Living in the Light

Do you remember when you were a child and used to play with your shadow? I used to twist my head around when it was behind me a try to see it. Sometimes it stretched out way in front of me and at other times it was off to one side. I don’t remember how old I was when I finally figured out why it would be in front of me one moment and then a moment later it was behind me. In my young mind I decided it was just a random thing,

Of course where my shadow is all depends on where I am in relationship to the sun. When it is behind me, my shadow stretches out in front of me where I can see it. When it is in front of me, my shadow is behind me and I don’t see it or give it a thought.

We cast another kind of shadow in life. It is a psychological shadow. Our shadow is the part of us that we don’t see—it is in the dark so to speak. Interestingly enough it is somewhat like the shadow that falls behind you when the source of light is shining in front of you. You block the light and so a shadow is created.

The problem with the shadow side of our nature is that it has power in our lives, but we do not actively even acknowledge that it exists. It is a form of denial. We often get hints or glimpses of our shadow nature. We will have an encounter at work, with family or spouse, or friends and have an indication that maybe there is something that we are doing or thinking that might be causing problems in our relationships. This is similar to when you were a child and you could just see the edge of your shadow. But what we tend to do is to make excuses and reassure ourselves that we don’t have a problem it must be the other person who is over-reacting or wrong. This is also a common behavior with addictions.

Some shadow qualities that are common for all of us are insecurities, passive-aggressive behaviors, jealousy and envy, hatred, pride, greed, sexual issues, and love of power. The list can go on for quite some time. These are all qualities that we know about and that we can easily see in other people, but when we have issues with them we often keep them buried and hidden from ourselves. But just like that shadow that is cast but can’t be seen by you when it’s behind you, but is seen by others, your other shadow is usually visible by others also.

The reason it is so problematic for us is that we can’t address anything that we deny. The first step to dealing with the negative effects of our shadow is to shine a light on it. To bring something out in the open that has been in the shadows requires that we open our hearts to learn the truth about everything that we find there, not just the good stuff.

When we approach God with an honest, open heart asking for the light of Spirit to bring us awareness we are on the path to taking back the power in our life. Whenever we lie to ourselves or keep things hidden because we are afraid, those qualities of shadow mentioned earlier still manifest in our lives and exhibit a lot of power in our relationships. Thus, when we bring them into the light and “own” them, we can then ask for the help of Spirit to deal with them.

This is similar to turning on the lights in the room of a child frightened by the dark. It seems like a scary thing to be honest with God and with ourselves since we are so afraid of what we will find there, but in reality, opening up to a God of love and restoration is comforting and empowering. God is not in the business of condemning us but of helping us. The Creator is a specialist at restoring the original design and pattern in our lives but in order to do this we must be trusting, open, and honest.

Shadow is a result of the Light being blocked in our life. The process of being restored so that the Light shines through us is one of continual dependence on God for what has been done for us through Christ. It is through the power of the Living Christ that we are healed, grow, and become more like the Source of Light. It is easy to fall into the arms of a loving God. Trust the One who made you to have just the right prescription for your wholeness and healing.