The shadow or dark side of our personalities and character is not a topic we like to discuss or even acknowledge. This is the part of ourselves we tuck away, keep hidden from others, deny, and keep secret. It is the shadow that follows us around, taking on the shape of our exposed selves walking in the light. In fact, the more full of light we are, the more our shadows can then be revealed. Knowing and knowledge overcome fear and loss of control. Awareness of our dark side and taking steps to overcome, increases the intensity of our light and living.
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”-Lao Tzu
We all are aware of the movies that grace our screens in 3D and xbox, science fiction, mystery and horror, each type exposing the dark side of ourselves, but played out in the fictional characters of actors. Always easier to watch the darkside of others unfold on the screen, than watch our own darkness unfold in the reality of daily living. As each script plays out, so too the light that wins over darkness. There is Darth Vader in Star Wars vs the Jedi Order, Batman vs The Joker and Snow White vs The Evil Queen, to name a few. Basically, most movies and childrens tales play out good vs. evil, dark vs. light. And, we instinctively know light triumphs over dark. Light is Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Angels, Saints, Seekers and then there are the perceived demons.
The character traits of our dark side according to Carl Jung, have the most impact on our egos. On the brighter side Jung stated that “the shadow is the seat of creativity.” Most people are aware of their dark side and go to great lengths to keep it under control, unmanifested, hidden deep. Sometimes though these dark traits creep to the surface when we least expect, exposing our jealousy, anger, manipulation, control issues, fear, hate, domination and lack of love and understanding, compassion. The ego goes on a wild ride overtaking our sense of what is right, just and fair. Somehow, we lose sight of the light and goodness within ourselves opting instead for release, to feed the dragon. And sometimes, our dark side lead down paths where the light is harder to find. Addictions, lying, stealing, greed, harming others, are just a few ways where our light diminishes and pulls us away from our true selves into the darkness.
Thankfully,there are very few souls upon this earth that want to live out their dark selves. We crave to live the light within us. We want to be perceived as loving and full of light, good and just. We seek the approval of others constantly, because we lack the confidence to believe in the goodness of our own truth, our own path. Many times we dim our own light so others can shine more brightly resulting in our shadows becoming darker. And so the moral of my story is simply this, know all parts of yourself both light and dark. Accept that light and dark are part of you and your soul. You must know your dark in order for your light to shine, constantly acknowledging when darkness rears it’s ugly head, constantly searching for why it happens, and seeking ways through light to overcome, understand, through compassion for self. Dimming your light is never a good option, seeking through others who purport to have all the answers, also unhealthy. There are countless ways to find your light, many of which I have written about in previous blogs. Having stated that, I acknowledge I have limited expertise in finding the light. Simply, I have expertise in finding my own through my personal life experiences, my professional expertise, stumbling and falling, rising up, my passions, my loves, my own journey of the soul. But, I always encourage others to seek, for it is through seeking that you will find. The answers lie within you. Shine your light and the answers will be revealed.