Are you facing your shadow side?

When we go to work on ourselves, its important to be open to the road ahead. Normally one would relate 'working on yourself' or 'growing as a person' to getting better, whatever better looks like? Happier, a more fulfilling life, openness and more opportunities. But the road forward its not always as clear cut as we first think. Remembering that we have both a light side and a shadow side. 

Staying in the light side is somewhat easy, its at the surface, what we know and are familiar with, the physical, happy and well...light! In my mind, its what we see and do and its also associated with better qualities, more fulfilling emotions and higher energy vibrations. Our light is what brings joy and happiness to the world - its where we shine and feel good. I would associate it with a positive state and 'always looking on the bright side of life.' Good things happen here in the light, adventures, friendships and memorable events just to name a few.

Why wouldn't we want to stay in the light, its a beautiful place with lots of fun and adventure. If given a choice this is certainly where I would spend most of my time. The light is where most of us, live most of our life.

But equally important and somewhat ignored is our shadow side or our darker side. Most of us know little if anything at all about this side. Its much deeper and we have to really be willing to look at it openly and in all its glory if we want to shift things within us that are located here. The shadow side is perhaps not as happy a place. Emotions can be heavy, things don't really always feel that good, they might not even make sense. Perhaps 'off the rails.' We can find deep seeded beliefs that don't serve us, underlying stories and dramas and past trauma in the shadows.

We can choose to look at this side or end up there depending on what it is we are looking at within ourselves. One might not even realise how they ended up there.

Our light and shadow sides sit at equal ends of the same spectrum. A spectrum that's important to completely understand in its entirety. Life is meant to be experienced in full and this means living through and feeling the emotions of every part of the spectrum. Without our shadow side we will not experience what it is to have light and vise versa. How can we know what true joy and pure bliss is without knowing sadness, confusion and sorrow. They are all equally important.

Stepping into the shadow is not a fun process there is confusion, fear, shame and a side of ourselves that we don't really want to look at. Many of us don't really want to accept it if we are to be completely honest. But its so equally important to fully own and understand this side of yourself because the work done in this space can make radical change in our lives. Clearing out what no longer serves us, re configuring our beliefs and re designing our lives.

So how do you embrace the shadow side?

  • No matter how we came to face our shadow side its important not to ignore it. Lean in gently to what you see, feel or realise about yourself.
  • Be open to what is there and own the stories, beliefs and emotions that arise when facing this side.
  • Take small steps to uncover what you find and what you will do to move through it.
  • Release the feelings, energies and emotions that are coming up. You can do this simply by acknowledging them, letting them come up, talking them out, writing them out and moving them out with exercise and recreation. You won't be able to think them out, only uncover more. Try not to get caught up in a spiral of these thoughts it can do more harm than good.
  • Be gentle with yourself when chartering through this territory.
  • The more you look at it the more you will see be able to change for the better.

Whether we intentionally go to work to uncover our shadow or we inadvertently wind up in this place, know that it can be rocky, icky and generally not a nice place. Be willing to sit with whatever is there, process it and move through it. Last of all know that whatever happens its all just a phase that you will be better off for living through. When you unknowingly find yourself at the other end you can reflect back and take the lessons into your life.


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