“The best way to deal with he darkness of other people is to deal with your own.’
Photo republished thanks for Unsplash
In our lifetime, for each and every one of us, there will come a time that we have to face the shadow in ourselves; to stare it full in the face. The shadow? It is the disowned parts of ourselves that we smother and cast out of the light into the depths our psyche. The quiet murky place where fear can dwell. The shadow side can often be entangled with trauma (or with the trauma we have caused an other that we’d rather not look at). It may be accompanied by a sense of terror that if the world sees this side of us it will no longer love us but if it is not faced, it will appear nonetheless and push through when we aren’t expecting it. Then it will be unleashed, unwieldy, spiteful.
Often life will thrust us into the underworld. Undergoing a life transition like becoming a parent or menopause for those with female bodies. The separation from a loved one, illness, accident, death of an other can take us down into the quiet murky depths where we are alone with the shadow.
For those who have been there, or are there now, yes, you have have been thrust into the very place you least wanted to go. You may feel utter despair but there is hope but in the dark others are here, and above you there are some who are reaching down from above, thrusting their forearms down to help you. Ignore the voice that says you don’t deserve to take their hand, that you can and should do this alone, that no one understands. Know this shadow eats shame for every meal and the antidote is to turn and face it. See it for what it is – a hurt child, a person wounded by an other, or by many others, fear itself. Take its hand and bring it into your heart and watch the light come in, experience what resurrection feels like.
Wise counsel from others, story telling and myth and those who have been here before you will show you how to integrate all your parts, how to eat the poison apple and how this is actually the medicine that you need to absorb in order to initiate a transformation so you may elevate back to earth stonger, wiser, and more able to say the words that you were too nice to say before.
Note: for reference tales think Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Vasalissa the Wise, Fox Woman Dreaming, Persephone -from the Greeks.