What’s In a Shadow?



“I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.”  Kahlil Gibran

Have you heard of shadow work?  Debbie Ford wrote a great book, “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.”  In it she talks about how we all have aspects of ourselves that we don’t want others to know about because we’ve been brought up to believe that those aspects are not acceptable in some way.  However my beliefs about unacceptable behaviour may be completely different from yours or other cultures.  My parents & their parents have been brought up with certain beliefs about different behaviours and these have been instilled into us over the years. This may not be conscious but when we see it in others it may ‘trigger’ us or ‘pushes our buttons.’ This awareness can actually be a lesson for us to examine why we have such an aversion to their behaviour. What is it about what they are doing that we wouldn’t want others to see in us? Debbie went on to write a second book called “The Shadow Effect,” with Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson. They both wanted to lend their weight to the topic that they think is so important to us all.

And strange as it may seem, there are ‘gifts’ in those shadows that emerge as we shine the light on them. The gifts that Gibran talks about.  There is a Law of Polarity that says, there are 2 sides to everything, so if you can be intolerant you can also be tolerant.  The joy is in being able to accept that you could be something you absolutely don’t want to own, we all could be.  In the same way, that if you notice some great things in others & don’t believe you can be that either. This is called the Light Shadow, and if you don’t acknowledge this then you are shutting yourself off from living from the full spectrum of emotions & behaviours.  Start noticing what is irritating you in others & check in to where are you, or could you be that & what is the gift! Also notice when you see something you admire in someone else & feel into whether you could be that as well.

Enjoy finding those gifts!

Leave a Reply