“The higher the sun rises, the less shadow it casts.” – Lao Tzu
This has been an interesting topic for me as for few years with careful observations into people life, their behaviors and psychology , I realized that every person has a dark side to him/her. This is the person lesser known to people around and is also less familiar to the person himself/herself. With years of practice they have mastered the art of concealing this shadow self. This shadow is always there with us and I am sure we hear it during our weakest moments. Understanding our shadow self is a journey that take us to the heart of the duality that exists within each one of us. It is the split between the higher self and the lower nature; a split between emotional pain and spiritual liberation.
Our ego likes to think that we are inherently good human beings and we don’t dwell in any negativity. But then one day when somebody hurts us, we go overboard with anger and resentment. In another situation, if we experience failure or someone unexpectedly points a finger at us, we are suddenly filled with fear, confusion and guilt. Our first instinct in such situations usually is to defend ourselves and protect our identity.
This storehouse of emotions in your shadow has an immense role to play in your relationship with yourself, particularly in setting yourself free. The world is simply a mirror, reflecting back to us our own inner state. If you are overflowing with love for yourself and others, you’ll experience people who are feeling this love and their love is reflected back towards you. On the other hand, if all you see in your outer world is disharmony, anger and fights, then there must be an inner battle happening deeper inside. Every aspect of our self that we have denied, every thought and feeling that we think are unacceptable eventually makes itself known in our lives. We have mastered the art of locking our feelings (negative) and we consciously ignore them and move forward in life. These unattended feelings and tendencies then emerge when we least expect them and destroy our lives, reputation and hard work in minutes. The shadow is very much a part of you, if we can accept it and love it without being judgmental or resentful it can lead to deeper understanding of your soul. So many of us have walked the hall of shame due to these shadows taking over our lives and made us live a life of misery and pain for years.
Awareness and acceptance is the only way to improve. We can start confronting and dealing with our shadow selves in our day to day life by being aware; a short Q n A for our shadow aspect can help us understand what needs to be worked on as nicely illustrated by a friend Teal Scott (she carries out shadow house series) For any strong negative thought just go ahead asking the following questions in the order it best suits: 1. What does it mean to you? 2. Why will that be so bad? Once you drill down you will realize the negative thought /strong dislike or hate for a person or the action is closely linked with your shadow self and needs to be worked within rather than asking or expecting the other person to change. As a next article if you like we can do a sample shadow work; feel free to post your queries and will be happy to work it out together – Love Sargam