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    Wednesday 30, May 2007

    Love your shadows

    Each of us has characteristics we define as ‘good’ and those we define as ‘bad.’ The parts of ourselves that we continually reject want to be acknowledged and loved. Until we honour these aspects, they will continue to assert themselves. They will do whatever they can to get our attention.

    What aspects of yourself do you reject?

    Take a few moments to open to the parts of yourself that you do not love. See each one honestly for what it is. Explore the wounds and the motives that gave rise to its condition. Love a wounded part of yourself and it will heal.

    “Strangely enough we strengthen love in ourselves when we raise into consciousness the shadow side of our lives. Conversely, when we keep negative feelings out of sight, they smother the love that seems to lie deeper and closer to the real self. This is probably why there is so much pain in not loving. The life that is not able to express the love which is so integral to it grows deformed.”

    — Elizabeth O’Connor


    Excellent topic, Jax! Another thing about the shadow selves…. if you notice, the animals that you are most afraid of often have the spiritual characteristics of the “shadow” parts of our selves. We often encounter these animals in normal consciousness, but we also will encounter them in meditation and dream states. Hence the name, “shadow totem.”  ;D Anyways, it’s always a scary thing to open up to our own shadows, but it is a necessary thing, so I just wanted to say “GREAT TOPIC!”


    Well, all I did was share what someone else wrote ;-)  But, I know so many people struggle with this and don’t understand that avoiding the subject gives it power.  And that’s the last thing we want to do.  When we shed light on our shadows, they are no longer shadows.  If you shine a light in a dark corner, it is no longer dark, but just as light as our light.  It’s only when we hide from it that it becomes dark again.  The longer we avoid it, the scarier it becomes.  Think of all the mythology we have surrounding closets and beds as kids.  It’s because of their darkness and our avoidance of those areas that we are so scared. 

    Now, so I don’t make it sound like this should be a piece of cake, it isn’t.  And you aren’t a bad Jedi or a failure if you find this difficult.  We all struggle with various aspects of ourself.  What makes a Jedi is the willingness to face this darkness anyway.  That’s where being a warrior comes in.  We must first face what we fear inside before we can face our fears outside.  In time you find you aren’t afraid of nearly as much as before!


    An example of facing a ‘shadow’, from my own life.  This is an excerpt from my blog.

    I get upset when I drive and other people drive in an irresponsible manner.  Why can’t I just relax?  My reaction tells me one area where I’m not living my spirituality.  If I were living my spirituality, why would I get mad at an accident that didn’t happen?  After all, if my soul doesn’t want me to experience a car accident where I am injured or killed, I won’t.  Therefore, even though someone else is being stupid, it doesn’t actually change anything except my mood.

    Realizing this, I tried to apply it the next day.  I found I was able to stay more calm during my commute.  This state of mind stuck around for quite a while, but it does start to fade in time.  Then I have to remind myself again of why those other people don’t matter.  This isn’t always easy.  There is always that doubt in the back of my mind that says, what if my soul wants to choose something horribly unpleasant like a car accident?  See, I don’t trust my higher self to bring me the experiences I need to grow.  I am so concerned with keeping things smoothly moving forward that I don’t trust myself to make this happen.

    Isn’t it amazing that I can’t trust my own higher self, and instead try to micromanage everything myself?  It’s insane really.  And this causes me to get bogged down.  It may be partly due to all these crazy energy shifts going on, but I still have to take responsibility for my own focus issues.  I can be kind to myself and not beat myself up for these shortcomings lately, but I also need to do what I can to dig myself out.


    Ok, now i just feel compelled to type something up.

    For me, as both a Jedi and a Human, this is one of my biggest issues.  My strongest shadow is “lack of control” or the feeling of.  A lot of times in my life, I feel angry over the tinies little things.  Through discussion I have come to realize that I am angry becasue  I feel helpless in situations and I just can’t STAND that. 

    However, before  Iunderstood that, I would push down my emotions and shadows.  Apparently ;) this is bad and I wouldn’t recommend it.  All you are doing is feeding it and letting it grow, and you are not getting better, but worse.

    It was recommended(and I hope its ok that I share this) to first off, just BREATHE.  Then look inside yourself and see what is triggering your shadow.  Then and this is the hard part, you must accept that you have this shadow.  It is part of being human and it is part of being a jedi. 
    (oh and I had this little revelation that I think is worth sharing: just becasue you have shadows does not make you evil, or sith, or dark, or whatever. It simply makes you human)

    Ok after you have accepted your shadow, then you have to for lack of a better word “get rid of it”  Now there are several methods for doing this.  You must find your own way, and I’m sure someone on the faculty would be willing to help you out. 

    My way is to look inside my self, understand what is triggering my shadow(anger) and thenreplace my anger with compassion.  To do this,  Ihave to focus on my breathing, and begin to replace my thoughts, well not replace, more like divert my thoughts from negative to more positive. 

    Ok, this is a summary of what I have learned, hope it helpd


    yes love us Shadows, there are only a few of us  :yoda :fight :mace :maul :obisaber :mara :saber :plight

    Jedi Lawhead

    understand that shadow aspect of yourself. You get upset in the car, as do many of us, because you desire not to be hurt, you desire others not to be hurt, you desire to get to your destination in a timely and safe way. This is self preservation, not just of your physical self, but when extended to others, of your moral self. You get angry first in relation to your body being put in danger, then you realize this and dissaprove of your own anger, thus you rationalize your anger as concern for the wellbeing of all those on the road up to and including yourself and maintain your moral stance of compassion for and respect for all life.
    Drive safely because it is what must be done, accept that many others on the road will act selfishly and adjust accordingly be avoiding them. This is balance.

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