Accepting our shadow energy, with gratitude for its teachings.
This week, I reflected deeply on a relationship that was once very near and dear to my heart. After a really bad falling out, and years that have gone by - she is no longer on the Earth. A letter to Dharma, inspires this post. In energy form, our relationship is now wide open and full of love - but what a journey of self reflection and lessons learned that was brought about, and I am forever grateful for that.
Since her passing back in November - my relationship with my Sister-Cuz as we affecteonality referred to each other as back when the gettin was good, has blossomed into a communal give and receive of communication, signs, dreams and love. The limits we had before, have lifted.
My mind and spirit took me on a journey, after asking her for inspiration on this week's topic. Remaining open, with a blank canvas - I started recalling painful details of things that were said. Trying to figure out where to put all of the mixed emotions I find myself left with - the only way I could describe how this severing felt to me and why the relationship didn't work - was because she was venomous. In large doses, poison - but the underlying energy being divine passion.
We all are venomous, in our own right. In fact, if it exists in nature - it exists within us.
Fight or flight, survival of the fittest, quién es más macho.
I came to a simple conclusion, I could no longer drink and absorb the venom. Which, in turn - ignited my venom. Survival instincts. It just wasn't for me anymore and I learned a lot about myself - and the depths of pain, during that process.
I've read the books, I've repeated the mantras, I try to keep a positive mindset - but are we ever really prepared for the venom? Not just when its spewed at us unexpectedly but when it arises in us - looking for an outlet?
Let's talk about shadow energy for a moment, shall we?
As described in a post from the formidable, Deepak Chopra:
"Evil exists in everyone as a shadow, for the very reason that the world is in everyone. Being raised as a good person is a counter to the shadow of evil, of course, and if we return to our list of shaping forces on consciousness, each person would exhibit a different map of influences. But if you are fortunate enough to have made choices on the good side of the equation, you must still acknowledge that the shadow exists in you somewhere."
The following conditions release shadow energies:
Removing a sense of responsibility
Peer examples of bad behavior
Rigid levels of power
Prevailing chaos and disorder
Lack of meaning
Implicit permission to do harm
Lack of accountability
Given the right circumstances, everyone's shadow energy can and will emerge with varying levels of intensity.
I've learned to feel shadow energy in my body, before it takes over my mind - if I am listening carefully I can observe it, witness it - shine light on it and release it consciously. Other times, it comes on in a flash and I snap out of it after reflecting, apologizing and trying to understand what triggered it.
If we don't acknowledge these energies within ourselves - they have the ability to take over. They have the ability to turn venomous - attacking everyone around us, and putting our ego on a pedestal, blaming the world - for how we chose to react. Perhaps showing up as agitation, lack of patience, defensiveness - all pretty powerful shadows.
When reading the list of conditions above, I felt something in my body and chest when I read; rigid levels of power, prevailing chaos and disorder, dehumanizing environments and removing a sense of responsibility. Reread the list, see how you feel when you do it.
Start to treat these feelings as clues. Clues to dig deeper into yourself with an attempt to understand. It's important to unpack why it comes up, while observing it without judging yourself for it. Alternatively, if you've developed a rigid view point and feel justified in telling everyone else their business and why you are right - you are SCREAMING out for self love and understanding.
Every once in a while, when my daughter gets the flash of anger that crosses her eyes - I look at her, and ask her to try and soften her heart. This has always helped her find the balance of emotions without rejecting either. It's a simple reminder, that it's a choice. Striking this balance creates conditions for love to grow - while still providing the opportunity to have a voice and experience the vast array of human emotion.
Sometimes strong and influential, other times passive and calm - swinging too hard in either direction tips off an imbalance that can leave us feeling out of control and misunderstood.
In the coming days, I ask you to observe - and identify your shadows. Notice why and how they emerge, notice if you reject them - only bringing you deeper into them, or if you release them with ease.
Share with me, I'd love to hear from you.