Laugh At Your Shadow

Fleeting Moon (c) 2009 DC Lessoway

whether the sun
finds me or no
my shadow exists
as an arm, a finger
I cannot cut it away
in obscurity it lies
tampering the works
pushing through thoughts
ideas foolish, unwise
never perfect am I
for times I’ve heeded
that malevolent voice
through experience
through introspection
this I’ve learnt
to laugh at the shadow
dampen its power
quiet its voice

We all have what Jung called the Shadow.  No matter how good, pious, kind we are, we sill posses this dark side.  Where the self-disparaging thoughts originate, where that voice of negativity lurks, where any pain inflected on you as a child resides in wait, for a moment to lash out.  It’s a reservoir for a type of chaos that we all possess.

History is rife with people who were fine examples of allowing our dark sides to rules our lives.  From past and present dictators to the office bullies who lash out because they want to spread their own hurt around.  There are a million examples.

As noted above, we all have it inside, and that means even those who are seemingly saint-like also have dark moments.  There are so many stories of people who were deeply lost in their dark side; in alcohol/drug/sex/gambling addiction for example, and found their way out to set examples of how to defeat that shadow.  I know this from experience (oh jeeze I don’t mean I’m a saint in any form of the word), as my mom left when I was five or so and left me to an alcoholic father who in turn left me with a babysitter who was abusive.  I remember my sister (who has since departed this world) telling me that it was likely that one of the babysitter’s daughters may have been sexually abusing me.  Nothing I can prove as I have no recollection of this but I do know I was sexualized at an early age (likely six).  Then again there is my depression, insecurities, those dark thoughts… but enough about that, I’ve dealt with that pain, through a decade of therapy, writing, being creative, talking in groups, etc.  I just know from experience that the Shadow is a powerful thing and to understand, acknowledged, used in a positive way.

It is imperative that we accept, not deny, that shadow-self.  It will do you good to look at your own dark side, though it is a painful trail.  It is as simple as journaling your pain, or seeking professional help or a support group.  No matter the venue, find out why your shadow exists for you and I guarantee you, there will be a mountain lifted off your shoulders, replaced by a sense of peace and a renewed sense of purpose.  Do it now!

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