Tonight, the clocks go back, giving us an extra cosy hour in bed in the morning but also reminding us that winter is upon us.
Some of us may be reluctant to accept the cold, dark mornings and evenings. As the dark nights approach the shadows grow stronger, we are either running away in fear or getting ready to embrace this time of reflection and introspection of our growth and journey throughout this year.
I love this time of the year, the colours, the sounds, the smells, the crisp and fresh mornings. I love getting wrapped up in winter woollies and going for a walk or having a hot cuppa and a chat.
However, I also know that the darkness of these seasons can be daunting or scary as they can reflect the darkness with us all. The dark places within our physical bodies that are not illuminated in activity. The dark places within out emotional bodies that hold onto hurt, fear, betrayal and pain. The dark places that we act from when we are tired, angry, pissed off or being judgemental. The dark places within our mind that we dip in and out of in varying depths, depending on our own experiences and challenges. These dark places cast shadows that we ignore, suppress, hide from because to lean into them means discomfort, pain and necessary healing.
Instead of fearing or repressing these dark places, within us, that cast shadows on other areas of our lives, why not try to accept them?
Accept them for what they are, not good, not bad, just what is.
Accept them as without them we would not be able to acknowledge and revel in the brightly illuminated places within us.
Without the contrast there is no dark or light, no up or down, no good or bad, no left or right. One cannot exist without the other to compare it against, as within everything is a piece of its opposite.
Think of the yin and yang symbol, the ancient symbol of harmony, balance and duality.
With a gentle and compassionate heart (because exploring the dark and shadows within is scary business) accept the darkness, accept the shadows as part of who you are. Embrace the shadows and dig deeper to see what is lurking behind. Maybe it is just like walking into a dark room, a little scary at first but once you turn on the light the fear seems unjustified.
Maybe you need to confront the dark shadow causing you fear, call it out and work on it by bringing it into the light.
Here are a few powerful questions for thinking about or journaling about as we embrace both the light and dark within us all in the coming months.
- What are the traits you don’t like about yourself, the ones you suppress and pretend don’t exist?
- What emotions trigger these traits within you?
- How are you judging yourself about these traits within your shadow self?
- How can you embrace them, learn from them and shed some light on them?
- What are most scared about in acknowledging / sharing these shadow qualities?
“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with the shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you are not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts in you shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you always desired.”
Author Debbie Ford
Be kind to yourself and the emotions that may some up as you write. Seasonally it is a time for letting go, maybe you too can let go of some things hiding among the shadows.
Love and light,