Awakening the Shadow

Have you ever found yourself thriving in your life, making progress and really enjoying what you do and how you show up in the world? You like being who you are. Maybe you come into a relationship with another person, or a group of others, and how you show up, it feels like you get stuck. It’s as if you are not being recognized for what you are bringing to the relationship.
What’s it like when you feel stuck? What’s it like for you when your intention is not seen? What’s it like for you when someone looks at you but doesn’t see your heart? It can be painful.
How do you be with that pain, with the problem of not being recognized for who you are? As you sit with that pain and allow yourself to tune in to the frequencies that are running deep inside, it’s possible you might begin to tap into a shadow. It may be a shadow that you weren’t even conscious it was running in you. You didn’t even know it was there.
As you take the time to be with it, you get really clear just how dark that shadow is deep inside. Sitting with that you can sense maybe there has been a part of you that has been buried so deep, for so long, that it’s become so dark and so still, it’s immobilized. Just touching that shadow, just on the edges of it, is enough for it to begin to awaken.
That can feel a lot of different ways for a lot of different people. Some of us will shrink away from that. Avoid it at all costs, this is not a place that we are even going to venture. We do our best to turn it off, to bury it again. We don’t like it. We don’t want to be near it. We don’t want it to be known that we even have this deep inside.
We may have made a vow to ourselves. It might be a vow something like, “I solemnly swear to my Essential Self that I will accept that I have no choice. As a consequence, I will turn inward and disconnect from my feelings, and from my knowing, in order to survive the shame and humiliation of not being of value. Of not being recognized for who I truly am, and to stop me from being torn asunder by my own internal stress and horror, and my rage! And, also, the loathing and disgust and betrayal that I feel inside. No matter the cost to myself of those I love.”
I want to call a pause, with that possibility of that being the experience of a younger self that saw no choice. When being in this relationship where they were not known, and they had no voice. It’s possible that you attempted to say no, that you did your best to set a boundary and it was run over the top of. You got the message that saying no is not allowed.
So, there is something here, something here in that stuckness. It’s through our feelings and sensations of our body that we can find our power and receive our body’s wisdom. We can receive the gift that the shadow actually holds for us. When we bring the light into the shadow, we are able to see the contrast and have more clarity and precision. That’s empowering. We can recognize that it makes sense that this experience conditioned us to believe something that’s not true.
When we can name that, when we can have a container – a place where it’s safe to show up honestly – and name our inner experience and have it met with tenderness, care, and exquisite gentleness. Yet it’s firm and holding you with warmth, compassion and understanding. You discover you make sense and no longer need to be buried deep down in the shadows of darkness.
There is a softening that can happen, the shoulders drop, your breath can come in deep to your belly, and your face begins to soften as you come back to life in a new way. You receive the gift from this part of you that had been immobilized for so long.
When you move through this process with an unconscious contract that’s released, then you get to receive the blessing from the Essential Self, or from the Other that was bound in that contract. Stepping into that energy to hear the vow made in innocence, which was actually an attempt to protect Self. This Being is able to bless the younger self, with gifts that empower them as they move forward in life.
Being able to be given the gift in this contract, is for the Essential Self to say, “Yes, I heard the vow, and I do not like it. And, yet, it makes so much sense. I release you from this vow and I revoke this contract, and I bestow upon you my blessing instead. I give you my blessing to know your value is immense and to know that from the depths of your soul. I bless you with the strength to speak with compassion and conviction, strongly rooted and grounded in your values. I bless you with the ability to speak eloquently with grace and compassion, yet firmly and clearly with precision. To stay present and engaged in perceived difficult conversations, especially ones that carry the energy of intimidation or devaluing. I bless you with the ability to shine even then. And so it is.
Noticing what it’s like to move from that shadow, that dark contraction, to finding a way to bridge that gap through a deep healing process. Being rooted in self-connection with self-compassion. There is the softening of self-acceptance that is awaiting you.

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