Our greatest desire is to be love
All we really want is to give love, to receive love and to be love in the world. But how can we achieve this greatest of life's desires if we are not whole and loving within ourselves? We cannot. Without restoring the wholeness and fullness within ourselves, we can only experience a glimpse or an estimate of our truth or it cannot be sustained. To realize the love and wholeness that we truly are, we MUST restore love to all the parts of ourselves. We must turn towards and embrace our shadow and bring it into the light.
A barrier to love is that we have rejected parts of ourselves & created "shadows"
As we grow up, we all go through experiences of what we perceive as betrayal, judgment, abuse, rejection, control, guilt, shame or other situations that are experienced as traumatic to "our child." These experiences and our perception of them become part of our conscious and subconscious life-story that is steeped in emotional attachments and limiting beliefs.
What we really wanted when we were children and even now as adults was to love and be loved. However, in many of those childhood experiences, we then also rejected the parts of ourselves(even the"good parts") that we felt others rejected in us. We split off parts of ourselves in a strategy to be loved more and to survive at that time. It was a natural, human-thing to do. We all do it. However, by rejecting those parts of ourselves, we became less than whole in our experience of life and we became less than the fullness of love that we truly are at our core. By separating off parts of our self, we build up the "shadow-self" ... the collection of all the parts that we do not or "cannot" love.
Some examples of shadow creation and how it can set up conflict and separation within self:
- A child grows up in a family with a parent that is very critical. As a strategy to be loved, the child becomes a perfectionist that is fearful of making mistakes or doing something wrong. As an adult, the person's own self critic is on "over-drive" and they are ultra sensitive to feedback. They never feel good enough and may create life situations that reinforce this. As a perfectionist, they procrastinate and often sabotage themselves in fear of getting it wrong.
- A child perceives from their parent(s) that hard work is valued, but play is not. To be loved by their parent(s), they reject the "playful" part within themselves and their "self-worth" gets tied up in what they do or achieve through their work, rather being loved just for who they are. They may struggle with balance and find it difficult to just let go and have fun.
- A child witnesses or experiences an "unhealthy" conflict and interprets this as "unloving" or not safe. Consequently, the person suppresses their own truth, opinions and feelings to avoid conflict with others in fear that they might not be liked or loved if they have a differing opinion. They cage themselves in a world view where they allow other people to control them because they cannot speak out.
We cannot hide from our shadows
As human beings we have been conditioned to avoid darkness and hide from the shadows. There is a perceived danger there, so we get in the habit of running from shadow or trying to cover it up with distractions and means of escape. TV, video games, over-eating, drugs, sex, or material possessions are sometimes strategies to avoid dealing with the shadow that calls to us from the dark. It seems illogical to go into the shadow in order to resolve it, but that is exactly what we need to do.
Until we answer the call of the shadow, we will never be truly free. If we have not embraced and integrated our shadows, then those "parts" that we split off in our past, will play out in our present reality and it will be impossible to sustain being in the joyful present. When we have not dealt with our shadow, those past "rejected parts" will re-emerge and take over a situation - usually creating a "disaster!" These limiting patterns will emerge again and again until we face the shadow directly.
To be free, we must turn towards our shadows, love them and discover their gifts
True freedom and lasting happiness comes when we turn towards our shadows, embrace them and love them. They will reveal to us where we have given away our power, liberty and love. They will show us where to find the true love that we seek. When we shine light upon them, they will become part of our strength and our light in the world. They are a doorway to the lasting joy, love and the wholeness we all seek.
I invite you to embrace your shadows and restore them into your light!
Please let me know if I can assist you in this profound journey to reclaim and awaken to the wholeness of you! In our shadow work, you will learn to bring your hidden shadows into the light, forgive them, embrace them and discover their profound gifts.