I understand now that all of this is necessary. That all of me is necessary – the light side as well as the shadow side. The shadow is incredibly important to me and I value it as much as I value the light. I know now that you cannot have one without the other and why would you want to they are both so valuable and important.
My shadow side (my fears, my anger, my powerlessness) is there to help me expand. I used to believe that in my quest to understand myself and what was going on with me; in all of the books I read and diary writing and thinking and talking, I used to unconsciously believe that it was all leading somewhere. Like one day I would pick up a book and that would be it, that book would be the one, I would have all the answers, I would be happy and life would stop being such a struggle. Somewhere along the way recently I realised how unrealistic that was and I realised that there was never going to be “that point”. I realised that I am always going to have a shadow side because that is the nature of us. We are made up of polar opposites and so is our world. We could not know peace without first having known turmoil. We could not know true happiness and contentment without also experiencing sadness. Anger leads us to learn compassion and forgiveness. Fear leads us to learn about courage and about our own power and ability. And so on.
The only difference now is that I do not fight against my shadows I accept them, I work with them and I truly do love them for their purpose and value to me. From my shadows I have grown. From my shadows I have broken open, shed layer after layer of fear and false belief and become something greater than before. I will always get scared and angry but now I do not resist it. I accept it, I allow it its true place in my life. It is not the negative thought or feeling being there that is causing the pain. It is your thought that the negative feeling should not be there that actually causes the pain. Accepting and allowing negative aspects of yourself to be there does not mean that you will be stuck with them or that they will take over you. It actually means the opposite.
"Your shadow side is part of you and to battle with it is to battle with yourself."
What you resist persists! It is your resistance to the negativity that is causing it to stay, you become stuck in resistance. We are taught to try try try, work, try harder, make things happen, probably in every day of our lives. We are taught that the harder we try the more we can achieve and the more control we can gain over the situation. And so naturally with our emotions as soon as we feel
something we don’t like, we decide we don’t want it there and we react by trying very hard in all sorts of ways to remove it. After a while we still haven’t removed this negative emotion and resort to denying it, at which point we gather all sorts of distraction techniques to try to escape that feeling we no longer want to feel.
It’s not surprising then that the last thing that would occur to us is to stop trying and allow. A simple as this sounds, it is something that, in our culture, we find hard to do. It scares us in fact. To allow your shadow side or negative feelings to be be there, to accept them and love them and work with them is not only courageous, it is also the only way to find peace. You are not going to wake up one day and have all the answers, your struggles and fears are not going to magically dissipate once you have children or get that job or find that partner. Your shadow side is part of you and to battle with it is to battle with yourself.
I am no longer at war with myself and it is bringing me peace.
"How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole" -Carl Jung