Befriending the Shadow: Transforming Darkness Into Light

a model standing on a runway facing her shadow... all in green
Image from Pixabay

We've discovered that when we don't recognize or accept certain parts of our own nature - positive and negative - we'll project these qualities onto others. It's through the dynamic of projection that we initiate a shadow dance with other people until we integrate what we're denying back into our self-concept.

Projection is an important component of shadow dancing because it sets up the dance itself. There's a Buddhist teaching that those who anger, irritate, frustrate, and even consciously attempt to sabotage us are our greatest teachers. Buddhists call them noble friends, because they mirror back to us the very things we most need to learn about ourselves. Always remember that in shadow dancing, the other person is you!

In other words, we're attracting into our lives individuals who hook us into a shadow dance in order to see ourselves more clearly. If, for example, you're incapable of owning your need to be assertive and self-directed, the chances are that you'll draw someone to you who bosses you around like a tyrant - or in extreme cases, who gets aggressive or abusive to motivate your inner warrior to surface. Or if you can't acknowledge that you're a narcissist and like to be the focus of attention, you'll attract friends who always want you to make them the center of your universe, without giving much regard to your needs.

Dancing With Your Dark Side

Once we understand shadow dancing, it's difficult to continue doing it, because we can no longer claim the privilege of being a victim and blame someone else. When we catch ourselves caught in such a dynamic, we're ready for - and required to accept - a new level of self-mastery and responsibility.

As a shadow dancer, you must assume that your dancing partner is teaching you something very important about yourself. This takes fearlessness, honesty, and accountability seldom found in our culture of blame, litigation, and hypocrisy. And I've watched many people focus far too much on the teacher in front of them, forgetting to concentrate on the lesson. They opt to resent and blame the one who's instructing them, instead of learning what they need to - sometimes for the span of their entire adult lives.

When we focus on blaming our noble friends, we miss the opportunities they bring for us to acknowledge the lesson and reabsorb the projection and help us transform our Self Fate into Destiny. This doesn't mean that our dance partners don't possess some measure of the quality we're projecting onto them. But shadow dancing is really about self-discovery - leading us to the parts of ourselves that we don't know very well.

Loving Yourself Despite Your Negative Side

However, I want to be clear on something here that's very critical in how to deal with the negative aspects of yourself that you discover through this process. As you begin to recognize and identify unpleasant things, it doesn't mean that you should stop loving yourself. In addition, it doesn't mean that you should act them out. Venturing into your shadow and perhaps learning that you can be intolerant, judgmental, rude, and impatient or identifying that you're capable of violent thoughts doesn't mean that you should externalize what you find. (Did I just describe a day in city traffic, or what?)


 Get The Latest From InnerSelf


Rather, the potentially harmful qualities that we find down in the shadow must be held in our awareness with compassion. And we'll uncover more than just the "bad stuff" through shadow dancing. We'll also discover what we need to express in order to feel whole as individuals, which we may project onto others to act out for us, fating ourselves to dependency.

Befriending the Shadow Within

"Within everyone there is light and shadow, good and evil, love and hate.
In order to be truthful, you must embrace your total being.
A person who exhibits both positive and negative qualities,
strengths and weaknesses is not flawed, but complete."

-  Deepak Chopra -

Befriending the shadow is a terrifying notion, for we know that what we discover deep down in our darkness may conflict with our carefully constructed self-concept. As a consequence, the ego resists this kind of integrative analysis. It's so much easier to keep projecting our darkness onto others. Venturing into this territory will require a new level of self-responsibility that most of us resist.

So why do it? Not only does knowing our own darkness allow us to see another's with compassion; it also opens us to all of the creative aspects of the soul that are hidden within this part of ourselves. Therefore, to befriend the shadow is to befriend the soul.

Paradoxically, when we manage our own darkness and own it, the purest light is able to shine through us. This means that not laying claim to our capacity for negative action and thinking that we're only good will inevitably own us, shoving our soul out of our life.

Transforming Darkness Into Light

It's said that those closest to the light cast the biggest shadows, meaning that as we move toward the sacred - our soul - we gain power. And if we only see ourselves as good, we've just unconsciously animated a polarity within us and empowered our own "evil" - our shadows - as well.

The more we move toward our soul and power, the greater responsibility it becomes to manage our own shadows - especially if we want to transform darkness into light and Fate into Destiny. 

Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House, Inc. www.hayhouse.com.  ©2008.

Article Source

Transforming Fate Into Destiny: A New Dialogue with Your Soul
by Robert Ohotto.

book cover: Transforming Fate Into Destiny: A New Dialogue with Your Soul  by Robert Ohotto.Through this seminal work based on years of experience, discover how we’ve made two fundamental agreements with the Universe as part of our Heroic Journey — one with Fate and the other with Destiny. As we learn to dance with these two forces, they become two voices challenging and beckoning us to discover our ultimate purpose — the primary task of the modern-day Hero and Heroine; and in the process, serve to unleash the power of our Soul in delivering grace to the world.

