “I’m too healed for this to be coming up again”, then we’re doing a great disservice to our higher consciousness.
Pretending something doesn’t exist isn’t being strong and doesn’t mean you’re “healed”. It’s being unconscious and denying a part of yourself.
Even for myself having done the deep personal work I’ve done, and now working with clients and supporting them on their own journeys--I still have my shadow work to do too. I always will. This experience doesn’t exclude anyone—not even healers or therapists.
I’m open and ok with that because I know that’s where the real work lives. That’s where change happens. It’s diving into the mud of our emotional landscape and dealing with the stuff that’s painful or scary.
Our pain isn’t a sign of regression…
Instead of fearing shadow when it begins to surface, acknowledge it as a sign that your higher consciousness believes you’re ready to heal that part of yourself in a deeper way. You’re strong enough to handle it. You’ll probably find that the shadow begins to lighten a bit when you actually deal with it rather than resisting it. What you resist persists.
And that same part of the shadow may reappear days, months, or years down the road. And that’s ok. Often times our shadow has layers. We may shed one layer in this moment and then years down the road it’s time to shed the next one. The next layer may not be as painful or scary as the previous time because we’re familiar with this part of our shadow already.
Most importantly when working with shadow, love yourself enough to see the whole picture—we all carry the light and shadow. We carry the things we love about ourselves. And the parts we feel still feel shame about. We’re perfectly imperfect. And that’s ok.