Most people do not perceive their shadow as also being their reflection. In fact, many would see these as being in opposition to one another, but in fact, the shadow is a reflection of that which is less easily viewed. When the light is before us, the shadow falls behind us. When the light is behind us, the shadow falls before. In this dimension, it is a sort of hard rule that one angle of light will cast shadow in an opposite direction. This allows us to view a silhouette of ourselves that seems separate of ourselves, but have you ever really followed shadows? Shadows are a perfect reflection of how all things are connected. One shadow connects to another, to another, and to another. If your shadow were separate, it would not connect back to your heels as you stand facing the sun. We are connected to all things and there is no escaping the shadow. In fact, as you’ve likely seen, it will follow you.
In the not-so-distant past, I became very ill quite suddenly. In a 12 day period I went from my "norm" of working and exercising daily, to having to be pushed around in a wheelchair to get further than 20 feet on my own. It felt harsh and extreme. It was a hard blow, from which I did not fully recover for over a year. That was a priceless time...a period that reminded me that I always have the choice: the choice to stay in separation consciousness, or not. For someone who once prided herself on an expanded sense of awareness, it was not easy to admit that I had been fighting oneness. I had been willfully avoiding the confrontation of my shadow and so I was gifted a blow that kept me quite literally on my back. The great gift in not having the strength to lift your body is that you must then lay with your shadow. My shadow was thick with shame and beliefs about my lovability and worthiness. By not having any energy or strength to do anything for another person, I felt useless and unworthy. I needed help from others in order to do the most basic of things and I would not have been able to survive without assistance. This brought up so much shame. I was laying in bed, pressed up against my shame and self-hatred. And this was no short haul. I lay there with that shadow, with those thoughts and feelings. I marinated in the beliefs and the pain until I seemingly turned to soup. I had lost all boundaries and resistance. I had become my shadow. I had become everything that I never wanted to be. I could not fight or resist that these thoughts, feelings and beliefs were part of me. It did not matter if they were true or not, they were part of me. And when I had the strength to become soft enough to let them in, I was able to be more whole again. I was able to understand that I was more than just those parts that I resisted. I was able to see how small they were. As shadows, the further I moved away from them, the bigger they seemed to appear. When I laid down with them, they disappeared into the infinite fullness within me. They lost their size, strength and power. And, as you may have guessed, I began to heal and my body began it’s process back to health and wholeness.
It is no problem for me to connect to a detailed sense of the space outside of me. The keys on the computer's keyboard are the most present. I am in complete awareness of their location, color, feel and sound with each stroke. I can see various tabs open on my computer screen, the details of the room in my periphery, and the many sounds outside my open window. I continue in great detail about everything outside of me with absolute ease. And while I find it effortless to flex my outer awareness muscle, there are a remarkable number of processes going on inside my body right now. There are, quite literally, births and deaths occurring within me. Cells are dying, being created, carrying out important processes and building more worlds inside me. And all of this does not even begin to touch on the emotional world that is happening in and around my body. There are thousands upon thousands of emotional shifts occurring in each of us daily. These emotions are tied to our beliefs, perceptions, experiences and physical feelings as well. Many of them are connected to our internal chemical processes, which are also connected to the cells and bacteria (and their processes) within our system. It's teaming with complexity and interconnectivity! But when was the last time you consciously chose to explore beyond that which is easy for you to perceive? When was the last time you chose to spend a bit of time searching inward, rather than outward? When was the last time you sat still with yourself and successfully stayed focused on yourself, your emotions, your body and your mind? How fit are your self awareness muscles? Are they strong enough to hold you as you stretch out to the ragged edges of your deepest pain and shame?
I was raised with self awareness and meditation as part of my ongoing indoctrination. I attended 5 years of healing school, have had an energy healing practice for 15+ years (which requires some fairly large awareness muscles to be used daily) and have spent years teaching others about energy awareness...and I STILL have blind spots! Why? Because I am a human being. I have shadow. I live in a dimension of duality. And so long as there is an outer universe to infinitely explore, so is there an infinite inner dimension available for exploration.
After more than a year spent wrestling with, and eventually uniting with, some of my shadow I find this a better question:
If we live in an infinite Universe where "as above so below" and "as inside so is the outside" is true (and perhaps it is not, no one knows...), why would I ever avoid or ignore my shadow? And furthermore, why would any of us chose to exercise the belief that any one part of a duality experience is more important or worthy than another? And how could one or two or even ten aspects of the whole ever be larger than the whole?
Presently, I do not believe there is any aspect of the expanded creation of Self, God or the Universe that can be less vital or worthy than another, not one within or one without. It is my preference and choice to spend time consciously exploring myself wholly, rather than avoiding that which I find more challenging to perceive. And I am convinced that I will never be in true adoration of my own reflection if I cannot also love my shadow. So, I commit to time where I am not observing my shadow from a distance, but where I lay myself down to merge with it...for if I do not, I may have to fall again to find my way to it.