From Darkness To Light- Integrating the Shadow Within
By Louisa LoveLouisahealing.com
Much of the work I am focusing my attention on at the moment is about integrating the shadow. What does it mean to integrate the shadow? And what is the shadow
The shadow is anything we feel ashamed about, or it can also be seen as our repressed inner child that demands being heard during certain emotional trigger points. The shadow emerges its dark head when we are challenged and it usually causes havoc within our relationships. This darkness if left to take us over will consume every fibre of our being in its tantrum. It demands, and it will blame, scream, cry, manipulate, and generally act in a way that we would severely judge in others. It is always easy to see the shadow in others of course, and once on the path from unconsciousness to consciousness it can be easy to fall into the spiritual ego trap of “I am more evolved, or more spiritual than you” way of thinking. The Ego, that which will either make us smaller or bigger than others, works hand in hand with our shadow.
So how can we bring the light and love of our higher self to the darkness of our shadow? We need to get very honest, clear and present with ourselves. We need to admit the truth of our feelings, and allow our feelings to guide us to the truth of what is going on within. The shadow or repressed inner child feels unloved and unaccepted. It needs to be heard and it needs compassion, unconditional love and understanding in order to heal. When we reject parts of ourselves these parts become dark and begin to fester, and it will remain there, hidden within, and won’t go anywhere until it is seen, heard,
understood and accepted from a place of compassion and love.
Mindfulness is intrinsic to the process of healing the shadow. We need to be able to catch ourselves in the process of having our judgmental thoughts. We need to then look at that behaviour we are judging, and how we judge it within ourselves. I love using Emotional Freedom Technique coupled with meditation for this particular shadow work.
Here is an example of shadow work in my life. My mother often called me evil as a child. It is only very recently that I was shown that this was still hidden within my shadow. I denied my shadow by pushing it away and saying of course I am not evil, but deep down it still hurt, and I felt the shame and sting of that judgment in my being. So I tapped the statement, “Even though I am evil, I unconditionally love and accept myself just the way I am”. This way I embraced my darkness, and the very thing I cringed at, or felt uncomfortable with, I decided to embrace within me. Now this doesn’t mean that I am going to commit evil acts! No, it simply means I’m embracing all of this darkness and unconsciousness within me, and to love myself regardless of how others have judged me, or continue to judge me. It also doesn’t mean that I condone evil acts, but rather that there is a deeper understanding and compassion for those of us who still act unconsciously. I now have no more shame around this judgment and am truly free from that particular childhood wound.
As we embrace more and more of our shadow, we will begin to feel a deep compassion and love for others. The judgments we’ve projected outwards will begin to diminish, and it will be reflected in our outer reality. We won’t need to take things so personally anymore. Forgiveness will become much easier to do.
There can be times on our spiritual path that we really just want to focus on love and light, and this can be so wonderful, but we need to be careful not to do this at the expense of our pain. When we deny our wounds and our darkness, we will eventually receive a spiritual ‘wake up call’ from the Universe. Life itself will bring challenging scenarios and relationships into our life for us to work through our inner darkness. We cannot bypass this process of inner work if we really want to be spiritually free. Our job is to trust that life knows what it is doing. We are life! Life will bring us everything we need to free ourselves from our own fears and traumas. If the soul wants to be free it will show us where we are still enslaved by our own beliefs and fears. If the soul wants to feel empowered, it will bring us situations or relationships where we feel victimized or disempowered. Once we get how it really works, and our faith in the process strengthens, the process of unraveling the shadow becomes much easier to accept.
If we can let go of the shame we feel of this timely PROCESS of healing, and step into a deep faith in the process of our unfolding, then we really begin to shift rapidly. The deeper we go, the stronger our trust and faith in ourselves and in life will become. Eventually we get to a place where it gets easy to accept the challenges. We immediately ask ourselves what we’re meant to learn here, or how this situation is serving our soul’s growth. Perhaps we just need to grieve, or perhaps we are called to speak our truth and to put down a firm boundary in self-love and respect. We begin to flow in this beautiful synchronized dance inwards towards a place of radical freedom, unconditional love and the light that embraces ALL of who we are and where we’ve come from. This will reflect outwards as compassion and will arise spontaneously and flow outwards. Keeping the faith, remaining patient and plugging away at purifying ourselves on all levels is what so many of us are now called to do.