For me the shadow are those aspects of myself that hold me back, keep me in negative patterns, in stagnancy, without growth. Addiction issues, feeling abandoned, alone, irresponsible, are all biggies for me. When shadow runs my life, it really stinks. Life feels oppressive and hopeless. But if I can have compassion for my shadow, hold those parts of myself that feel less than whole, than perhaps I can heal, grow, move with love. “I love my shadow as I love myself,” is a new phrase I have learned in my priestess practice.
I am also beginning to understand that shadow comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes shadow is a quiet nagging voice, whose sole purpose is to chip away bit by bit our self-love and self-esteem. We might not even notice! Other times shadow means existing in a hell realm, something that seems unbearable to endure. Intense feelings of failure, abandonment or depression. Sometimes illness or tragedy strikes us or our loved ones, steering us into frustration, helplessness and even anger or rage. This is where having compassion toward the self is utterly and wholly essential.
It is so easy to give into the dark side of shadow, whose grip can be fierce. So today I make a choice. I am going to consciously take shadow’s hand, rub it gently with mine, and then kiss it with love. The Hawaiian prayer for forgiveness Ho’oponopono, comes to mind:
Please forgive me
I love you