I have been a proponent of shadow work for about a year now, actively paying attention to that which I don’t want to pay attention to. Have you ever seen those angel cards sitting in a little bowl somewhere? The idea is you pick one and enjoy the message it has to share. Well, I have a deck of Osho/Zen/Tarot cards and lately I have picked the card "POLITICS". It is a little unnerving since the description explains how politicians and religious leaders all wear a mask. Each one of them is a phony to the public and has a back door personality.
How could this be me? I have made a point of being true to myself and others. I value honesty and transparency.
A couple of weeks ago my sister blasted me; true family of origin stuff. She called me bossy, said I always have been bossy, I always will be bossy and in fact, I was being bossy right in that moment. I was crushed. This is the very trait I had buried and attempted to change.
As a Spiritual teacher and leader I esteem to be an example. Every Sunday I show up for a Celebration of love and light. Truth is, sometimes I just don’t feel like it. What about those days that have started off on the wrong foot and my husband and I aren’t connecting well? Fake it until you make it? That is what I do, sometimes…
Perhaps I am lying to myself. Christine Downing says in the book Meeting the Shadow, "For a woman, the sister is the other most like ourselves of any creature in the world. She is of the same gender and generation, of the same biological and social heritage. The sibling relationship is among the most enduring of all human ties, beginning with birth and ending only with the death of one of the siblings." I conclude, my sister knows me best and she knows when I am lying … lying to all those around me and lying to myself.
From deep within, my dark shadow emerged and I was devastated. Truth is, we never rid ourselves of any expression. We are in constant flux and change, molding our personalities to fit our social situations. The more determination we use to hide attributes claimed unfit and expand our consciousness in ’acceptable’ traits, the greater the rift, the darker the shadow.
I picked up the book The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford and rediscovered that Love is inclusive, it is the summation of all feeling, the full range of emotion and each part is necessary to be whole. If I aspire to dwell in the fullness of my being, live in the moment and express myself freely, I must make peace with my shadow. Ford goes on to explain that, "… sneak attacks will handicap you in the areas of your life that mean the most. It is by embracing all of who we are that we earn the freedom to choose what we do in the world."
C. G. Jung asks, "Would you rather be whole or good?" I am tired of being good. I choose whole. My sister is right, I am bossy. So I say, "Thanks Sara for opening the cavern door and shedding some light on my darkness. Painful as it was, I am grateful to move forward."