I’m reading “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford and I love it! It’s a wonderful book about embracing all of who we are, and finding gifts in places that most people would rather not go. Her book is so full of little gems and insights that inspire me. Here’s a quote:
“Our shadows exist to teach us, guide us, and give us the blessing of our entire selves. They are resources for us to expose and explore. The feelings that we have suppressed are desperate to be integrated into ourselves. They are only harmful when they are repressed: then they can pop up at the least opportune times. Their sneak attacks will handicap you in the areas of your life that mean the most.
Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove that you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”
Many years ago I heard an interview from a successful filmmaker and one thing that he said resonated with me very powerfully and has stayed with me all this time. He said that his work was about taking things that were fearful that were locked up and kept secret inside us and taking them out of the shadows, bringing them into the light and honoring them. Honoring their intention and gifts. Finding beauty in them. Sweetness and innocence. By bringing them out of the dark and into the light, we find that we are not alone and our vulnerability and openness connects us. My work is almost always about this – finding tenderness and grace and beauty in places that live in the dark, hopefully with a little humor and irony.
This piece is called: Me and My Shadow(s). On the back side is Emily Dickinson’s poem “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?”. For me, shadow is like a 10 ton gorilla in the room that I pretend isn’t there. Whether I want it or not, it accompanys me everywhere (on top of my head, on my back….) So I say – Embrace it!