Recently I watched the film The Shadow Effect which was produced by Debbie Ford. I didn’t know much about the film or anything about Debbie Ford, but the theme of the film was what intrigued me. “The Shadow Effect explores the forces of dark and light that compete for attention within every human being.” www.theshadoweffect.com
I have always believed that suppressing and denying who we are and what we have experienced, particularly the dark side of ourselves, has a destructive effect on our entire lives. Elements such as fear, shame and guilt cause us to hate the dark part of ourselves on a deep level. And sometimes we may not even realize just how destructive this self-hatred has become. What I took away from The Shadow Effect is the concept that it is vital for each one of us to find the courage to explore and uncover the elements of our “shadow self.” This may be the most terrifying challenge we will ever face, yet it is the only way for healing and progress to occur.
In my own life, I have attempted to become more aware of the elements of my shadow self for over twenty-five years. And I feel like I am just beginning to understand and accept who I really am. This process of self-discovery is continuous and brings me new enlightment every single day. My adventure will never be over because there is always something new to learn, a new fear to conquer, and a different part of myself to explore. Sure, the process is pretty scary at times, yet it also holds the gifts of freedom, excitement, joy, gratitude, and satisfaction with each new accomplishment.
After watching the film, I also relate to the concept of my shadow self on an entirely different level. I used to think of my dark side as something I needed to hide, be ashamed of, or get rid of at all costs (and the costs are very, very high!). Now I see that to understand and accept my shadow self is a part of who I am as a progressive spiritual being. I can never outrun my shadow, but I can shine a light into the darkness, face the elements of my shadow self, accept the lessons they bring, and forgive myself for all of the self-hatred. With each step, I experience feelings of freedom and absolute love, the effects of accepting another part of my shadow self. This is incredibly empowering and it motivates me to continue to move forward.
Encouraging all of you to explore your own “shadow self” using the courage and power you carry deep within you. Shine your light into the shadows to reveal and accept every element of your true identity. Find your peace.