A combination of some work I have been experiencing, things I have seen happening around me and watching the new Debbie Ford movie ‘The Shadow Effect’ all led me to deciding on today’s topic which is about our ‘shadows.’
We all have parts of ourselves we do not like. These may stem from trauma, childhood experiences or just be a part of our personality. It does not matter so much where they came from, what matters most is how we are dealing with them in our life right now.
It can be very easy to want to bury our shadows so that the world cannot see them. We all wear masks because we fear if we show ourselves fully, we might be un-loveable or rejected. Some common masks we wear are the Charmer, the Good Girl/Boy, the Performer, the Bully, the Intellect, the Jokester, the Overachiever, the Seductress and even one that is very ‘New Age’ – the Spiritualist. Masks give us the false illusion of being ok but underneath a storm is brewing.
You can try to hold down your shadow aspects but they will eventually find a way to get out. Whether they come out when we are extremely stressed or as addictions or poor behaviour, they will find their way to the surface. ‘When we reject our own reality – the self will war against us’ – Debbie Ford (The Shadow Effect). Shadows may manifest as an abuse of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sleeping around or sexual abuse, spending addictions, gym/sports junkies, excessive focus on outside appearance/plastic surgery, need to gossip, stealing, food issues or living in a ‘bliss bubble’ and those are the tame ones! We also have a world shadow for which we are all responsible. As a collective our shadows result in war, prosperity imbalance and money abuse, violence, pollution etc
The most common way we see our shadows is through projection. This is where we project the parts of ourselves we do not like onto other people. The ego wants to protect us so it is always on the defence. When you do not like something in another person it is actually you rejecting that part of yourself. We have all human qualities within us, both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ and so we will see these reflected back at us through other people. ‘Whatever we judge or condemn in others is a dis-owned part of ourselves’ – Debbie Ford (The Shadow Effect)
For many of us this idea can be hard to deal with. But there is a ‘saint’ and a ‘sinner’ in all of us. When we see the ‘sinner’ part reflected at us it is frightening and so we project it back onto other people or situations to avoid looking at it or accepting that it is there. We must remember that all experience has opposing energies. Without sad we would not know happy, without fear we would not know courage, without light we would not know dark. I heard Deepak Chopra speak of an Eastern saying that say’s ‘The sinner and the saint are merely exchanging notes’.
When we do not deal with our shadows then they end up ruling over us. The shadow is the person we wish we were not. Often times this shows up in what people are self-righteous about. For example, Elvis Presley fought hard against the use of drugs and yet he was using them. The Church condemns homosexuality, yet hides paedophiles. I do not wish to judge either of these situations they are merely examples to show that this is how shadows can end up being projected out into the world.
Hiding your shadows is exhausting and one way or another they manifest themselves in your world. In order to change this we must have a fearless commitment to transformation. The dark is only scary until we turn on the light. I know someone who embarked on a spiritual journey a few years ago and like many people believed that in doing this all her problems from the past would be magically washed away leaving a bliss-filled path of joy and manifestation of all she ever wanted. Unfortunately this is a mistake that is commonly made. When she stepped into the light and made a commitment to that path, everything that needed to be looked at came to the surface. In order to live the light filled path we are seeking, we must deal with the shadows.
I meet many people who are all excited that they have discovered a ‘spiritual’ path and they are in a total ‘bliss bubble’ about it. We know we have stepped into the light when all our shadows come up to greet us. In order to lift up to our higher selves we must go down to the lower self first. We must accept all aspects of ourselves and not just the bits we like. ‘As we move through our shadows we reclaim our light’ – Debbie Ford (The Shadow Effect).
Remember that our shadows also hold gifts. I, for example feel that my being a stubborn person is a shadow aspect and sometimes it plays out that way. But being stubborn is incredibly useful when you want to make something happen or you need to be persistent with a goal. Think about some of the qualities you do not like about yourself and then look at the positive aspect of those qualities and how you can use them as a gift.
It’s time to be brave and start looking at the parts of yourself that you are ashamed of. Forgive yourself and love these parts and you will set yourself free. You do not have to carry this burden alone, there are people who will assist you and hold the light for you. We cannot let our light shine until we are able to accept our darkness. As you chip away at the outer shell, you will find inside a golden treasure.
We all have shadows and that is nothing to be ashamed of, so starting today let’s embrace them and learn to love our authentic selves.
Here is a passage from the book ‘A Return to Love’ By Marianne Williamson
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you notto be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
‘The Shadow Effect’ with Debbie Ford (featuring Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra) will be available in NZ DVD format from October 09, if you are interested in getting a copy let me know and I will inform you when it comes into stock. For more information about Debbie Ford and ‘The Shadow Effect’ go to www.theshadoweffect.com
Have a wonderful day.
Blessings, love and light to you