SHADOW WISDOM  

( extracted and rewritten from “The Possibility Exists” - available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2Ba2AN0 )

SHADOW :  "A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface."  - Oxford Dictionary

Hey you. Yeah you. Wanna know what’s in your shadow? Nah, I didn’t think so.

In truth, none of us do. Because

our egos prefer us to not be curious about the dark, but…. then again, you just might be one of those people who knows that darkness is simply the absence of light. You just might be curious enough to read on….

Let’s start with when I first recognised an aspect of my own shadow.  I was raised to be very independent. That’s a good thing.  But the unspoken (shadow) aspect of that upbringing was “it is not good to be dependent. Not good at all.” As a young adult, I hadn’t realised that I did not like to be around people who were needy and dependent. I fact, I looked down on them from my high perch.  

Anyone who didn’t work for a living – SCROUNGERS!!

People who were very needy – GIVE THEM A GOOD KICK UP THE ASS!!

I also steered clear of people who always had problems, and , even worse, people who actually TALKED ABOUT THEIR ISSUES!! 

Then, in my Christian phase, I became a “good person.” I actually started talking with people who were very needy. I got down and chatted to homeless people too. I listened to their problems. Wow! How good was I ! I was fooling myself – again !

Then, as I began to outgrow Christianity and develop my consciousness, I was hit with a realization. I wasn’t a “good person” at all – I had simply found another way not to engage with my own shadow. Sure, I helped others who were needy, but here’s why. Because …. Because….     I couldn’t bear to look at my own neediness, let alone admit it to others, or – horror of horrors – actually explore it and bring it into the light. At that time, my mind was full of thoughts like “Just keep on doing what you're doing. Just keep on going. You can do this on your own.” – even though I was very low, unhappy, depressed, and needing support. BUT – I couldn’t admit it to myself, and reach out.  

One of the turning points was when I visited a doctor and was prescribed anti-depressants. I was horrified! What? Me? I don’t take anti-depressants. So I left – but two weeks later, I found myself in front of  an angel. Well, not exactly one with wings, but a medical doctor who was also a homeopath – and more importantly - she had a heart. When she listened to what was going on in my life, she simply said “ That must be difficult for you.”  I remember hearing the compassion oin her voice, and weeping - inside. But, of course, I didn’t cry openly.  

But then, having primed me, she looked into my eyes and asked me a very simple question – “How are you with sympathy?” This time, I cried. A lot. A dam burst open. A full hour later (I kid you not!) I left, feeling much lighter – and with no prescription for anti-depressants! My shadow had been well and truly exposed.

"The truth", it is said, "will set you free." The truth ? I WAS NEEDY -  I NEEDED SUPPORT.  I NEEDED LOVE. I NEEDED TO BE UNDERSTOOD. I NEEDED TO TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT LIFE HAD BECOME .

As I slowly began to explored this and other aspects of my shadow, I realized that the reason I had hidden these aspects away was because I was ashamed of them.  Have you ever had the thought “ I shouldn’t be needy.”  Or maybe it’s “I shouldn’t have think those extremely edgy/sexy thoughts” – or another common one - “Anger is a waste of energy.”   Or  we project our shadow outwards: “I can’t stand( or, I’m afraid of, or I just don’t like ) people who are … needy/sensual/ angry.”  

We keep our neediness hidden away – by always showing up as strong, independent,  verbose, “powerful.”   We deny our curiosity about our sexuality, and our longing to explore it in different ways. We repress our anger, because we learned, early on,  that anger was a scary emotion – and so it’s best to suppress it. 

That’s one of our little tricks when it comes to shadow – we deny it.   We have lots more tricks up our sleeves too, all there to ABSOLUTELY MAKE SURE THAT NO ONE GETS A GLIMMER OF OUR SHADOW.

The shadow is ‘who you’re not.’ To be more accurate it’s WHO YOU THINK YOU’RE NOT. When your mind has convinced you of who or what you are (e.g. a good Christian) it will tend to reject or run away from anything that is the opposite (e.g. a bad non-believer)  - in others AND IN YOURSELF.  

Of course, as I discovered, when you reject what you find in yourself and in others, you simply  build even more disconnection. And so, you’re simply fuelling the ego’s mantra “I’m separate from others.”  You will find that your “positive self-image” is based on some measure of success/others opinions of you – all coming from the outside world. But notice that self-image, even a positive one, is still an image. It’s not you.

This is why people jump off bridges when they lose their business, or their partner, or something they are very attached to. They have built their whole sense of identity on the external world, and more particularly, on attachment to an image of themselves. Without that image being reflected back to it ( e.g. by others people’s opinions ) any ego-based identity will struggle.

Bringing your own darkness into the light of your consciousness is one way to begin a journey into wholeness – into your true nature, which is NOT the ego, and NOT the shadow. It’s something else entirely.

And if your mind wants to know what it is, here’s two valid answers –

“The kingdom of heaven is with you”

“The Tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal Tao.”

 ( extracted and rewritten from “The Possibility Exists” - available on Amazon https://amzn.to/2Ba2AN0 )

© Eoin Scolard

2019

 

Image courtesy of NC Editions - https://www.facebook.com/nc.editions/?tn-str=k*F 

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