It is only because of my hard-fought, but tenacious, relationship with the darkness, that I am able to embrace the magnificence and warmth of the light. I was determined to sit with the uncomfortable and the ugly. I am sure that this conviction was born out of necessity: I simply wanted to live in peace.
I have discovered that peace – true and lasting peace – comes with a price. It is at the expense of coming face to face with your own demons. And it is in the dark that those forces dwell. They like the dark because you can’t see them, but they’re there – waiting and creating internal havoc and pain. I knew the way for outer peace would mean going into the shadows and doing the true soul work, also known as shadow work.
There was no room for anyone else there. This was a solo mission – one that only required a few qualities: truthful acceptance, patience and persistence. Fear is allowed, but a desire for wholeness, truth and healing must far outweigh the fear. My desire was not to rid myself of the shadows that exist in me. No. Instead I wanted to know them better – understand why they existed at all and discover their value and purpose in my life. I didn’t want to extinguish or destroy them, I wanted to learn to co-exist with them.
I had to begin by truthfully acknowledging exactly what dark energies existed in the shadow – in my soul. To look eye-to-eye with those energies took courage and the ability to be honest – no excuses and, equally as important, no condemnation. It’s not about beating myself up and thinking less of me. It is about understanding that everyone has a shadow side. It’s the underbelly of our existence – the part of us that isn’t always politically correct, pleasant, forgiving, nice, tolerant, unbiased, ambitious, fair, loving, kind, trusting, accepting, gracious, patient, legitimate, genuine, upstanding, etc. Well, you get the picture. It is the side of us that we’d rather not think about, let alone acknowledge. However, make no mistake. It is that very side that can serve you well in your life – at different times. It is the shadow side that can protect and alert us. It can help us evolve and grow and realize our imperfections are not unlovable, just misunderstood and, sometimes, misguided.
One of many soul works for me began some years ago when I started questioning everything that I once believed in. Some things no longer made sense to me – they no longer resonated with my soul and had become tenuous. It required me to disassemble and rebuild my inner dialogue and thoughts, and to do it without critique, applause or approval.
One of the hardest things for me was when I stopped identifying as a Christian and simply began to acknowledge the Most High God as my only source and protector. Initially, I thought I’d be struck down or disowned by a jealous and all-consuming deity who demanded my loyalty as a Christian believer, instead of just a believer. I thought that nothing good would ever come my way again and I’d be an outcast and marked with some invisible big red letters: “NB” for “Non-Believer”
LOL… I’m exaggerating a bit, but I did struggle in the beginning with this new belief . I am smiling to myself now as I remember feeling that way years ago. Nothing has been further from the truth and I’ve found freedom and a peace that I never expected. This has become my truth and my soul is well with it. I didn’t shout it from the rooftops, call friends and family to announce it or put a post about it on social media. No need to do any of that. This was not a soul truth that needed an audience or approval. Instead, I have unapologetically and quietly been living my life in the light that aligns with my spirit. That is peace.
But this, too, required me to sit with “discomfort and grief” I had to mourn the loss of what I’d always thought to be my foundation and hallmark for life. I had to go inside and rip out those things that no longer served me. I had to be okay sitting up close with fear of the unknown and stepping out into a new path that awaited me. It was a scary process, but well worth the effort. I had no idea that I would find myself in the middle of amazing quite a few times during the process, and that the best was yet to come.
We need our shadow side and the soul work required to accept it, whatever we find there. We need to own the shadows and realize that they are part of our whole being – it’s not always about the light. Although light and dark do not exist together at the same time, they do co-exist and one needs the other. An while very different, they both serve a meaningful purpose that is necessary to our survival and humanity. Once you own and accept your entire being, that is where peace will find you. We become less judgmental of ourselves and others, and more compassionate and understanding. It may be in darkness and during the shadow work that you discover other gifts, talents and gems there that are meant to be brought into the light for sharing, nurturing and growth. Own the shadows so that the light can nurture your entire self.
⭐If you are interested in finding out about energies that may be invisible to you, but are important and relevant in your life, visit my other website at: http://www.souljourneytarot.com and my Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF31cK3H_MM-76LgnqM6a3Q