“To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light.” –Jung
Imagine that we walk through life with 2 suitcases. One is filled with all of our positive attributes…. character traits, thoughts, emotions and experiences that are conscious to us, and cast a positive reflection of us in the eyes of other people.
This suitcase can be opened, sorted through, and shared easily with others without shame or fear. We hide nothing in this suitcase that we wouldn’t want someone else to find. This is our conscious self.
Our second suitcase is filled with things we want to keep hidden from others, locked with a padlock and stashed out of site. It represents the parts of us that we would rather not see or acknowledge, the parts we don’t want to share, our deepest fears, shame, and insecurities… The contents of this second suitcase represent our shadow self.
This metaphorical luggage represents us as whole beings of both dark and light, split into two entities which travel with us everywhere we go. Physically, our body rests between these two selves.
As we move through life, it becomes more burdensome to try to hide our shadows because whether we like it or not, they have a very strong will to be acknowledged and we cannot run away from them. We start to see signs that we need to face them, and to make changes, we see where we are stuck in unconscious negative patterns, where we carry burdens passed through family lines.
We begin to understand the theory of inclusion, that many opposing forces can exist in one place, and that is okay. That is human. We acknowledge what multi-dimensional beings we are.
We begin to accept our dark places, and forgive ourselves for them. We begin to accept other people’s dark places, and forgive them as well. We begin to see truths about ourselves where we once believed otherwise, and we begin to shed the weight of our past life and early life traumas.
This is the process of metaphorically unpacking both suitcases, and thoughtfully looking at each item, weighing it’s importance and validity in our lives, leaving behind what we consciously choose to.
Through this process of re-adjustment, we reveal our vulnerability, our greatest power and most sacred self. We experience a re-birth of the spirit. We dress ourselves in all of our truths, and walk un-apologetically forward through life.
Our journey towards a more conscious spiritual life starts when we begin to own our shadows and walk with them. When we are in synthesis with all sides of ourselves, our third eyes open, our consciousness begins to shift, and our spirits are set free.
I want to thank Sarah, ceremonial artist at My Enthios for the beautiful reading that inspired this post.