Bridging the Gap
Part 2 of 3: Facing Your Shadows
By Angel Shadow
"You must get over your own past first, if you ever expect to go on with your own life." —unknown
Somewhere on your journey, you will have to face a shadow part of yourself. Many individuals avoid these dark areas of personality, leaving them locked away in the closet of their mind. Afraid if they are released, they will be viewed as negative or not worthy of love and acceptance.
When you are judged by another individual, they are simply viewing a shadow part of themselves that has not been dealt with. This takes the responsibility off them and puts the judgment on you. Simply put, it makes them feel better about themselves. It's an attempt to take energy from you, giving them the ability to justify their actions. Remember, your point of power lies in controlling your emotional responses.
When you spend precious time judging and blaming others, you don't realize you're actually taking time away from your own soul's evolution. You need to use that time to look in the mirror and see our own shadows lurking. When you accept and recognize your own insecurities, it's easier to have compassion when these same qualities are seen in others. When you are forced to view yourself as dishonest, unreliable, selfish, and judgmental, you tend to take a step back and say, "What? Not me!" Instead, if you were to accept that these same personality traits are inside you as well, it makes you view the situation in a different light. You are less likely to point fingers.
There's a saying that goes, "When you point a finger at someone else, you have three others pointing back at yourself." So accept the fact that you may share the same shadow qualities of those you disapprove of. If you continue to only see the shadows of others, yours will stay locked inside and present themselves at a time least appropriate. Your shadow closet can only hold so much before the hinges give way and the door comes crashing down, leaving you naked and exposed.
Your Inner Wounds
Your inner wounds are simply another label for your inner shadows. They are an aspect of yourself that need attention and healing. When you avoid your inner wounds, they grow and fester until you simply can't ignore them any longer. When you encounter a shadow area that continues to manifest, it's trying to tell you, "Let me out! You need to deal with me now!" You can wrestle with this shadow and continue to hide it or you can take responsibility for it, nurture it and accept it as part of yourself. Once you do this, it will lose control and give you emotional stability regarding that particular issue.
In most cases, you won't have to deal with that aspect again because its learned to live in harmony out in the open. It's no longer stuck in the closet with the rest of your shadow no-no's. You can't heal what you don't acknowledge. Once you recognize what needs to be healed, you will know where to focus your healing energies and this awareness is very powerful. It brings the ability to change programming at very deep levels.
The type of programming you received as a child plays a large role in the type of adult you've become. Most of the time, you're not aware of the behavior you project onto others. It isn't until you take the time to acknowledge your shadows that you realize the programming that has come along for the ride.
By the time a child is four to five years old, they have been programmed to behave in a certain manner. Once this child becomes an adult, this programming is set in place and it takes concentrated effort to reprogram the areas that require change. Programming isn't always a negative thing and this, of course, depends on the programming. You can take a baby and program it to be anything you want by the time it's four or five years old. Think of the power in that, for that is the hope of humanity's future.
Programming is not changed overnight. It can take years of conscious effort to retrain your mind. This will require stepping outside your comfort zone and viewing the world in a different way. You see that things may not be the way you were taught and this realization can be painful and confusing, so be patient with yourself. When you learn to make choices that heal your issues, you are taking giant steps forward in your personal growth. The healing is painful, but worth the effort in the long run. If you avoid the issues that require healing, they stay with you like heavy baggage. Baggage that should be tossed into the raging river. Think of changing programming as climbing a mountain. It's there to teach you to climb and dig your feet in when necessary. It's also a lot easier when you lighten your load.
Dealing With Your Ego
The ego and shadow are close, personal friends, but have different personalities. The difference is that ego likes to be out in the open. It's loud and obnoxious and loves the soap box drama it creates. It loves to be seen and heard. The shadow, on the other hand, like to lurk in the background, feeding the ego with the information necessary to remain in control. The shadow is where the programming begins and the ego simply uses the information to manifest the illusion of control. This partnership has been successful for eons, so to beat the ego at its own game, you must first face your inner shadows and become friends with them. The ego will not surrender easily and it's very protective of the shadow that feeds it. It knows that once you face your inner most fears and anxieties, its entire existence will change.
You need to start moving past the ego, pushing it aside to face your shadows on your own. Rest assured, the shadow won't like being pursued, so it will panic. It will use scare tactics when it see's you coming and the closer you get, the more menacing it will become. Once it realizes you mean business, it will duck under doors and hide in closets to keep from being exposed for what it truly is. Think of this as a crossroad. You are being presented with a choice. Continue pulling the shadow out into the open so you can heal it or give up and walk away? If you walk away, the shadow won't remain in hiding for long. As soon as your back is turned, it will manifest again, until you finally have the courage to turn and face it head on. Once you confront the shadow, it loses its power and the ego has nothing left to feed on.
Seeing the Light At the End Of the Tunnel
All the experiences you have bring you one step closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. You simply have to open your eyes and see it. If you go through life feeling like the victim, you might as well put blinders on. Keep in mind that the light at the end of the tunnel doesn't always follow a straight path and if you walk around with blinders on, you'll miss the light that's shining beside you, from a different angle. Blinders prevent you from seeing crossroads since they only allow you to see what's right in front of you. They limit your vision and program your mind to only see one way.
When you remove your blinders it's like someone knocking down walls around you and you can view life in a different perspective. Standing naked in a strange land can be a bit overwhelming, but once you take time to look around, you will see this new world isn't as menacing as you once thought. You never have to accept another individuals truth as your own. Remember, all are on their own path. Just learn to have respect for those who are not like you. Life does not revolve around you and your beliefs, despite what your ego tells you.
All belief systems are a part of the whole. A piece of the puzzle necessary for the big picture to be brought to life and they all lead to the same place. Once you realize your ego/shadow self keeps humanity segregated, a whole new truth opens up to you and you're able to see the big picture. You no longer fear what's next door because you realize their piece of the puzzle is necessary for yours to become complete. Again, you don't have to follow their path, just simply acknowledge they have a part in the plan for humanity as well. They are a piece of the puzzle.
The time to break old habits is now. Humanity is the author of Earth's story, so we are responsible for what occurs in the world. It's time to wake up and cast out the shadows that hold the world captive. It's time to find our balance.
My ancestry is Irish and Cherokee Indian and I have a gypsy spirit that refuses to be fenced in. I am definitely not a conformist. Much of my life was spent under the control of others. I have now found my own personal freedom, based on my own personal truth and nothing could be more liberating. Learn more...
Did you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts and suggestions with your Facebook or Twitter friends below...