When I left the church, and the old ‘fear’ of hell, I pretty much didn’t want to have anything more to do with retribution. The church group that I was involved in also believed in casting out ‘evil spirits’ and that if you continuously performed wrong deeds- you were ‘possessed’ and in need of an exorcism. -Yes, It was kind of extremist. My solution was swinging to the other extreme of the pendulum which included buying into an exclusively ‘feel good’ new age culture.
I had been involved in the New- Age circle for a couple of years. And by this time I had convinced myself that I was an angel having a human experience. A goddess who makes the world bend to her whim. The truth is that, I might have been an angel or a goddess in what they would call a ‘higher self’ in the new age terminology- but I was also a human being, vulnerable, meaty, with blood running in my veins.
Now, I’m going to do my best not to be a ‘New- Age’ basher. (and believe me I always working on it everyday) . But I do think that modern ‘new’ spirituality has been laced with images of people wearing white, with their hands in prayer position at the heart, and halos around their heads. This to me depicts the image of the suppressed shadow within our society . And being blinded by too much of the light. The only problem with this is that the shadow does not disappear if you ignore it. In fact ignoring it may have it rearing its ugly head in our relationships.
Relationships – to me is where the real shadow work happens. And we all have them. And it doesn’t have to be a lover, it can be relationships with our parents, siblings and friends. It is through relationships that we reflect, project and label the unresolved aspects of ourselves that we see in others. The concept of ‘shadow work’ within relationships can be empowering because it allows for us to take responsibility for the reflections from others.
This was an awakening for me. I really began to understand the wisdom held within the Yin/Yang. That wholeness actually includes both the shadow and the light. Those aspects that we would consider our gifts as well as our pitfalls as well together. That true and authentic spiritual growth came from merging and finding peace with both aspects…. and true unconditional love comes from loving both aspects as well.
Anyways enjoy some Carl Jung quotes… ( he does it better than I do) and search him if you feel called to connect with his insights on Shadow work.