“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”
~ Debbie Ford ~
I read this quote earlier today on Moving The Sun To Shine In Dark Places, one of my favourite Facebook pages.
I am a great fan of Debbie Ford’s work, reading her book “The Dark Side of the Lightchasers” certainly helped me understand my Shadow and how it impacted on my life. I was recovering from a full on break-down at the time, and my world was full of darkness because I couldn’t find a way to be in the light all the time.
When we embark on pursuing a spiritual path, we are often under the false impression that this is a path to perfection, and a path to a place where there is only good and we will live happily ever after. Many of us are also under the impression that to arrive at that place, we must be pure and pious……. and so we turn ourselves up-side-down and inside-out in an endeavour to rid ourselves of anything within our being that could possibly be considered a flaw.
And then we become disappointed because we a flogging a dead horse – what we are working towards doesn’t exist – and this is in fact a path to destruction.
Reading Debbie Ford’s work on the Shadow, and a few other books, I started to understand that the path to authenticity is about embracing all aspects of my being, even the bits that I had been told over the years were not nice. I talk too much, I am too loud, I am too messy, I am too disorganised, I am too inflexible, I am a bitch, I am fat, l look old because I have grey hair, I am too direct, I beat around the bush, I am too hard, I am too soft, I am too gullible, I don’t trust others enough…. blah blah blah blah….
I am indeed, at times, all of those things to some degree or other according to someone’s perspective. What really matters is my perspective of how these things impact on me – and gradually I started to make peace with these aspects of myself. They are all part of me, and the more I brought them in to the inner circle of who I am, and not try to keep them locked up away from sight, the easier they became to manage. I started to honour what these things brought me… my work is very dependent on me being able to talk for long periods of time, being able to project my voice is handy when I am speaking to larger groups of people, my messiness is directly linked to my creativity, my disorganisation means that I can think on my feet very quickly and am good at problem solving, my inflexibility means that I am able to confidently stand my ground… channeling my inner bitch can be useful when I need to get something done and others aren’t co-operating… and so it goes on….
Learning to love every bit of you – even the bits that are really yuck – is paramount to authenticity….. and pursuing a spiritual path is really about coming back to the truth of who you are and the essence of your soul.
There can be no day without night…… there can be no enlightenment without the embracing of the shadow.