There are so many different terms for working on ourselves! our behaviour patterns, traumas and challenges. Ultimately, it is all shadow work to me.
I like to use the term shadow because it explains honestly and simply the work we are doing. I also find it more tangible. There are many terms that we use to fluff it up and make it more approachable but in the end, it's our shadows that we find ourselves hiding from.
What is the shadow?
The shadow is the bits we don't like to see in ourselves, admit or show to others. It's the dark brooding aspects of us that we would rather not share. Often, we work so hard to cover it up and push it aside, which can become exhausting! until it finds cunning ways to catch up with us. The shadow is the part of me writing this blog that doesn't want to press publish because it's worried I might offend someone. It may be too raw, too close to the bone. The shadow lives and thrives on fear.
The shadow is desperate to be acknowledged. It can behave like a child having a tantrum by playing up to gain as much attention as possible. Why? because its in pain. Our shadow selves are parts of us that need healing and attention, they are hurting and they are the keys to our deepest wisdom and yet they are more often than not pushed aside and ignored. The shadow is our pain, our suffering but underneath it....is pure love and acceptance. If we can find the courage to dig deeply into it. Not skirting over it or peeping at it, but by getting a big spade and digging down into it's cores, feeling it and expressing it to ourselves and others that we trust and feel safe with. We can begin to heal our wounds and free up our energy.
There are many depths that the shadow can manifest depending on our experiences in life, particularly around our childhood. However, it is also entirely up to us what we choose to confront and work with in this life time. It can be a painful ordeal indeed for some, working through severe trauma and complex behaviour patterns. It's like shedding amour that cases itself around our bodies and hearts. It takes courage to face these aspects, particularly for those who have suffered trauma. I have a huge amount of love and respect for the people I see stripping away the layers and layers of dark casing from their divine bodies. It's a beautiful & courageous sight to witness.
We are called now more than ever to strip ourselves back. Peeling back the layers of this complex onion to step out of our shadows and into the light. To move forward with a kind heart and divine grace. There doesn't seem to be any other way than to bravely step into this self-work and transform ourselves, to truly know ourselves, and claim every last bit of it. However, nobody said it would be easy.
With love from my shadow to yours - Aho