Where there is light there is dark and I saw a film this weekend at Mile Hi Church (I just don’t get tired of that place), which made me love both. Our shadow represents the part of us we’re ashamed of and therefore push away and hide…perfect examples of Ted Haggard, Rush Limbaugh, Spitzer, etc. People who spoke out strongly against something and ended up being a part of what they hated. When we ignore a part of our deepest desires and things we dislike about ourselves they find a way to become expressed. Some quotes about shadows that seem to sum it up far better than I:
-“Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?” Henry David Thoreau
-“Evil is the shadow of an angel. Just as there are angels of light, support, guidance, healing and defense, so we have the experiences of shadow angels. And we have names for them: racism, sexism, homophobia are all demons – and they’re not out there.” Matthew Fox
Shadows provide a projection at it’s finest – what we dislike in others we dislike about ourselves. (Light behind the projector creats the shadows and images we see.) I find examples of this every where in my life. Today I got frustrated with my dad thinking he was questioning my decision to go to grad school in San Francisco. He wasn’t questioning it, I was and heard it through him. Women who are supported by men make me so angry, as if I’m so afraid of admitting sometimes it would be wonderful to have someone else support me. I get jealous of women who are so easily able to put their sexuality out on the table…reminds me how hidden in my shadows my own sexuality becomes.
What I noticed more is that when we react to a projection we become it – especially if we think it’s “someone else’s stuff” and not our own. When we begin to own it and accept it all just as it is, then it begins to loosen its grip. By nature only with light can a shadow exist. So many of us are afraid of own shadow – a necessary part of us. I’m tired of fighting the darker part of me I don’t like – “shadow boxing” only gets us so far. I want to take it a step further and not just accept – I want to dance with my demon shadow and love it as my light.
Today I’m grateful for full moons, my shadow, and warm wool sweaters.