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Are you afraid of the Dark?

Every day the sun rises and then sets on your part of the world creating a cloak of darkness. On a clear night you may find an amazing blanket of stars, pinpoints of light in the vast recesses of the universe. We must have the dark moments of night to have the glorious beauty of sunrise and new opportunity of the morning. It is part of a Divine Design.

You may not be aware, but you have parts of yourself, like the universe that are dark. Parts of you that you’d rather hide from yourself or from others. These parts of yourself are qualities of being that you have at one point in your life deemed as wrong or bad. You have had experiences in your life that you gave meaning to and created beliefs that informed your choices every day since. This is your shadow. It follows you throughout your life, often at an unconscious level creating the patterns in your life that keep you stuck. You work hard at disguising it and protecting yourself.

Do you feel like bad stuff always happens to you? Like you always pick the same type of wrong person to date? That you never get picked for promotions? That no one values your opinion or cares? That you aren’t worthy of love, success, happiness? That you keep trying to make change in your life but you just can’t no matter how many times you try?

You may cover your shadow with a social mask pretending to be happy and humorous to hide your sadness, or you act as expert on every topic under the sun but are hiding feelings of stupidity or insecurity. You tell yourself lies to protect yourself but are really hiding a brilliant, magnificent spirit. When you are willing to really look at this mask, it becomes a valuable tool in transforming your life. As Debbie Ford mentions in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, “the reason for doing shadow work is to become whole. To end our suffering. To stop hiding ourselves from ourselves.”

Transforming your shadow involves compassionate courage. You must intentionally revisit your past experiences and emotions associated with those incidents. It takes looking at all the parts you don’t like about yourself and being willing to seek and embrace the gifts they held for you. By integrating all of these parts of yourself you once disowned, you remember who you really are. Your perfection does not lie “out there” somewhere, after you lose 20 lbs. or gain another certification. It is a part of who you already are. You will bring those pinpoints of light into the dark until you recognize the perfection and brilliance of your Divine Design.  You will never be the same.

If you really want to transform your life and wake up from autopilot, start noticing and writing down your habitual patterns, thoughts or experiences that you wish were different. It seems so simple but it is important to write them down. Acknowledging them is the first step in transforming how you experience life. The second is finding the support in a form that you can be fully committed to. Coaching, a book group (I will be holding one based on Debbie Ford’s Dark Side of the Light Chasers) or try a weekend intensive like the Shadow Process as a gift to yourself and never be afraid of the dark again.