Light and Shadow

Dolphin Arabesque

This is a piece I wrote on another blog I had years ago, and I still feel it is relevant today, so here it is in its entirety:

There are 12 days left to December 21, 2012 and I think no one would deny that, with the worldwide activation taking place at this time, we are more than ripe for dealing with our “shadow”.

I use the term “shadow” here as defined by Jung’s second (2) definition: “… the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious, or (2) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not recognise in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one’s shadow (especially in people with low self-esteem)*.

A dear friend of mine recently mentioned, “All the people who claim to be in the light, and only in the light, all seem to forget that they are casting huge shadows…” And I agree; I would even add that the brighter the light, the more distinct the shadow. Remove the light, however, and the shadow vanishes. The shadow absolutely requires the presence of the light to be detected. Without light, there is only utter darkness… 

Notice that the source of light itself casts no shadow since it radiates in all directions… If a candle flame could shine in a complete void… there would be no shadow. Shadows are cast by what lives in the in-between space of light and whatever surface on which it can be cast  ̶  by all that intercepts the light on its way to that “surface” in its vicinity. 

My first step in identifying what “casts my shadows”, was getting to know the nature of the “flame” and that of the “surface”… I see the former as my inner spark of the Divine and the latter as the great manifestation of All That Is… The in-between objects that intercept the light are the places in me that block the ease and flow between the two. Laid-out this way, they became easy for me to see. Especially because as soon as I identify a shadow-object, I only need to look at it from both sides ̶ both the lit up one and the one that remains in the shadow ̶ to see it revealed in all its perfect imperfection, or its fragile wound… which are also beautiful once they are owned and healed.

For me, this has meant dealing with such aspects of myself as my tendency to get side-tracked; my reluctance to get to bed before 3 am, and my fear of expressing the full spectrum of my inner potency for fear of attracting negative and potentially violent attention (to name a few!) 

Their light aspects are, respectively, my quick-silver mind and ability to think laterally; the creative connection I feel with the mysteries of the night that inspire me into the wee hours, and my willingness to more and more allow the innate organic manifestation of my being…

The more I look on those aspects in their entirety – the more self-compassion, impish humour, and humble acceptance for them I can muster – the less I get caught up in their “stories.” My internal defensive speeches and justifications melt away and I encounter myself at their meeting point of light and shadow – the constantly evolving leading edge of my “becomingness”…  

I love this unified light… it shines with a deeper burnish than before… and is much more human than the impossible standard “our light side” tends to wish for us when it forgets its “hidden” half. Hmm… Maybe that’s why we love the moon so much.