Your greatest gifts may still be in your shadow
If we hurt the people around us or get into self-destructive patterns we might hear that our shadow is driving our behavior. Self-sabotage or a messy blind-spot that impacts those around us is only part of the story when it comes to the human shadow.
Shadows are simply unexpressed aspects of our self. They most often form during our early years when we learn how to get love and security. Trauma, wounds, cultural norms, and the karmic entanglements with our primary caregivers shape how we choose to express our sense of self. Our shadows form through the messages those around us teach us about who we are and what is acceptable and safe behaviors. As we grow, shadows drive our own self-doubt, shame, fear, and limiting beliefs. Shadows become the governor to our own brilliance.
In the process of staying safe, we often bury our greatest gifts. In the shadow lives the part of our self that believes we have it in us to pursue our dreams, to be bold and free and creative. In the shadow often lives the confidence and certainty to step fully into our purpose, to design a life we desire, to launch that new business, or leave an unhealthy relationship, or move to a new place, or write the book, or get on stage, or (insert here that thing that has been whispering in your ear and causing an itch in your soul for years). In the shadow lives the vital life force energy to get off the couch, out of the rut, and to live on the outer edges of your most audacious mission in the world.
In order to reclaim from our shadow a bolder and more electric version of ourselves, we must face the wounds of the past and heal the places in our heart-mind where we turned away from our own brilliance. Once we’ve expressed and transmuted our own shame, grief, anguish, rage, etc. we reclaim the energy stored in repressing it. This energy allows us to rewire the story we tell ourselves about our own value and purpose. This is why those who are brave enough to face their own dark side live more fully in their own light. This sparkling gold mined from the depths is perhaps the greatest gift we can give the world around us.
Come do some shadow work with me. We have a few more spots for next weekend’s Shadow Work Weekend.