We are All Made Up of Light and Shadows

· February 27, 2018

Light and shadows are our constant companions, filling our inner being. They are part of who we are and what we don’t want to be. They are what we may be in the future. It is clear that they are the struggle between what we recognize and what we avoid. What we let in to our lives, what we ignore and what we don’t want to see. And in this small, but complicated, balancing act, we try and live our lives without letting any one part rule us.

Our intuition tells us that the balance between what we know and what we don’t want to know is difficult to achieve. To be able to live with ourselves we have to be able to accept the truth of the matter. We are made of light and shadows. That is why there will always be parts of us that we don’t want to accept.

Getting to know our light and shadows

Accepting the darker side of our lives may involve pain, but at the same time it can mean growth, change, and self-acceptance. This means that we should really get to know ourselves and develop healthy self-esteem in our lives. Not everything is light, nor do the lights always light up our lives. They sometimes actually blind us and the shadows may actually give us the answers we were looking for.

“It’s not possible to awaken the conscience without pain. People are capable of doing anything, however absurd it may seem, to avoid facing their own soul. Nobody is enlightened by fantasizing about figures of light, but rather by becoming conscious of their darker side”.

-Carl Jung-

Two women, light and shadows

Are you aware of your own shadows?

Carl Jung defined our shadows as the combination of frustrations, shameful or painful experiences, and fears or insecurities that lodge in our unconscious. The shadows contain all the negative aspects of our personality that our ego is not always able to accept. Because of this it can actually stop us from living in a real way and expressing our true feelings.

Evil, selfishness, envy, cowardice, jealousy, greed and many of our emotions and fears are the shadows that lurk inside. We often become aware of them when they lead us into conflicts with other people. On other occasions they show themselves in feelings of guilt or even inexplicable bouts of depression. We end up not even recognising the image we transmit to others.

We are even capable of projecting these shadows onto others because we can’t accept that these feelings, thoughts or ideas belong to us. We are programmed from our childhood to hide our failures, our desperation and every negative part of our lives. It is simply human to keep these shadows inside of us, just as at the same time we keep the light. Light and shadows go hand in hand.

“A man who has not gone through hell because of his passions has never overcome them. As far as we can discern, the only purpose of human existence is to shine a light in the darkness of our being”

-Carl Jung-

Stones balancing

Have you ever been blinded by your own light?

The light that we are made up of, the lights that surround us and that shine out from our inner being are all those qualities, virtues, emotions, behaviors, or desires that we like to show to others. How easy it is to wear them like a mask all the time, as if they were our only true identity.

We can choose to be pranksters, intelligent, understanding, sociable, timid or brave. We can choose how we want to project ourselves to others in our social lives.

These days the lights of our personality shine out more and more through our appearance on social networks. We live a second life in which the shadows not only hide, but also seem to not even exist. What at first may seem like a good thing and a way of protecting ourselves from the miseries of our lives, actually becomes the epicenter of the expression of modern narcissism.

We let our own light blind us. We get so obsessed thinking they are the only way be can express ourselves towards the outside world, that we stop being human and just become smile machines in the photos that leaves great gaps in our inner self.

That’s why it’s so important to know what our shadows are. They are what help us to keep an inner balance. We are fallible, we feel jealousy, envy or guilt, but we also rebuild ourselves. We are human, and accepting the true reality, and not a work of fiction, will help us develop a healthy self-esteem and live a better and fuller life. Don’t deny your shadows, accept them. Don’t blind yourself with the lights – look for your inner balance.