To LIGHT UP THE WORLD is not just about focusing on LIGHT and LOVE It requires us to bring that which is hidden and in the shadow into the light.
THAT is call of this auspicious evolutionary time on earth right now.
Everything is signaling for us to bring the shadow into our awareness for alchemizing.
Our soul is seeking to express its wholeness. The Earth’s soul is seeking to express her wholeness. For humanity to evolve, that wholeness must be realized. This happens when we reclaim all the parts of ourselves that we have rejected, denied, disowned.
Society has a shadow. We all have a shadow. Our shadow forms in response to the unconscious world in which we incarnate. We are not born with a shadow. It is created through human development when shame and judgment are experienced. When we are told how and what we should and should not be, we start losing touch with aspects of ourselves that may not coincide with that messaging. When we experience strong reactions to qualities within us, we may learn to disconnect from those qualities. When we are rewarded for following the rules, being the helper, being “good” we allow those qualities to become part of our identity. When we are reprimanded or neglected we begin experiencing parts of ourselves as bad or unsafe to be expressed. We learn to hide and disown these aspects of ourselves, but they never disappear they fall into our shadow. This causes what shamans refer to as soul-loss — a disconnection with parts of ourselves.
The more we shut down or split off, the easier it becomes to identify with what we allow ourselves to accept while rejecting everything that has been stigmatized. As we push away these traits, we lost power because we feel shame for having them and no longer know their value. As our shadow grows, we may project it onto others.
Consider a politician who creates a campaign slogan saying: “lock her up!” for having confidential data on an unsecured server in her home, then later is found to have confidential data in an unsecured location within his home and denies any wrongdoing. He sees the jeopardy in one person and calls for her to be held accountable but cannot see that error within himself because that self-reflection would shatter his identity. THAT is one example of projecting the shadow.
WE ALL DO THAT! — So please do not let that fuel your political energy and instead, pause to see the truth of that avoidance of self-awareness and how fervently it grips the consciousness of 3D. Calling people “deplorables” or “snowflakes” are examples of these unalchemized shadow.
Our shadow reveals itself through our insecurities, through repeated patterns, physical and emotional symptoms, and life challenges. We may love the artist because we cannot allow ourselves to own our creativity; or fall in love with the narcissist because we cannot allow ourselves to be boldly self-confident, self-appreciating and giving to ourselves.
Traumas, modeling from caregivers and authority figures and our culture can shape our shadow. As we are willing to become archeologists discovering what is hidden within a compassionate curiosity, we can discover the medicine within our shadow. Yes, the shadow is a portal to awakening. It will reunite us with our intuition and wholeness. It allows us to make peace with what is buried, undeveloped and lost within us.
When we feel that we do not know our soul’s purpose — it is because it is buried within our shadow. We think it is something we have to find out there but as we uncover what has been hidden, we come home to our truest gifts, skills, and power.
The shadow’s fuel is shame. Its antidote is compassionate witnessing, curiosity, intuitive welcoming.
Some ways to discover the gold within the darkness of shadow:
Do you feel jealous or envy of people? Their qualities, character traits, relationships, successes?
Envy and jealousy have been called sins, so how could we befriend such feelings as they arise? When we witness these feelings within us without judgment or fear, we discover what was repressed and neglected within ourselves. When you can sit with your jealousy or envy it will lead you into what your soul has been yearning to express. It will show you where you were not allowed to show up or be seen and bring that energy into your awareness, so you can reunite with what was lost.
Do you admire, idolize certain people? Friends, celebrities, leaders, teachers, gurus?
Whomever we place on a pedestal reflects our untapped potential.
The qualities we reject in others and the qualities we revere in others are portals to the qualities we do not fully accept and embody ourselves. Perhaps your guru or teacher expresses a wisdom that you have yet to uncover within yourself. As you uncover your own wisdom your admiration may remain, but the pedestal will dissolve.
Maybe your celebrity expresses a talent or quality that you were chastised for having.
As a child, I LOVED everything creative. I painted, drew pictures, built things out of sticks, leaves, and flowers; I was constantly creating dances (ballets and modern dances); I wrote and acted out plays, loved becoming characters and directing others to play parts in scripts I had written. I wrote stories and loved to read them aloud in voices! But I was also criticized for being so sensitive, always “in the clouds”, and constantly having my mistakes pointed out. Whenever I talked about being an artist, a pianist, author, or actor, I was told “art is just a hobby” and that I would not be supported in those endeavors. Slowly, the artist within me fell into the shadows.
I would feel envy when I saw artists living their creativity freely, especially writers and actors. So, I became a shadow artist. I sought partners and friends who were super creative, and I would nurture their talents. But I was so fearful of being vulnerable creatively that I could only allow myself to help others achieve that freedom and allowed my passion to settle into a deep appreciation of the arts. That is not a bad thing — it’s just an incomplete experience reflecting soul loss. As I learn to welcome this deep need to express the creativity inside myself without critique, more of my power is discovered, reclaimed, and expressed!
As you allow yourself to see what you admire in others and then discover how those qualities may be leading you into some part of yourself that is seeking expression, you retrieve what was lost and return to your wholeness. You may discover more wisdom, creativity and other gems that are ripe for excavation!
Do you have insecurities and feelings of unworthiness?
