Last year's recurring theme in my life was surrounding shadow work. I honestly had know clue what the shadow was until I crossed paths with "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" book by Debbie Ford. And shadow work can really stir stuff up, make the internal waters a bit rough as you learn more about yourself and work through it. So 2018 wasn't the easiest year but it definitely was one of tremendous growth.
Sometimes people come into your life as a catalyst for your growth. To reflect the parts of you that you want to just push under the rug and never look at ever again. If you act like it doesn't exist, then it doesn't. Until it makes its way up from underneath the rug.
That's what happened to me.
"You are mean." "You are angry." "You are so sensitive."
I tried to deflect these words my partner at the time threw at me but then I paused. Darkness showed it's face to me. It stopped and looked me right in the eyes.
I'm the girl that is known to be upbeat and happy, and smile a lot, and so optimistic, and get super excited about the tiniest, most random things. I was the girl who has been told a gazillion times over that I bring sunshine to the room I enter.
I am an upbeat and happy person. I smile genuinely because I shine my light from within. I do look toward the bright side of life. I do get really excited about things most people overlook or may think are silly. I know this all to be true. This is me.
But here I was looking into Darkness. A reflection of myself I disowned but was reflected back to me from another person. The other side of me. The part of me that I've been missing, that I've neglected.
Yes, I do get mean sometimes. I do get angry. I am sensitive.
And that's okay. Through my work, I've learned that these shadows show their face when I feel like I'm being walked all over as I give and give and give. A root in lack of boundaries. Physically, emotionally, and especially energetically. Some things I've since been working on.
I was focusing so much on the light that I forgot about the darkness, my shadow that showed its face in this relationship as a means to reflect my own suffering- my own wounds that needed to be tended to and cared for as I tried so much to take care of other people, a mother wound, healing that has been neglected for generations, patterns that were not serving me.
Last year was also the year I birthed Inner Light Botanicals, a business focusing on the exact opposite of the shadow.. the light. Inner Light Botanicals is all about the light but I want to let you know this isn't ONLY about the light. It's so super important to know you can't have light without darkness. And you can also find the light inside the darkness.
The sun rises but it also sets.
There's daylight and then there's twilight.
There's the darkness of the new moon and the brightness of the full moon.
You can only see stars in the darkness of the night sky.
As we connect here and may have the natural tendency to focus on the light, on positivity, on shining from within, we need to make sure we don't overlook or ignore or push under the rug the darkness. It's the other half of us that we like to keep hidden but that makes us more whole as we become aware of it, feel it, embrace it and work with it.
Growth happens here. Transformation happens here. Change happens here. Healing happens here. Magic happens here.
If you want to learn more about the shadow and how to work with yours, make sure you join the community over at The Good Vibe Tribe and connect in some way for support with this tribe as we start to bring awareness to our shadow and use it to help us shine even brighter.
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Mandee Metzger is the Creator and Founder of Inner Light Botanicals. She has studied and practices Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness, Crystal Healing, Reiki, and Integrative Nutrition and is a huge advocate for mental health awareness and feeling your feelings. She believes in the power of a smile, positivity, and the healing journey. She also believes in the power of integrating self-care into our daily life in small moments. And she believes in the power of the energy we put out into this world to transform lives and our planet. Find her simple self-care practices and mindful lifestyle on her YouTube channel, Mindfulness with Mandee.