shadow hunting

the darkness, the shadows, the storms…  i am curious about this part of the journey, because it’s the other side of the light.

in fact, it’s why i started talking about the ‘harbour’ of the lighthouse. i needed a place to acknowledge the darkness alongside the light. i needed to include a safe place where we could just BE in whatever it is we are experiencing.

so i am indeed curious to explore the darkness… i would like to be a shadow hunter peering into the darkness, shining a light on what needs to be seen.

i like the idea of firmly planting my two feet on the ground, facing the darkness head on, and proclaiming: “i’m going in!” – it creates a playfulness, a sense of curiosity and adventure, rather than seeing this as something hard, scary, or to be avoided at all costs!

and i don’t think being a shadow hunter is about being a shadow ‘fighter’ or shadow ‘conqueror’…. i don’t think that’s the point.

exploring the darkness doesn’t mean we are broken… it’s not about fixing it.

it’s about facing it.

knowing it.

owning it.

embracing it.

because perhaps in facing the darkness we will find our light.

in feeling our pain we will experience healing.

in knowing our fear we will discover courage.

in understanding our shame we will cultivate compassion… for ourselves.

in recognizing our biggest challenge we will uncover our greatest gift.

in seeing our demons we will be able to let them go… so they no longer hold the same power over us.

maybe, by owning the shadow side of ourselves – the stuff about us that we aren’t so good at, or proud of, or that we try to hide away – we will stop feeling less than because of it.

for no one is perfect. no one is all light, all the time. and placing that impossible expectation upon ourselves will always make us feel, in some way or another, like we are not enough.

maybe when we embrace our own shadows we will see that we are still worthy… worthy of love and joy and abundance and success and all of it.

maybe exploring our darkness is about deciding to just BE where we are, here and now, in our harbour. to stop avoiding, running, or hiding from the darkness… to stop pretending it isn’t there… but instead to set up camp inside of it, to decide: "this is it. this is a part of me. and i will build up from this place."

and so, HOW?

(this is how my brain works, it's not enough for me to say: 'oh yes, right, explore the darkness. that's nice.' my brain asks HOW?)

how do we explore our darkness? how do we confront our shadow self? how do we face our biggest storms, and come out the other side to shine our light?

that's what i am willing to try... to be a shadow hunter... to 'go on in' and see what i find.