Without light there would be no shadows. It would be total and impenetrable darkness. You might argue that brilliant light can totally obliterate shadows. But to know light one must know darkness. In a world filled with duality, we try to shy away from aspects of ourselves that are clearly dark or bad. I am guilty as any of you and employ all kinds of devices to hide this unsavory side of me. And yet it shows up over and over. Raising its ugly head, digging its claws in the mud and trying to shadow all the good things that I have filled my life with.
You might have noticed the same thing happening in the world as well. The same issues, the same darkness, seemingly all powerful, unleashing pure horror and destruction on countless innocents. I’ve seen it happen over the past year and I ask myself – where is all this coming from? I thought we are ringing in a new era of peace, oneness and divinity. The Golden Age if you will!
So why is all the ugliness coming up all at once? Some of it rising from the very bowels of the earth. Things we only associate with the dark ages. America is dealing with gun violence and war. India with rape and a total revamping of the political set-up. Countries with oppressive regimes are undergoing their own crises. It’s simply too much happening and all at the same time. As if that wasn’t enough for our tiny mortal selves to process, we have personal stuff that we haven’t dealt with popping up all over the place. Stuff we thought we had resolved. Stuff we brushed under the rug. Stuff we were in total and utter denial of.
For a long time I was afraid of the shadows. I thought if I spent too much time with them they would simply obliterate the light in me. And when I say a long time, I mean decades. They would come up every now and then when my guard was down but I knew how to ignore them. I would never let them take me to that dark place of no return. I put on my happy face, punched shadows in the noggin and kept focusing on the positive. It worked out quite well, until this year!
If you have been following my blogs, you might have sensed an undercurrent of weariness, sorrow and hopelessness somewhere between the lines. Believe me I fought really hard. Punched, kicked, clawed and hissed at every shadow. Only it didn’t work this time and as the months wore on, they grew stronger and stronger. Until they were a grim presence in every waking moment. I was at the end of my rope. Every trace of happiness sucked dry from me. I begged to be released from this misery.
Again, no prayer goes unanswered, no plea wasted. When you have hit rock-bottom, the only way out is up. Ta da! Enter book “Living in the Light” by Shakti Gawain. That book was written for me! It was like her life followed the same path as mine. She learnt about creative visualization (like I did with “The Secret”) and was so excited that she had the power to create her life. And like me she found that some things she could manifest with ease and some just didn’t show up no matter how hard she visualized.
Then she spoke about how you have to rid yourself of “emotional baggage” and really align yourself with what you want to receive. Been there done that! But here is what surprised me. She said you have to accept your shadow side. You cannot disown any part of you and feel whole and complete. Even the parts that you loathe are there for a reason. For you to learn and grow. So that’s what this year has been about! All the disowned parts of me were coming up, asking to be integrated into the whole. Some of them weren’t even “bad” per se. They were just parts of me that did not fit in my role of “mom” or “responsible adult”. But in denying my free-spirited side I was robbing myself of joy and spontaneity.
As each of us does this work, the shadows lurking in the world get exposed to light and old patterns of violence and oppression are broken. Not by denying them or by forcefully ousting them, but by acknowledging their presence and shining the light of your wisdom on them. In the U.S. talks for another war came up but given that over 50 percent of the people didn’t want it, it hasn’t happened. In the past, presidents could go to war against the wishes of the majority of the citizens. But as the collective consciousness merges as one, power cannot remain in the hands of the privileged few.
It is a scary time for everyone, especially people stuck in the eye of the storm. But by praying and keeping the faith, reaching out to other warriors and making the right choices in our lives, we greatly influence not only our immediate family but also our community and the world. You can no longer say – What can (small, insignificant and powerless) I do? There is much work to be done and even though the world looks ugly – like a garden full of uprooted weeds, we are slowly planting the paradise garden of our dreams!