Our shadow is our pain, trauma, and inner wounds. It is the darkness we carry due to suffering in our past. It is the wounded inner child; the ways that we lost our innocence when we were young. They say that trauma rewires the brain, and in the energy bodies this is the creation of new inner pathways - detours to our spirit. It is the layering of new filters over our perception.
The shadow can feel like heavy layers - like gray, translucent blankets thrown over us. It can be like fuzzy film over the eyes, or like a constant buzz of crickets. Many of us feel the shadow in the form of racing, disorganized thoughts. We are then forced to learn how to live underneath these layers - breathing more heavily due to the decreased oxygen, squinting and straining, compensating in all sorts of ways. Our body begins to believe all the thoughts that are rushing through, unchecked, wishing to be seen.
The shadow dulls the senses and cuts us off from higher worlds, keeping us stuck. It pushes us off the path, so to speak. We react in all sorts of ways to diminish the pain of the cleave from our soul. But no matter what we use to compensate, dull, avoid, distract, or ignore our pain, it remains, lingering with us. We then have a choice: either we choose to face the pain, on our terms and timetable, or we are forced to face it through circumstances spirit "brings us," disguised as "life."
Our natural "law of attraction" then becomes filtered. We are forced to attract and repel aspects of our lives through this filter. It forms a heavy layer of dissonance that makes life feel hard; makes our energy feel stuck; makes our world lose all sense of flow or ease.
We determine our resonance based on our ability to connect to our spiritual center. Heavy layers of shadows and pain lock us in to a detour that distorts our "original resonance," changing and rerouting it. Our natural intuitive abilities are then cut off and atrophy. We interpret our world differently, as we start to resonate instead to this new, layered, lower, shadow state. Out of pain, it becomes reality, and we grow attached to it out of desperation.
What would happen if we began to observe this piece of us, and became our own cartographers, really observing our thoughts, emotions, reactions as they flow? We must aim to know our own inner topography at such an intimate level that the shadow would be felt, seen, heard, known. We must not get carried away and dump it onto others in a defensive, knee-jerk reaction - wanting them to take it from us, to feel it for us. We must not impose our own timetable upon it, or our own agenda. We must hear it out to its fullest extent, remaining with it in a flow state devoid of control or demands. This requires the patience to see ourselves through to the end. This requires observation with neutrality. Our power of observation is a light. When we observe ourselves without judgement, we shine a light into the dark recesses of our soul. Hurt pieces of us that had been abandoned begin to come forward, asking for help, seeking to be heard. Doing this takes off one blanket; it removes film and noise.
This often feels like a trigger. It can feel like we are backsliding when we are not! It sometimes feels like the painful reliving of a memory or feeling. It can also be a strong urge coming up for something else - something that has settled in its place. This is usually a vice; a crutch we learned to engage in to disengage. These crutches and vices lie to us. They only last a second. They are a bandaid that the filter has used as new skin. The filter of our shadow distorts the truth in these areas.
We hear The Shadow referred to commonly in spiritual circles and we know it is of importance. Even without thinking about what it means, we can feel it within us, and we feel it reacting to the shadows of those around us. We engage with one another and to our society through the filter of our shadow. The shadow is sometimes what is resonating when we feel "chemistry" with another person in a romantic relationship! This is the Personal shadow. There is also the Collective shadow, made up of our society and the structures we live in, in the era we reside. Then there is the Ancestral shadow, made up of our family and reaching even further back into our bloodline and heritage.
Our family is the first training ground for our shadow. It is where our Ancestral Shadow is introduced. It is the place where we learn all about the shadows of others interacting with us. It is where we develop our sense of self, and maybe where we get our first wounds. This is why therapists are usually working on the Mother wound and the Father wound first with their patients. But in order to heal the wounds inflicted by the family, we must work through our own Shadow. We cannot heal other structures without doing this. We heal the Mother Wound through healing ourselves - it has nothing to do with changing our mother. We don't usually get her help, and we don't need it to heal ourselves. We are capable of giving ourselves the energy, attention, and love that we need to reconnect ourselves to our soul. This realization brings us back to the flow state and back to the higher worlds of our spirit.
However, every now and then, we come across mothers who are sympathetic, sorry, and willing to help their children work through things. They are in the flow state themselves - not crouched in the rigidity of their own shadow but actively working past whatever feelings of residual shame come up. They apologize to their children, and admit their mistakes. This has a tremendous healing effect. It greatly speeds up the healing process, as a double floodlight of observation are turned onto the pain. This is usually also cathartic for her, as the guilt and shame dissolve under this same light and air. But this occurrence is rare, and waiting for this to happen will pull you out of your own flow state and push you out of your power, into a cycle of waiting, hoping, and demanding. That being said - my personal goal is to be this mother - to have worked on my own pain and to have transmuted it to the point that I am able to stand in observance with my children in theirs, to acknowledge my role in their journey in all aspects, good and bad. This is empowered embodiment. It does not take much from the parents in order to go a very long way with the children.
Families are usually the spaces used where we feel safe to project the pain and shadow. This is why they can be tremendously dysfunctional. What if, instead of projecting, we observed ourselves? What if, instead of getting defensive, we eased into it and admitted it in spite of our shame? This is the difficult Shadow Work we hear so much about. This is the meaning of "integrating the shadow." It is not easy! And certainly not as easy as waiting to be rescued, demanding help, or throwing shame at others. What if we, within our families, banded together, admitting our own shadows, and projecting no shame onto each other? We would remember the attitudes of our great-great-grandparents and work through what was passed down. We would get to even deeper layers within our bloodline and exorcise deep pain that had distorted under the heavy blankets of ignorance. Ancestral healing starts with us. Collective healing starts with us. It starts with the Personal Shadow - this is the only way for us to gain traction with society in any way.
This work expands outward as we do this within ourselves. We cannot pretend like we are doing this work while avoiding our pain. This avoidance is what keeps us disconnected from true spirituality. We are strong enough - especially now - to face it. As we reconnect ourselves, and get our long-lost sensitivity back, we reach the paths back to the higher worlds. The "detour" signs disappear, the blankets and fuzziness falls away. We do this ourselves, and this process empowers us in a way that the material world can never replicate. Vices fall away, we continue on without crutches, seeing clearly and holding a new level of coherence that sees through the shadows of both others and ourselves.