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 By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

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 iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Marie T. Russell's Daily Inspiration
 

INNERSELF VOICES

Healing Otherness: Your Changes, Reflected in Community
Healing Otherness: Your Changes, Reflected in Community
by Stacee L. Reicherzer PhD
Seeking out a community of healing, being exploited in it, perhaps assuming the shame and…
Horoscope Week: June 14 - 20, 2021
Horoscope Current Week: June 14 - 20, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
Being A Better Person
Being A Better Person
by Marie T. Russell
"He makes me want to be a better person." As I reflected on this statement later, I realized that…
Modeling Behavior is the Best Teacher: Respect Must Be Mutual
Modeling Behavior is the Best Teacher: Respect Must Be Mutual
by Carmen Viktoria Gamper
Socially respected behavior is learned behavior and some of it (for instance, table manners) varies…
Separation and Isolation vs. Community and Compassion
Separation and Isolation vs. Community and Compassion
by Lawrence Doochin
When we are in community, we automatically fall into service to those in need because we know them…
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
by Jason Redman
Ambushes don’t just happen in combat. In business and life, an ambush is a catastrophic event that…
A Season for Everything: The Way Our Ancestors Ate
A Season for Everything: The Way Our Ancestors Ate
by Vatsala Sperling
Cultures on every continent around the world have a collective memory of a time when their…
How to Build New Bone... Naturally
How to Build New Bone... Naturally
by Maryon Stewart
Many women assume that when their menopause symptoms stop, they are on safe ground. Sadly, we face…

MOST READ

An Open Letter to the Entire Human Family
An Open Letter to the Entire Human Family
by Ruchira Avatar Adi Da Samraj
This is the moment of truth for humankind. Critical choices must now be made in order to protect…
How to Build New Bone... Naturally
How to Build New Bone... Naturally
by Maryon Stewart
Many women assume that when their menopause symptoms stop, they are on safe ground. Sadly, we face…
This Pandemic Has Shown That Following The Same Road Will Lead The World Over A Cliff
This Pandemic Has Shown That Following The Same Road Will Lead The World Over A Cliff
by Ian Goldin, University of Oxford
Despite the tragic deaths, suffering and sadness that it has caused, the pandemic could go down in…
A health-care worker performs a COVID swab test on a patient.
Why are some COVID test results false positives, and how common are they?
by Adrian Esterman, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of South Australia
Two COVID-19 cases previously linked to Melbourne’s current outbreak have now been reclassified as…
0mc9bvhy
Banking That Serves People, Not Bankers
by Jim Hightower
Corporate ideologues never cease blathering that government programs should be run like a business.…
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday
by Jason Redman
Ambushes don’t just happen in combat. In business and life, an ambush is a catastrophic event that…
image
The mystery of long COVID: up to 1 in 3 people who catch the virus suffer for months. Here's what we know so far
by Vanessa Bryant, Laboratory Head, Immunology Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Most people who get COVID suffer the common symptoms of fever, cough and breathing problems, and…
image
IRS hitting you with a fine or late fee? Don't fret – a consumer tax advocate says you still have options
by Rita W. Green, Instructor of Accountancy, University of Memphis
Tax Day has come and gone, and you think you filed your return in the nick of time. But several…
A Season for Everything: The Way Our Ancestors Ate
A Season for Everything: The Way Our Ancestors Ate
by Vatsala Sperling
Cultures on every continent around the world have a collective memory of a time when their…
How Well Your Immune System Works Can Depend On The Time Of Day
How Well Your Immune System Works Can Depend On The Time Of Day
by Annie Curtis, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
When microorganisms – such as bacteria or viruses – infect us, our immune system jumps into action.…
Why We Must Quickly Find Ways Of Using And Wasting Less Energy
Why We Must Quickly Find Ways of Using and Wasting Less Energy
by Michael (Mike) Joy, Victoria University of Wellington
As countries explore ways of decarbonising their economies, the mantra of “green growth” risks…
Is It Time To Give Up On Consciousness As The Ghost In The Machine?
Is It Time To Give Up On Consciousness As The Ghost In The Machine?
by Peter Halligan and David A Oakley
As individuals, we feel that we know what consciousness is because we experience it daily. It’s…
Turning 75
Turning 75: A Magic State of Wonder (Video)
by Barry Vissell
This month (May 2021), both Joyce and I turned 75. When I was younger, 75 years old seemed ancient.…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

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