The shadow knows

Lately I’ve taken to winking at myself in the mirror, I don’t know why. I suspect it’s because we’re in cahoots.

Disentangle by Marijcke

Anyway, I was thinking. It’s fascinating, this transparent emotional body we all carry within our physical bodies… We can think that everything’s fine one minute, and then BAM!, a button gets pushed and our skin flies off and our guts gloop out onto the floor and our whole world instantly crumbles. Or there’s a slow accumulation of painful moments that end up in a pile as insurmountable and immovable as a mountain. Either way, suddenly, we’re vulnerable. Pain becomes suffering and we wonder how we ever felt happy before. Does that happen to you? It happened to me yesterday.


So I called out to God. And then I called my daughter Torie. And then I called my friend Kary. And between the three of them, and Scott’s smiling face when he got home from work, I felt about a ton better. I’ve got a date to talk with Lorraine tomorrow, and have tea with Linda and lunch with Kary next week. Loved ones are such a solid support for us, aren’t they? Man. What’s super nice for me is that since I’ve decided to live all the way out into the light, to be perfectly honest and forthcoming with my feelings, thoughts, and deeds, I can get all the help I need. That’s different for me. Since I was little, I had always had something to hide, always something to be ashamed of, and I held that part of me away. The shadow part. People can’t be there for you in your most painful places if you’re unable to let them in. You can invite people into the shadows with you, but I’ve found that doing so only breeds codependency, and also, our particular shadows call to other similar shadows so two people (or more, sometimes) can end up with one huge ugly shadow between them, and that’s just messy. And sad. And ultimately lonely because resentment is the only possible outcome.

I see it like this. As we gradually begin to move toward the light, our shadows don’t disappear, but are cast out of us in stark relief, where everyone can see them and they can be dealt with. However, just as when the sun hits high noon, when the light shines directly on us from above, there’s no more room for shadows in the strong bright light. They’re simply overcome by something more powerful than they are. That’s where I intend to live always, under the bold bright rays of the noonday sun, and I’m currently building myself a house here.

Kary laughed when I told her yesterday that I want friends, I just don’t want to have to be a friend to get them. She laughed when I complained that people just up and disappear from your life whenever they feel like it, especially in the internetiverse, and she laughed when I said I’m as guilty as anybody else when it comes to that. She laughed a lot when I was talking to her, come to think of it, but I’m not offended because she said she’d talked to five other women this week who had said the exact same thing. Solidarity in loneliness, isn’t that a pip.

For me, loneliness hits when it’s been too long between heartfelt conversations with someone who loves me. It’s a very simple prescription that seems too difficult for me to fill most of the time, I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’d become accustomed to keeping things close to my vest. Maybe because I was ashamed to be less-than. Maybe because in the past I didn’t have clear boundaries and let people take too much from me (often). Maybe I would get really far in friendship with someone I liked, only to eke a little past their comfort zone and then maybe it hurt too much to watch them turn tail and run. Maybe I took too much from them. Maybe I’ve had good reason to be afraid of human beings, with their jaws that bite and claws that catch.

But we’re all doing the best we can with what we know. Even the worst of the worst of us is doing his or her best to figure things out. There really is no place for judgment. Discernment, yes. There are people and situations that are not good for us to stay with for long, that try to pull us into the darkness, but the really awesome thing is that once you’re established in the light, and intend to stay in the light, the light you carry with you can shine on all the shadowy places and bring the message of unending love to those who feel the lack of it, and you’ll be safe.

The light of honesty, of unconditional love and acceptance, of respect even if there’s disagreement, of unity instead of separation, of a sense of responsibility for our earth, of kindness toward all living beings, of awareness that each action counts, of knowledge that our joy, contentment, happiness, will not be found outside of us but will affect all of the external things around us as we work from the inside out, well, this is the light that makes a difference, that changes our hearts in the way the world so desperately needs. I don’t have it all figured out, but there’s one thing I do know for sure: Love is the key. It fits every lock. Have a wonderful day, all. Love!


Filed under Been here before, Beloveds, God, Hope

7 responses to “The shadow knows

  1. Karen

    Kary laughed when I told her yesterday that I want friends, I just don’t want to have to be a friend to get them.

    Um, she would laugh at me too….

  2. Harlequin

    And this is probably an appropriate place to say I didn’t see your email to me til just before I went away for a few days, then I went back to work and have been busy so haven’t written back. YET. I will though! Love love love you! Xxx beth

    • June bug! I’m so happy to hear from you, elated that you’re neither dead nor dying, though you could be writing to me from the hospital, what do I know? :) It’s good you’ve been busy (unless it isn’t), especially since that leaves you less time to grieve the current dearth of good television. Whenever you can write is just fine with me. Love love and more love back at you! xo

    • Oh, and also, Horatio has a little harlequin cat friend who comes to visit (see: sit on the patio swing and taunt him with the fact that he’s confined indoors) and I always think of your H. when I see him (or her; I’m not about to try to lift it up and examine things netherwards). It’s here again today, driving poor Horatio crazy. Yeah, it’s probably a girl.

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