Shadow Work

Dark moments happen to all of us. It is the contrast of living in a human body. If we didn’t have the dark, we wouldn’t recognize the light and vice versa. It is what we do with those dark moments that is important. This year has been full of such moments for me. The first instinct is to hide, crawl into a corner and make myself invisible to not have to deal with it. I have found, however, that by opening up in those dark times a spark of light comes in. Sometimes it is just a flicker and if I treat it gently it gets brighter.

Today, as I sit in my cave of darkness, curtains drawn, lights off and in complete silence I give in to a moment of emptiness and sadness. I don’t wish for outside intervention, for caring concerned loved ones, for smiles and laughter. I only want to experience the hurt and anguish. I want to get in touch with that place inside where I filed away the fear, the worry, the anger, the nightmares of the past year. I call them all out, asking them to show me their strongest and worst presence. I speak to them gently, not with the rage I expected to feel. I say “I love you.” I embrace them all as a mother would a baby. My heart is pounding as one by one I release each emotion. I honor this part of me – the dark side because it is real and raw. It doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is. I say “thank you.” The experiences of life have no meaning unless we use them to get real with ourselves. I feel gratitude for the journey. I say “please forgive me.” I dishonored myself and my emotions by not letting them be expressed fully. Forgiveness is the secret weapon that frees us from ourselves. I say “I’m sorry.” Sometimes being human is hard. I make mistakes. I own it.

I know there will be more dark times, more moments of confronting that part of me that is needed for balance. If I leave it unchecked, it will continue to grow in strength because that is how the process works; just like cancer when it is left unchecked and untreated.

It is time for some real awakening. It has to begin with the darkest side of us. Love it, honor it, release it to the light. There really is nothing to fear but fear itself. I love you.

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