To fully know ourselves, we need to observe the dark and the light that reside within us.
Looking at the light is generally a not too onerous task. We are often aware of what our strong points are and where we shine. Consequently, we spend a considerable amount of time cultivating these aspects, which is, of course, wonderful, and as it should be—ensuring we are shining our light as brightly as possible onto the world.
But we also need to explore those dark, hidden, shadow aspects of ourselves as well.
We need to search and find where the hurts are, where our self-sabotaging beliefs lie, and then look, observe, and let go of them. It is only after this that we can truly come to our fullest potential. Looking at the dark as well as the light means seeing all of us, not just the parts that are comfortable and familiar.
There are times in my life when I am ruminating over something going on in my life, or a situation that has occurred, and suddenly something begins to emerge from the darkest depths. It often arises almost like anxiety.
I begin to see something not so flattering about myself, some truth I would prefer not to acknowledge, but just as it starts to reveal itself, it fades back down from whence it came as if it had been smothered. It can be frustrating to feel so close to an uncomfortable breakthrough and watch it slide away with no hope of retrieving it. Of course, frustration may not be the emotion we feel, but instead, anxiety rears its ugly head.
No-one truly likes to face the darkness that lies within, not without consciously looking for it, or making a commitment to facing the shadows. So when they arise unbidden, our first reaction is to make it stop. Quell it. Smother its ugliness. God knows I used to do this. But what happens is that the anxiousness seems to remain for longer, and because we have purposely subdued the insight, a certain shallowness of feeling arises alongside it. We know there is something there that could have been learned—something not so pleasant nor comfortable, but a revelation that may have set us free in some regard if we had let it rise to the surface.
So how can we allow these dark shadows to rise and reveal themselves? How do we stop ourselves from dampening them down, and learn to sit in the uncomfortableness so we can learn and grow?
For a start, we need to work from a place of self-love. We need to understand and believe we are perfect just as we are: both the dark and the light aspects of ourselves. What we mustn’t do is see the shadow and berate ourselves for it. Whilst what we find may not be pleasant, we need to understand that this is a part of our perfect selves too. It may be that it is something we wish to change or alter in some way, but that doesn’t make us any less a person.
Sometimes, it can be something as simple as the way we react to a situation because of past hurts. We need to identify the hurt and understand where it came from, where it started, and let it go. We need to give it no power. We need to turn the self-sabotaging behavior associated with it around so it serves us.
I’ve written before about how I had seriously messed up beliefs surrounding money that caused me to self-sabotage myself for the majority of my life. Even when I earned above average money, I managed to give it away, or overspent to the point of creating debilitating debt. And one day, it emerged: a dark bubbling rose to the surface of my soul, and I saw what was causing the beliefs that created such financial distress for myself. I explored the hurts and I cried. I felt anxious and downright awful. But it also meant that I let go of those hurts and those self-limiting beliefs to allow myself to have abundance.
Today, it’s not like I am now some sort of mega rich chick floating around the world willy-nilly, but my account is in the positive, not the negative these days. I am debt free, and money now flows much more smoothly. I could give more examples of my shadow side, and none of them have been what I would call a pleasant exploration.
Acknowledging them, and then doing the hard work by observing them and how they manifest in certain areas of my life, has meant that not only do I understand myself much better than I once did, but it has also allowed me to heal myself, let go and, most importantly, given me more self-awareness. Now, when the shadows reappear, I can look at them with love instead of fear, and anticipate how I will react.
We need to revel in the shadows as much as we need to revel in the light. We need to allow the darkness to arise and observe it from a place of love, not fear. It won’t be comfortable or nice. It may, and probably will, cause a certain amount of angst.
We need to allow it to reveal itself anyway. We need to remember that because it exists does not mean we are less. No-one is all light. Even the ascended masters and yogis will acknowledge they have a shadow side. It’s what you do with the knowledge once it is acquired that matters.
What matters is how we assimilate the darkness with the light, how we incorporate it so our light shines even bigger and brighter. We are all full of potential but too often we refuse to acknowledge the less pleasant parts of ourselves, and we do ourselves an injustice when we do this. To fully reach our true potential, we need a solid understanding of all parts of ourselves and an infinite well of self-love.
It is then with both our dark and our light in play that we can rise to ascend the heights we are meant for.
Bonus: Tim Brod – King of the Bees
Author: Cassandra Pickel
Image: Larm Rmah/ Unsplash
Editor: Angel Lebailly
Copy & Social editor: Sara Kärpänen