I just lit my “candle for writing” and simultaneously I am thinking about darkness. The words ‘shadow side’ are bubbling in my head. Why do we avoid our shadow? Steer clear if we can. Think it is ‘bad.’ We hate to even acknowledge that we have a dark or shadow side to us, but guess what ...pretending it’s not there does not make it so.
Lucy Van Pelt represents my shadow side. People have come to see “My” Lucy as playful and creative rather than bossy and crabby. Is it because I do not let her ‘shadow’ side come out so much on the page? Or is it maybe things have shifted inside me as I have come to embrace what she represents?
Lucy is my inner (and outer) critic, but she also motivates me. This was a great productive and creative week for me with much of it driven by shadow and hurt. There were dark pages in my visual journal that I have not shared. And, my ‘darker’more challenging soul collage cards did not appear to be well-received (at least based on the lack of comments). Ironically, the process of making those cards helped me process some of the chaos and anxiety I was experiencing thus helping shed some light so-to-speak.
If you look closely at my collages there is always light in the ‘dark’ cards and darkness in the ‘light’ cards. (This is unintentional, by the way.) Just as initially Lucy Van Pelt was rejected by me as too crabby, bitchy & bossy, she has now become my greatest ally as I have learned to embrace her.
My greatest joys have come with much pain….(childbirth, for one.) Also, who has not experienced deep loss of some sort? If the hurt is acknowledged and processed, is there not some growth and healing that happens? Sometimes the best thing to be able to do is say, “I am sad” or “I am having a shitty week”, but in some ways I feel censored to be so honest. (My inner censor speaks loudly.)
One reader said I was in a “dark” period and subsequently quit commenting—resulting in more sadness over that loss. Others may consider overabundant joy and consecutive weeks of fabulousness to be too shallow and impossible to believe. So where is the balance? For some reason FDR's quote: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” comes to mind.
I need to be able to share when I am sad and when I am joyous without being afraid of the response (or lack thereof). My emotions produce great creativity from both sides. I do not believe that makes one better than the other. They are simply different, but it appears that “darkness’ is less appealing to many. It seems frightening perhaps.
The length of this post is beginning to 'frighten' me now ☺, (I do prefer shorter discourses). So, for today I am going to consider why you (I) run from the shadow side. Or maybe you don’t. Either way I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Why do you run or avoid shadow? How do you embrace it?
Wishing you lightness in your day, so you may also see the shadows ☺. Peace.
photo by h3images
collages by lucy. see related post here.