By Amy Leigh Mercree
Many of us on a spiritual path focus on living love and forgiveness as best as we can, but we run into some issues with standing up for ourselves. We know forgiving is best for the soul. But what if your ex cheated and fathered several kids (not with you) while you were together? What if your current girlfriend makes fun of you in front of her friends? When do we put on the boxing gloves and stand up for ourselves? And if we do, are we still spiritual people?
Living love is a journey ripe with growth in each moment. We try our hardest to forgive. We mediate to be more Zen when someone cuts us in line. But we live in a dualistic world. One where everything exists – from the most joyous and light filled to the darkest and most dense.
We are all forever seeking balance in our own ways, and our world offers us an amazing array of mirrors for the parts of our selves we don’t like or feel uncomfortable about. But we can take the reigns and integrate those parts of ourselves so they don’t show up as people in our lives who push our buttons – and especially so they don’t show up as our spouses or dates.
Understanding the Shadow
Your “shadow” self is the part of you that stays hidden away for nobody to see. Occasionally, you might catch a glimpse of it, in a moment of partially suppressed rage, or stark loneliness. The shadow is a very personal aspect of the total self. It’s everything you find unpalatable, unattractive or socially unacceptable that is a part of you no matter how deeply it is buried within.
Your shadow can be scary, for it contains all that you fear, especially about yourself – your inner malice, manipulations, jealousy, envy and madness. It’s the sad little child hiding in the corner after being rejected, and it’s the bully on the playground who terrorizes others. It’s the power hungry monster within, and it’s the helpless supplicant victim. Your shadow is everything you can’t control – your very own, personal inner chaos.
Gaia, the earth mother, saw beauty and potential on this planet orbiting our sun, and she made it her home. Out of the prehistoric chaos of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, peppered with almost constant meteor showers, life was born. In coming here, she was aware of the struggle for balance that would occur, as this is natural law.
As her children, before incarnating here, we too were aware of the beauty of balance, of light and dark, of the beautiful dance, whose essence is chaos. As the reflections of Gaia, we all dance the sacred dance to manifest balance, no matter how we incarnate.
When we bury, or repress aspects of ourselves, they will manifest or “act out” like wayward children. This can occur on many levels. For example, our shadows can manifest in the form of other people who wrong us, as they hold up a mirror to help us more clearly see ourselves.
As beings gaining cosmic consciousness at a critical time in the planets evolution, an opportunity exists to take responsibility for our shadows. This means integrating our own personal shadows to the best of our abilities so less energy is available for manifestations of darkness.
In the constant movement towards balance, if there is less repressed shadow energy being held by the beings of the earth, then there is less of a need for events and situations we cannot ignore, to make us stand, and take notice of our shadows. Doing this integrative work raises vibration on an individual level, and raises the vibration of the planet.
Here is an exercise to help integrate your shadow:
Shadow Integration Activity
Gather your courage and faith around you like a sky blanket, and use this process to integrate your own shadow only. This is individual work that is best done consciously. Do not do this for others, as they too must take responsibility for their shadow selves.
Go within your heart space, and see yourself standing in a temple at the center of your heart chamber. Notice the surroundings, and walk over to the alter in the center of the temple. If it is bare, cover it with things that bring you joy, such as flowers, tropical fruits, minerals, pictures, artwork, statues of deities or songs.
Then stand tall, proud and strong. Raise your spirit arms above your head in the temple as you stand physically at home or out in nature and do the same. Speak the following out loud with clarity of intention.
“I call all aspects of my Self to the center of my heart chamber. All are welcome in the temple, You will be received with love. My shadow, hear my call. It is time to integrate shadow self, shadow self, shadow self.”
See your shadow stand before you in the center of your heart temple. Do not judge it.
Look it straight in the eye. Know it. Feel white light or love emanate from your spirit self, and from your hands and heart and eyes. Love your shadow.
Allow balance to enter your soul structure and permeate your being. Offer your shadow a home in your heart temple. Perceive the wholeness that stems from shadow integration. Feel the oneness in welcoming all that you are into the center of the temple of your heart.
Use this process as often as you would like. Know you have made a difference in the world by the responsibility you took, and the light you magnetized. Your relationships will be lighter and you will have no need to bring mirrors of your shadow into your life as dates.
Amy Leigh Mercree is an expert dating & relationship coach, entrepreneur, adventure guide and author of “The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating: Your Enlightened Path to Love, Sex, and Soul Mates.” Visit her adventure travel site, www.LoveSeaVacations.com for eco & dolphin travel fun and visit www.SpiritualGirlsGuide.com for your complete conscious dater’s toolkit. Follow her on Twitter: @AmyLeighMercree