Shadow Work Creates Growth

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The title page of the May issue of Science of Mind Magazine reads:

Light Within the Shadows — Embrace All Aspects of Your Sacred Being The Shadow: Healing Through Revealing

My favorite article is titled “Nobody Said Spiritual Growth is Easy” by Kelly Robbins. Our speakers in May have addressed the ‘shadow.’ Patrick Harbula said that embracing our humanness is part of the story of Oneness and reminded us that what we resist magnifies. Dr. Karmen Smith referenced David Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness Levels in her talk and stated that trauma from childhood must be dealt with; otherwise, we may stay stuck in lower frequencies, staying in victimization. The Map is a scale where the lowest level is 20 – Shame and the highest 700 – 1000 which is Enlightenment. At 200 is Courage where we reach a level of empowerment and shift from destructive energy to creative energy. Dr. Benjamin Hardy reports that the average person only grows about 5 points over their lifetime on this scale. He further states that all progress starts with telling the truth.

As the ancient sages all confirm, everything softens in time. If we want to soften while still alive, we have to bring our hurt places into the light. Mark Nepo

Jung first gave us the term “shadow’ to refer to those parts of our personality that have been rejected out of fear, ignorance, shame, or lack of love. He believed that integrating the shadow would have a profound impact, enabling us to rediscover a deeper source of our own spiritual life.

I am intrigued by this topic because I have encountered parts of my shadow at various times with the result being uncomfortable at best and embarrassing/humiliating at worst. I have found that at times I have ‘overreacted’ to situations and conversations. I wasn’t responding to current circumstances; previous hurt had been triggered, my mask of protection was pierced, and unhealed trauma came to the surface. Have you heard the phrase ‘if it’s hysterical, it’s historical’? It is clear that our hurts arise to be dealt with and healed if we have the courage.

Another area where our ‘shadow’ is displayed is in our critical judgment of others. We deny in ourselves what we react to in others. The truth is there is nothing we can see or perceive that we ourselves are not. Dr. Karmen talked about this projection also.

Shadow work is complex and uncomfortable but worthwhile. I found The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford to be enormously helpful.

–Linda Bullock