Stop Giving Shade To Your Shadow

“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” ~Carl Jung

What’s your favorite part of getting dressed up and going out? For me, and most of my girlfriends, it’s the getting ready part. Applying the makeup—meticulously painting on the foundation, applying the perfect amount of mascara, and highlighting my cheekbones so the light catches them in just the right way.

We’ve all had that moment, that rush of euphoria when we see ourselves as beautiful, but sometimes it’s blighted by the harsh reality for what’s really underneath that layer, that false veneer of mineral powder and colored pigments. It’s not just acne prone skin but also a deeper and darker side. Instead of masking our “ugly” side with makeup and false promises, to try and be just a little bit better, it’s time, in 2016, for us to embrace this darkness.

My gloomy days entered my life when it was supposed to be the happiest days of my life—planning my wedding. I was super organized and well suited to execute my dream day. I had the location chosen, date set, dress picked, and handmade save the dates sent. Nothing was going to get in my way of perfection. Unfortunately we had personal family matters that were affecting our relationship, and it wasn’t turning into a good time. I had been scrambling to find the supreme outdoor venue I had envisioned, but it was turning into a money pit and overall I was losing what I truly valued to overpriced bamboo chairs and extra juniper trees.

I’ll never forget when my then fiancée looked me in the eye and asked me if I really wanted to get married at this venue. My gut knew the foundation of our relationship had been rocky and to spend an outrageous amount of money was only going to turn out to be merely a performance. So in that moment, I agreed. I let myself fall by calling off the wedding. I was horribly afraid what others would think since my concept of perfection was shattered, however as I sunk deeper into that decision I felt the pressure of exactness and over-achievement leaving me as humility took over. Looking back I realized in that fall I gave myself the permission to take a break and truly enjoy life instead of checking of the list.

It’s understandable that we as humans want to excel and be the best version of ourselves, but sometimes in our quest for perfection we hinder ourselves even more. That’s why we all need to love the good, the bad, and the ugly. The darkness is right there in the details of our life and to ignore so would be foolish. That just gives the shadows room to manifest.

Don’t punish yourself for human nature, but look it dead on and learn to understand it. What makes that anger or sadness bloom within? Once you learn that, it becomes that much easier to find a cure and bridge the light to the dark because without darkness we can never truly understand what light is.

Even more importantly, when you begin to fully understand the dark side of yourself then you can become equipped to prevent disease, illness, or just pain in general. Keeping some dark secret from the past locked up inside can only amount to decay and frustration. Eventually, it will seep outside of you, which we can sometimes see as back pains, depression, or even cancer.

When you stop fighting, and acknowledge every part of yourself, that’s truly when the healing and change begin. I know this concept can be scary and daunting, and that’s why I offer a three-session program at Centripetal Force Studio for this specific journey towards enlightenment and peace. You can find it here under “Archetypal Patterning.”

So this year, embrace the part you try so hard to fight because every little bit of you is absolutely beautiful. You just have to find a place for those darker fragments of your life.

Remember, you would never see the stars if there wasn’t that blanket of ink surrounding them.