Shadow and Reflection
Image: Jim Hamilton
Each one of us has it in different proportions – it’s my job to overcome it but I still have it… Fear; the killer or the hero of our dreams.
Fear is a great motivator but also a huge stumbling block to reaching our potential.
It’s what holds us back or pushes us forward; it’s our safety system, our internal alarm which signals danger, real or unreal, rational or irrational. It’s what keeps us safe from impending peril. It keeps us alive – so why are we scared of it?
Perhaps in some instances it’s because we fear our own, personal power.
We know how rage feels and we each know what we could be capable of in that rage. And that’s bloody scary!
In that moment of rage we see ourselves as invincible – imagine what else could be done with that power if we were unafraid of it. We often hear people talk about ‘channeling’ their energy – it only means shifting our focus from one thing to another to use up that energy. Rage, fear, grief, sadness, joy; they’re all just energy, nothing more.
We fear getting in touch with these feelings, mostly I believe, because we are afraid of ourselves. We want to avoid pain and experience only pleasure – but it’s life; it’s unavoidable. These darker energies are what emerge as our ‘shadow’… the bits of us we keep hidden from others, as well as ourselves.
We leave the womb unprepared and dependant on the adults around to take care of us… unfortunately, some never grow out of that.
As humans we kind of expect that life will be kind and generous to us but then we find out different; no life is untouched by the negative - what’s puzzling is that we’re rarely taught how to manage it.
As children we’re encouraged to suppress our feelings if they’re not quite socially acceptable – in some cases rightly so – but not in all. Children haven’t yet learned to hide their shadow – it’s natural for them to show it, until the adults step up and quash it all, not only the ‘bad’ stuff.
We then grow to be afraid; afraid of showing our true selves… and the shadow darkens. Later we choose to be driven by the energy of darkness – or of light.
To be able to speak our truth quietly and clearly should be the goal of every parent for their child, encouraging them to be happy and whole but once again I’ll say this; how is that possible if the parents don’t have the skills themselves?
It becomes obvious that these skills must be sought from beyond the structure in which we grew; in attempting new things, in exploring our ‘self’ and in the discernment of teachings from wise old sages.
When these things are fearful themselves seek a trusted teacher, one who has no ulterior motive except to help you through your darkest times.
And loving and fearless.
For the mind talks.
But the body knows.
Working through the layers we have can take time; be patient, be fearless. See how much energy the fear is using up … then imagine how much you could achieve if you could channel that energy into something positive.
Step out of the shadows and shine your light.
Lesley runs a Confidence Clinic in Glasgow and also conducts one-to-one Confidence Coaching on Skype, by appointment.
If you’re feeling stuck or are in fear, please make contact – we can work through this together.