Info/Order this book. Also available as a Kindle edition.
 

About the Author

photo: Robert Ohotto, world-renowned Radio Show Host, Spiritual Teacher, Thought Leader, and Intuitive Consultant, and Founder of HoloKompass™.Robert Ohotto is a world-renowned Radio Show Host, Spiritual Teacher, Thought Leader, and Intuitive Consultant, and Founder of HoloKompass™. He has a diverse background of study in mythology, Christian mysticism, Kabbalah, Jungian psychology, Eastern philosophy, astrology, and Western Hermetic teachings. He's been a pioneer and new voice within the field of intuitive astrology and human consciousness. For more information on Robert's work and lecture schedule visit him at his Website: www.ohotto.com
 

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

First name:E-mail:
 

{emailcloak=off}

DAILY INSPIRATION

citizen of the world dress
Daily Inspiration: March 6, 2021
It is said that when someone asked Socrates what country he was from, his response was "of the…
Daily Inspiration: March 5, 2021
Daily Inspiration: March 5, 2021
There's no need to run away, or run to others for answers. Close your eyes and talk to your Self...
InnerSelf.com Daily Inspiration: March 4, 2021
Daily Inspiration: March 4, 2021
When we think of greed, we usually think about money and material possessions. However, greed can…

INNERSELF VOICES

We Create Our Own Reality By How We See and Interpret Things
We Create Our Own Reality By How We See and Interpret Things
by Pierre Pradervand
How I see my life path is a choice I make minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day… And this…
How to Walk for Health, Fitness, and Peace of Mind
How to Walk for Health, Fitness, and Peace of Mind
by James Endredy
For most people, walking is an activity that requires no thought or intention -- it is rarely even…
Young girl sitting surrounded by lots of book of various colors
How to Recognize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
by Thom Hartmann
ADHD is not an all-or-nothing diagnosis. There appears to be a curve of behaviors and personality…
How To Recognize Your Core Negative Beliefs and Inner Critic
How To Recognize Your Core Negative Beliefs and Inner Critic
by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard
You may not think you have a core negative belief, but if you’re mysteriously stuck, one or two…
Scrabble letters that spell out: NO HATE
Vaccination or No Vaccination? That Is Not the Question Here...
by Joyce Vissell
This is not an article about the benefits of getting a vaccination. Nor is it an article about not…
heart shape filled with various colors
Quiz: What’s Your Risk of Heart Disease? and What To Do About It
by Maryon Stewart
If you answered yes to more than three questions, I would highly recommend that you follow the…
two balls balanced on top of each other under an arch
Attaining Balance Between Left and Right-Brain by Nourishing the Solar Plexus Chakra
by Glen Park
Aspiration and achievement, power and success, and fame and fortune are presented as highly…
Photo of aurora and moon by Markus Varik on February 22, 2021, Tromsø Norway
Horoscope Current Week: March 1 - 7, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…

MOST READ

silhouette of a woman's head and it is disintegrating
Letting Go of All Perceived Pain, Ignorance, and Fear
by Alexis I. Jordan
Thank you, infinite goodness, for your bounteous gifts, including peace, love, freedom and joy,…
Transformation: Taking Back our Power from People and Parasites
Transformation: Taking Back our Power from People and Parasites
by Vir McCoy and Kara Zahl
I believe that both Lyme disease and parasites are teaching us to love ourselves, claim our power,…
picture of colorful fireworks in the sky
Cancer Meditation and Cancer Medication: A Powerful Combination
by Joyce Whiteley Hawkes
Each cell has its own biological clock that controls its individual rate of repair, replication,…
Emotions and Your Moon Sign
How To Deal with Your Emotions According To Your Moon Sign
by Donna Cunningham
The Moon, in the astrological chart, can help us understand how we deal with our emotions. It shows…
a model standing on a runway facing her shadow... all in green
Befriending the Shadow: Transforming Darkness Into Light
by Robert Ohotto
When we don't recognize or accept certain parts of our own nature - positive and negative - we'll…
Why Creating Art With Your Children Is Important
Why Creating Art With Your Children Is Important
by Vicky Armstrong
Many of us may be looking to art activities to keep children busy while at home. If you are, I want…
First Aid Buttons: Regulate The Body's Energy Flow and Improve Your Health
First Aid Buttons: Regulate The Body's Energy Flow and Improve Your Health
by Barry Sultanoff, MD.
We came into this world with special "buttons" pre-installed. These "buttons" are specific spots on…
boy covering up his face as if afraid of the tall city landscape behind him
Awakening to the Power of Healing Our Core Wounds
by Lisa Tahir
It is our human condition to experience wounding on the earthly plane of existence. It is our…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.