Our Shadow Selves – The Key to Our Freedom

This has clearly been a time of shadow selves emerging not only in the collective, but in our individual lives as well. It used to be that the very phrase, “shadow self,” would trigger fear and loathing to arise within us.

All these places within that we’ve been avoiding for so long – who knew they held the key to our freedom? Every time we notice a shadow-self emerge, and instead of avoiding it, we turn towards it and accept it, we come one step closer to what appears to me to be ultimate freedom.

For so long I have been doing the opposite, either fooling myself into thinking I could just ignore these shadows, or praying for them to go away. So what has prevented me from looking these shadows square in the face and accepting them? Mostly, it has been shame.

We all know that shame is a difficult one, even for those of us who have had some experience in allowing our feelings to be felt. What I hadn’t noticed was that shame can also be very well disguised, such that I have often talked myself into simply turning a blind eye to what was being presented for me to integrate. There was always some sort of rationalization that would save me from having to feel what was going on. But in the end, it was simply shame that I didn’t want to feel.

So during this last go-round of my shadow appearing in ways that made it impossible to ignore, I recognized that it was indeed shame that I needed to welcome and allow to be there, and just feel it in the most accepting and relaxed way that I could. In this way, I was able to allow the shame to pass through my energy fields unimpeded, and it eventually cleared.

And certainly there could be no more escaping these shadow selves that had appeared. No more thinking they would go away on their own, or were parts of me that I would eventually rise above, which indicates I was still holding on to a definition of spirituality that didn’t include anything yucky. Far from it. It appears that true spirituality includes it all, from the most light-filled to the darkest parts of ourselves.

And guess what? After integrating the shadows that had presented themselves, accepting their presence as a part of me, and being gut-wrenchingly honest with myself as to my part in avoiding them, I now feel so much less afraid of whatever might get triggered moving forward. Knowing I faced and allowed the shame, I am more at ease with simply being alive, not so much living in dread of the next shadow that might get triggered.

By not accepting my shadows, I had effectively avoided fully committing to life itself. I simply wasn’t wholly present, always wondering what would be revealed next. I am anticipating more shadows to emerge in the days to come, but I am optimistic that I can continue to face them now, rather than push them away.

It’s amazing what transformation that feeling our feelings can actually engender, isn’t it?