“The greatest challenge is to love ourselves completely” Carl Jung
I spoke this past Monday night on the journey of authenticity and the influence of our shadow side. It was quite interesting because as I prepared for the speech, memorizing it and making it me, I had a lot of issues arise from the shadow side. I’ve talked about duality before and I experienced that a lot when I spoke.
The topic of the speech was “Who Am I” and I struggled with that off and on through the week. Who am I to speak, even briefly, about the journey to authenticity when I’ve yet to “arrive”? Who am I not to speak the truth of my journey?
It takes both sides, the light and the shadow, to make a whole person. Standing in our truth comes when we accept all parts of ourselves and at any given moment we are one with ourselves standing in the fullness of who we are. That means accepting the duality within.
My experience of being sexually, physically and emotionally abused created a very powerful and dark shadow side full of programs, beliefs and fears. Rather than facing the truth of the shadow side, I sealed each one in a box and then took each box and put it into the back of a very dark closet. I then, shut the door and locked it. I lived an illusion. People thought I was competent, confident and pretty great. That may have been true, but it wasn’t all of me. My shadow side was stuffed away in boxes.
Keeping that door shut began to take more and more energy and then one day the shadow side busted through. I ended up in a corner of a room sobbing endlessly, my body covered with bruises as my shadow side had expressed itself. No one knew how to help me because no one knew of the shadow side. That moment was the beginning of healing for me.
Dealing with my shadow side has been rather unpleasant and yet incredibly valuable. While facing the truth of all me and the pain from the shadows, I have evolved a more authentic me – more honest, more grounded and more stable. It is a journey and I haven’t arrived yet, and maybe there never really is a moment of arriving – maybe we are always evolving and as we evolve we become clearer and more integrated.
Although a more fulfilling experience, it has taken a lot of courage to live fully in the truth of who I am. There are still days where the fear and the programs are so intense, it challenges me to find the courage. And on those days, I rely on my companions – faith and trust through God.
While preparing for the speech I once again experienced the duality within and the feeling of imbalance that duality created for me. I began looking at the world through the shadow side and it took choosing every moment to move past the shadow vision. I came through it. The speech was given. I was approached by someone to help her explore her “boxes”. If I touched one person and can help at least one person, it was all worth it.
The other benefit of the “soul” preparation was I came to a deeper understanding of new truths within me and how I create some of the experiences of my life in order to set myself free. I found my inner rebel as a part of me who resists authority, tradition, conformity out of fear. What I came to understand is the truth of exists regardless of the situation. I am not defined by the situation. What defines me is my intrinsic soul so there is no need to fear authority, conformity or tradition. I am free to experience whatever the universe has provided me to experience and trust it is for my higher good.
As I wrote this tonight, the song “We Shall Overcome” has been plaything through my heart. Please listen to Daina Ross as she sings this beautiful rendition and find how it speaks to you.
“Deep within my heart, I do believe, that someday we will all be free. I may not know how long it will be. Someday we will all be free, someday we will free. Hold on my brother. Give me your hand. Someday we will all be free. Learning to love, we will find our way. Someday we will all be free.”