May 12, 2016

To Dance with Our Shadow Selves: Embracing our Darkness.

Sebastian Unrau/Unsplash

While most agree with Carl Jung’s idea that the Shadow Self is the part of ourselves that we wish to hide from—I would have to wholly disagree.

To me, my Shadow Self is the person I wish to become––if only I wasn’t facing a lifetime of conditioning telling me my worth is in my lightness.

My Shadow Self is nimble, contorting, effortlessly sensual, powerful, and cunning. She’s my inner temptress. She’s Kali, she’s Lilith, she’s Hekate. She’s my supreme darkness. She’s seductive and intoxicating. She demands full attention, takes space, is sacred—she is fully and wildly present.

I climb into her not to escape my reality but to become more like myself.

Meeting our shadow is exactly what it sounds like. It is deep, it is dark and it is uncomfortable. But it’s incredibly important.

A few months ago I was put in a situation that forced me to face her head on. I didn’t ask her to come out—but after a few hours of total presence with my body, she was quick to reveal herself.

That’s an important thing to remember, you can run from your shadow, but you cannot escape.

So you might as well ask her to dance.

Being present with your shadow is like holding up a mirror and witnessing your reflection blurt out all of your deepest trauma and insecurities.

You aren’t good enough. You aren’t pretty enough. You’re ugly. You’re dark. You’re distant. You’re wicked.

She demands that you are honest with yourself. She demands that you acknowledge that these parts of yourself exist. Like a zen meditation she asks you to let these thoughts have a voice and then let them pass through you.

She asks that you be neither a judge, jury, or prosecutor but instead a witness to your truth. To see her. To bring her to existence.

You don’t have to stay with your shadow forever, but if you invite her to dance just once in a while you’ll be surprised at how much truth and authenticity she reveals. How much rawness she invites into your life.

Dark and chaotic, writhing and shaking in pain and pleasure. Passionately honest. A dark, brutal force. The fiery Goddess manifested. Her hips swing powerfully. Her arms, long and boundless. Her legs take root and make home in the present moment.

She is dressed in black. Her lips are painted in dark lipstick. She smells of pomegranate. She is a scorpio. She is unafraid. Unapologetic. She owns her trauma, she transforms it. Like a tornado she spins and takes the rest of the room with her.

She is the creator and destroyer. Her dance commands the room. Her radiance manifests in her movements. She transcends Good vs Bad, Right vs Wrong.

She just is.

She is the darkness that gives depth to my lightness—and in opening myself to her mystery I become more Me.


Author: Kelsey Eaton

Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Image: Sebastian Unrau/Unsplash

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Captolia Eaton Sep 16, 2016 4:18am


Andy Brine May 18, 2016 8:48am

Interesting article talking about the shadow. You stated at the top that "Carl Jung’s idea that the Shadow Self is the part of ourselves that we wish to hide from—I would have to wholly disagree." It is the part of ourselves that we do want to hide and supress, thats why it is a dance and a place of nurture. It is really great that you heave learned to dance with your shadow, its something we should all learn to do. Joseph Campbell often used the phrase "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek" personally I believe this relates to your shadow. You will find our treasure when you connect with the deepest and darkest parts of yourself and as you say "learn to dance" :)

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Kelsey Eaton

Kelsey Eaton is a 26 year old bellydancer, blogger, and witch currently making a huge transition from her humble home in Vermont to the desert of New Mexico. When she isn’t dancing or making magick, she’s probably cuddling with her 8 year old chihuahua, Pappy.