I feel like the Universe has been sending me a lot of lessons in the past few of months about the light and shadow aspects of myself and others. Authors such as Caroline Myss (The Sacred Contract) have written about these aspects and talk about our capacity to work within the light or shadow of who we are. Every part of our personality has two sides.
Now some might claim they only ever work within the light and always have good intentions towards others. And most of the time that will be true.
But it’s when we’re hurt by someone, things don’t go our way or we feel backed into a corner that our shadow aspects come out. A shadow can manifest as resentment, martyrdom, claiming victimhood, anger or just plain meaness. It can be vindictive, manipulative and scathing of the sensitivities of others. It can lead us to ignore the pain we cause while we flounder around in our own hurts and feelings.
Stay in the shadows for too long and you may find you’re moving to the extreme where you rage at the world and demand retribution, or direct negative energy towards others to get your own back.
A while ago, a wise friend said there are no good or bad people, just people. And I believe that to be true. We will all shift between the shadowy parts of ourselves (the so-called ‘bad bits’) and the lighter parts (the ‘good bits’) over and over again in our lifetimes. That’s just part of being the perfectly imperfect humans we are.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that we all have shadows and perhaps by acknowledging them, and looking them straight in the eye, we can learn to balance them better with our lightness. Perhaps that will stop them roaring out when we strike an obstacle. A balance between our shadows and our lightness is the key to a more balanced existence.
The shadows that lie within all of us aren’t bad, they are just part of who we are. But how we choose to manage those shadow aspects is the true sign of who we seek to become in this lifetime.