Shadow work

“The shadow is “the long bag we drag behind us,” heavy with the parts of ourselves our parents or community didn’t approve of.” —
Robert Bly, A Little Book on the Human Shadow

But we seldom do the work to a) understand our shadow self and b) to rescue our souls from its dark, brooding overlay of the now.

If we’re not careful, it ruins everything or certainly it suffuses the brightness of life and smears it with the emptiness of everything we thought would bring us to a point of contentment.

I should know, because for a long time, and even now (I’d be lying otherwise), my shadow self overwhelmed any attempt to live fully and instead everything felt heavy, replete with angst.

Why (as I keep saying) am I sharing any of this with you?

I mean, what’s to learn?

Nothing much save to recognise that we’re imperfect beings, compressed into a very narrow avenue of doing without ever realising that we’re much bigger than we can (ever) conceive. Yes, that’s it: we play it small so as to not aggravate our shadow self. It’s simply too painful.

But live dear friends — live! You only get one shot at this and I can tell you it will be over, the whole bloody thing, before you can blink an eye.

At least that’s what I’m intent on doing and have been for at least the last 11 years. To come alive all body, mind and soul. Sure, I’m not going to please everyone or even a few people but who cares. I’m not living my life for them.


What does shadow work mean to you?

Anyhow, it’s Monday and I’ve got a conversation to have about my role. I’m not yet sure if it’s make or break but, for both of us, it will be illuminating.



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