Shame is the pervasive condition of 3D consciousness. It separates you from your power. It tells you that parts of you are not good enough and are unworthy of goodness, love, acceptance, compassion. Shame controls the shadow and 3D world.
Where we have been most wounded can translate into beliefs that make us feel something is wrong with us. Look at our culture’s obsession with “self-improvement”; staying young, becoming more or this or that; getting better, fixed. We have to have more, buy more, sell more. Lose weight, get in shape, look better, feel better. Be better.
Check out almost all advertising — it is telling you what is wrong with you by how this product, workshop, service will bring you happiness.
All of that messaging is fueled by the shadow energy telling you that you are not worthy and enough right here and now. The new age, contemporary spirituality also plays into this idea. Popular psychology, coaching are all feeding the idea that something is wrong with you that needs fixing and if you take this course, read this book, do this thing or that, you will finally feel good enough.
We feel empty, like something is wrong with us and we so want relief!
When I began to do readings, it was EASY for me to see the light within others and to see their shadow with compassion. This brought me into direct awareness of how easy it was for me to do this for others and not for myself. Why? Myriad reasons that created a separation from self-love, self-acceptance because those qualities were associated with shame. Above all the neglect, abuse, and rejection I experience reinforced those beliefs.
Learning to sit with those insecurities and stories, witnessing them as they arose (or arise still) allows me to nurture what was shamed and rejected and appreciate all aspects of my being. The more I practice this compassionate presence, the more in touch I feel with my whole being, loving myself as I am.
Welcome what was judged and change that story.
What if you began to hold yourself in loving awareness, curious, openly discovering who you are without judging, shaming, or denying any aspect of you?
What if you practice releasing beliefs you have adapted that place the world into boxes of “bad” and “good” and open to wonderment about the medicine those traits, feelings, beliefs are holding?
Imagine if what you called your anxiety or depression were portals into self-awareness, gems within your shadow and not symptoms to fix?
Many years ago, I was preparing to do one of my first audience readings with another medium. I was a baby-medium then and that day, I spent it meditating, preparing the room, filling it with plants and artwork, crystals, and candles. I created a sacred space of beauty, I organized the reception area, got the volunteers situated and did not see the other medium until she strolled in to do the event15 minutes before we began. When I asked where she had been, she said she spent the day at the SPA!! I was incredulous!
Because I had no allowance within myself to be what I considered selfish. NOR did I ever allow for self-care in that way. The qualities I deemed as “good” were affiliated with being super-responsible, preparation, spiritual devotion, quality leadership and reverence for service. The qualities I deemed as “bad” were associated with being selfish, unconscious about others and self-pampering.
Your examination may end there because you believe “those are good traits”. But my reaction was so intense, and I had experienced this type of interaction so often, I chose to remain curious about what I was feeling and what it was showing me about my unconscious beliefs. I assure you, I felt quite justified in my judgments of her, but they did not bring me any peace. I began to notice how deeply I desired someone else to be responsible, how deeply I longed to be pampered and nourished. I noticed how much I yearned for self-care but dared not do it because I judged it as the reason I was neglected in childhood. I began to hold these feelings, desires, and needs with great reverence. Slowly, I started to nourish myself without shame and with compassionate care. The more intimate I become with this, the more I noticed how “selfish people” stopped showing up in my life.
Our society values certain qualities and judges others, creating an alienation within ourselves when we do not match the desirable characteristics. We may be introverted in a world that perceives extroversion as desirable; we may be athletically brilliant in a world that values analytical skills above all else. We may be intuitive in a world that calls that sinful or “woo woo”. As we start to pay attention to how we have internalized these messages, fragmented aspects of ourselves, we can become friends with our feelings, our needs, our talents, and skills that have been left out of the picture for far too long. We can alchemize what was rejected into our talents, genius, magic, and power.
When we focus on the LIGHT within us, it expands. When we dig into our shadow, we have a fear that it will expand too but the truth is, within the care of our compassionate curiosity and willingness to know ourselves, we illuminate what is hidden, alchemize our suffering and embody our wholeness.
Wow Lori! This resonates with me 1000%. I have always been envious of others since I was consciously aware— when I was young with classmates & friends, to even my best lifelong friends and with women my age now that are physically healthy and able to live their lives to the fullest with work, families, travel, etc.
To plan for the future is a luxury I can’t afford. Just to do everything I “should” do as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend; when it’s hard to get through a day sometimes in this body.
I am constantly trapped in a cycle of feeling crappy, resting, feeling better, then doing too much, and then feeling unwell, which leads to anger and depression, then fear and eventually avoidance.
I learned from a very young age to self-care and pamper because I had to. That value has stuck with me. Others may see it as selfish, narcissistic and not caring about others, lazy, etc. but they don’t understand where it comes from.
And of course I married my opposite/my shadow who values hard work, sacrifice, perfectionism, service to others, etc. I truly appreciate my husband and am grateful for everything that he provides for our family. He is my rock and without him my life would be extremely difficult. But I don’t tell him enough. I don’t show it to him so we sit in our own little bubbles of envy. But I know that we were meant to learn from each other — to learn how to balance this life & our lives together.
(After reading your post, I am called to have a pamper day for my husband)
Thank you Lori you are very wise and giving soul.