Many people avoid looking into their Shadow as they feel it is too scary and they don’t want to go there, yet we all have a shadow side and if you don’t look you won’t know what is hidden away. Not looking does not prevent your repressed shadow traits showing through, it is just that you are unconscious of them!
I was scared at first to look at what lay dormant in the dark within me. In Light behind the Angels I tell how the first message Steve channelled from the Elohim was,
“You have to use your dark side.”
I replied emphatically, “I won’t do that!” and was ready to
banish the being and bring Steve straight back to the fore when he
replied, “You answer well, but you need to know what is there.”
What I didn’t understand then was how much of my personal power was bound up, stuck and repressed in my Shadow. The Elohim wasn’t asking me to go around smiting people and acting out dark desires, he was challenging me to own my whole self.
There is a popular myth out there that to be a Lightworker you have to be all love and light. I feel this is a dangerous misunderstanding. By ignoring your Shadow, or even pretending you don’t have one, the dark aspects within simply get buried deeper and your Shadowed behaviour becomes less conscious. Human beings aren’t pure 'love and light'. Not you and not me. We can either choose to be conscious of our thoughts, actions and feelings, own them and take responsibility for them, or we can stay immature, like children and pretend, “I didn’t do it.”
Delving into your Shadow is about understanding yourself as a whole person and not just noticing the ‘acceptable’ parts. This is not a license to go around acting out your dark side, being rude to people and behaving cruelly! When you shine the light of consciousness deep into your Shadow and find the parts of yourself that are filled with anger or shame, you will realise many of these ‘dark parts’ are actually the bits of you that are hurting most and in need of attention and healing. Keeping them buried in the Shadow and pretending they don’t exist isn’t going to do the job!
Your Shadow doesn’t just hold your darker personality traits. It can be a rich source of creativity and skills if you are brave enough to explore within. In Mother Night: Myths, Stories, and Teachings for Learning to See in the Dark Clarissa Pinkola Estes explains the qualities that the 'over-culture' disapproves of, or does not value, are likely to fall into your Shadow. In the dominant cultures of the West this often includes such traits as intuition, healing, psychic skills and artistic, poetic and other creative skills. Although these traits may not be valued as highly as they deserve to be any society is poorer and more sterile for a lack of mystics, healers, poets, writers and artists.
Looking into your Shadow really can help you ‘find your diamonds in the dark’. There may be wonderful treasures that you locked away, perhaps early in childhood. If you were told, “There’s no such thing as fairies,” or, “Stop daydreaming and do something useful,” or, “Don’t make up stories,” then the sensitive, imaginative and perceptive side of you may have been firmly suppressed, especially if you were made to feel foolish or ashamed. This repressed part may hold amazing and beautiful gifts for you.
My own journey, told in Light behind the Angels, forced me to look at aspects of myself that had been buried deep for a long time, not just in this lifetime, but for many lifetimes. Much of what was brought to my attention at first looked scary or dark, but by keeping my nerve and walking towards it rather than running away, the abandoned, shamed, repressed and missing pieces of my psyche could be healed and reintegrated. Becoming whole isn’t a quick process and it can’t be achieved without looking at your Shadow side, but I believe it is a journey that is well worth taking.