Any time I think about Shadow Work I am reminded of the video with the little girl in a parking lot running away, terrified of her shadow. It was a dark, unfamiliar presence that was right on her heels and she couldn’t shake it no matter how fast she ran or screamed. It was so cute and funny when considering that she is only a child. However, we as adults have an inner child that also runs from its shadows…and many of us refuse to either address the shadow for the child or take the child by the hand and show it that there is nothing to be afraid of…it’s just You.
Sometimes we can get stuck in a loop or pattern of behaviors and it baffles us as to why we continuously deal with the same things over and over, year after year. We try to make changes, create resolutions, move to different cities or states, change jobs, lovers, the whole nine but at the end of the day the results are still the same. I used to wonder how every Sunday I could go to the altar and cry my eyes out about the same thing. I thought that the burden of whatever I was carrying would get lifted and I'd be immediately set free. It didn't work like that. There was a piece within the process that I was missing, something I wasn't quite seeing...my shadow.
Shadows are characterized by partial or complete darkness produced when an object or body comes in between rays of light and a surface…basically obstructing the light from reaching the surface. Let that sink in for a few moments. Now, let’s apply this definition to our holistic selves but first let’s break it down for context:
What are some things in your life that you would consider as “Light” - the people, actions/activities, or thoughts that bring awareness or draw your attention? Would it be your faith, spiritual practices, children, significant other, parents, hobbies that bring you joy, your career, your passion/purpose work, or self-image?
What would we determine as “Surface” - the areas to be seen or the desired outcome? Could it be prayers answered, manifestation, good parenting style/skills, harmony, effective communication, growth, time management, balanced temperament, good work ethic, dedication, commitment, or confidence?
Lastly, let’s identify the possible “Obstructions” - objects or bodies that could get in the way of the Light reaching the Surface. Can we say doubt, inconsistency, judgment, aggression, old habits, outdated thinking, trauma, the past, poor communication, impatience, intolerance, lack of vulnerability, dishonesty, jealousy, laziness, procrastination, or feelings of inadequacy would be good examples?
Light + Obstruction = Shadows on the Surface.
The Shadows have been the undesirable characteristics of ourselves that we tend to deny, try to cover up or run away from for most of our lives…but we can’t because it’s become a part of us. It’s all those things that the inner child carries. There are situations, seasons, and people who are strategically placed in our lives to cast Light onto our Surfaces in order to help us grow, evolve and break certain patterns/habits. They may not be specifically aware of the reason for their actions or words but the thorn in our side that they are presenting is actually to get us to look at ourselves…to face the Shadow. They are highlighting the Obstruction so that we will take action to remove it. A huge challenge within ourselves is to be willing to see it as an opportunity versus an attack and be ready to confront it. One thing to understand though about Shadows….they have roots like trees.
So this is where Shadow Work comes in…oh and it’s some “work work”. I don’t know if you have ever seen tall, older trees get pulled up by their roots but it’s not an easy task. Most of the time I've seen them uproot was due to a huge storm or hurricane, and others by a crew of folks. The work is to identify the root cause of the undesirable and pull it up. The roots are often a lot deeper than we’d imagine so support is needed to provide the right tools and strengthen us for the job. If a storm happens to come, surrender to it and allow it to clear the path and uproot the shadows for you.
Lucid Solciety offers support o assist with weathering the storm and the Shadow Work process via services such as Intuitive Coaching/Realignment Assistance, Reiki, EFT/TFT and Healing Circle events. Schedule your FREE 15-minute consultation to see what service will be the best support option for you!