THE SHADOW

We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.   – Carl Jung

Today I feel a deep, profound and abiding sense of love that acts as a healing balm to all old wounds.

In the middle of her life, my mother developed an aversion to sunlight. It was an allergic response that manifested itself physically through welts on exposed areas of flesh, especially about her face. It was as though her body took offence to the very healing nature of sunlight itself, rejecting the source of all things; of truth and life itself. I see now that it may not have been the sun itself, but rather an essential byproduct of sunlight that results as it is casts its light down on us from up above. There can be no shadow without sunlight… and other than one peak moment of high noon, there can be no sun without shadow. At closer look, they appear to be two sides of the same coin. Without sun, there can be no life. Without shadow, we bypass the awareness of our true nature and lose the ability to see our inner truth as we return to our essence.

As Jung and other early trailblazers of human psychology have offered, human nature is a complex algorithm of the nature of all things. To see our wholeness requires self-awareness of all that lies beneath the surface of our conscious mind. In the subconscious and unconscious mind lies all our fears, doubts and misgivings; not only from past days of our own experience, but also a result of all days throughout time, recalling the collective experiences of all humanity. Some events are much closer to us than others. Certain past events affect us in ways too profound to register within the proximity of time, our already too fragile consciousness exposed to its max.

And so it was with my mother. How heavy and oppressive the shadow side of life must have been for her. How necessary it became, indeed the very feat of her survival depended on her ability to leave her shadow undisturbed, away from her sensitized mortal eyes. It was her eyes that first revealed her unspoken truth. They swelled like balloons into two puffer-fish like features that obliterated her vision for days, as a mediator by way of an allergic response to the foundation of life, set in. “You shall not see what you need not endure for a second time, for you have already endured it once and it took its heavy toll on you”. Everyone has a limit and for my mother as well as innumerable others who have suffered more than their fair share, this limit was long ago breached. The wisdom of nature itself determined that the shadow-land of this human being must never rear its head, preventing its re-inscription from reaching up to the surface of consciousness. And so her body’s perfect alibi obliged, loyally manifesting as an allergic reaction to the very sunlight that might awaked the sleeping shadow.

I have for many years had a deep fascination with my own physical shadow. I look upon old photos and see numerous photographs I took of my own shadow, finding a mesmerizing perspective through their elusive reality. I did not know how or why this force of nature attached itself to me until this moment. I see now that it has become my obligation as well as my privilege to carry on the work of past generations; to embrace the shadow that those before me could not.

I cannot say it has been easy work, or that I could have been willing or prepared at an earlier time, until gaining the necessary tools. But now, unveiling the mysteries suspended within no longer seems threatening to me. I view each insight as it reveals itself to me as a gift. I see fear, pain, sadness and numerous other disquieting emotions; the multiple human emotions we face along our journey, each aspect another representation of our collective human experience. I can begin to see now how it is that only by experiencing the full spectrum of human emotions, can we be in harmony with nature itself.  Yet through our aversion of discomfort, we too often remain unconscious of the gifts locked deep within, shunted away from awareness.

The maximal force of inner havoc is wreaked by the steady grip we exert through our effort to block out these difficult emotions. Who amongst us would choose freely to live from fear, anger or sadness? Who amongst us would choose deliberately to live from anything other than our true nature of love?

We are too easily dissuaded by the discomfort evoked by the emotions we experience, preferring instead to keep them safely locked within and thus denying our selves of their healing gifts. Each new day, there are new opportunities to unearth the trove of withheld emotions, enabling us access to healthy responses that may flow forth freely to be released. In choosing to flow with nature, we become free to witness the world in all its splendour, full of order and chaos alike. Just as the natural world is constantly seeking to move itself to a higher order of energy, we too are free to be one with the universal flow.

Each of us is but a small part of the whole universe, but each small part is innately sufficient to contribute its profound influence towards elevating humanity. In choosing to evolve towards becoming the highest potential expression of who we are, we elevate not only our selves but also the entire universe. Understanding Einstein’s laws of energy conservation, we are compelled to agree these laws must serve everyone equally. We are one and all connected through an invisible thread of energy, and thus so long as one aspect of self changes, the whole is impacted.

As we uncover aspects of our shadow and increasingly reveal our hidden truth, we enable all aspects of self to be released from their tomb within, and mobilized. Energy blocked is transformed into energy in motion… thus, e-motion. The freedom we experience is real. We instantly feel lifted, lighter, and increasingly aware of an abundance of light surrounding us. We begin to dissolve our long held shadow simply by exposing its elusive contents. We have the ability to do what those who came before us could not.

Today, I honour my mother and father, and all past generations who have generously granted me this lifetime. I choose to take this opportunity to expose another aspect of my shadow. May I become increasingly free to represent all those beloved souls who contributed to my bounty. May their memories be a blessing to others as well as myself. Through their assistance, may I continue to be given the opportunity to shine a light to transform shadow and uplift others throughout the world.