My shadow is not my enemy, although it can often feel that way. Society often associates the dark with what is scary, evil or fear provoking. It can often feel as if our shadows are the darkness of our psyche following us around and lurking for a chance to infiltrate our lives. The shadow often holds what people would rather stuff away and forget about. I have come to understand that my shadow is not my enemy, it is not my past left to haunt me when the sun shines on my body; and I don’t have to fear what is unseen or behind the curtain.
Embracing all parts of myself has led to some pretty profound discoveries that have allowed me to grow in various areas of my life. Don’t get me wrong, whenever I know that the light switch might illuminate a bit of my shadow self for me to see I get a bit nervous and scared. It is normal to feel anxiety about those things that are uncomfortable yet it can be those moments when I learn the most about who I really am behind the mask that I wear in the face of society everyday. Who is Crystal and what lurks behind the surface? It is important for me to always remember that there is more to me than I show to the world or else I might begin to believe that this mask is the sum of all my parts.
Carl Jung believed that the shadow self is an aspect of the unconscious mind that hides those things that later become the projections of our insecurities and feelings of fear personified. Jung is quoted in saying, “Everyone carries a shadow and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” This leads to my statement of feeling as if my shadow may often feel like it is my enemy but it is not. Instead it might be one of the most important pieces of myself to face and work with in order to come to a true acceptance of myself, my power, my ancestry, my past and the world around me.
My shadow often creates a underlining sense of inadequacies that infiltrate all aspects of my world. It is the fear that makes it challenging to reach out to a world that often can be judgmental and reject people without credence to what that might mean. My shadow separates me from the world and creates a distance between me and those around me.
When I embrace it, I can allow Yemaya to come in and use her power to wash away those things that stop me from rising to my highest self. I remember a client once saying that treatment and AA was a type of brainwashing. Another client in the group responded and said that sometimes we need to have our brain washed and with this I agree. Sometimes we all need the chance to filter out those things that no longer serve us so that we can make room for the things that do, all the time realizing that our shadows serve a valuable purpose in our lives.
One of the reasons this blog is so important to my own sense of personal development is for this reason alone; it is a way to shed some light on the collective shadows of society, the Wiccan community and within myself as a individual practitioner who is growing in her ability to be exactly who I am at all times.
While we walk our paths in the sun light of the summer, I hope we choose to acknowledge the bit of darkness that follows us throughout our day…. etched in our image and outlined on the sidewalk of our journeys.