This morning I received this line and began my reflection on shadows. Years ago I had seen this image widely published in a national geography magazine. What we see as the dark camels in this image is actually the shadow of the camels. The tiny white scars on the sand are the camels. This image fascinated me much and stayed with me. So when I heard my friend say the aforesaid statement, I felt it is time.
I have watched and followed shadows and many a times merged into my shadow when I did not need it anymore. In this image we notice that some of us have the shadow in front of them and some have it behind them. It all depends in whether we are walking towards the sun or away from it.
There are three instances when we cast no shadow.
- We are the light. Enlightened beings do not cast a shadow. Anandamoyi Maa was known not to cast a shadow.
- We are surrounded by light. When we have light coming at us from all the directions in 360 degrees, we cannot cast a shadow. But it has a blinding effect. Many experience it in dream states, after life experiences etc.
- We are in total darkness.
Our shadows are a part of ourselves. Judge them not, for they are you. The more we work with our shadows, the easier it becomes to get closer to light and become the light. In so many ways we are light in many lives. Just like, anyone we look up to is a light in our lives.
Often we find people in our lives, people of the same gender as us, who push our buttons, make us act out. Pay attention to them, for they are our shadows. Take notice of when, how and where they make us irritate or frustrate us. People we envy are usually our shadows. Keep them close for they will help you grow with a deeper understanding of yourself. They are our best teachers and of course our best friends.
It takes time for us to feel that the person who irritates us is our friend, but they truly are. When we are done with our shadow work, either they will be our best friend or go away forever, for we do not need them anymore to grow. A feeling of deep gratitude and fond memory will linger.
Not all our shadows are dark. We have great assets hidden in our shadows. Debbie Ford calls this as “light shadows”. I would love to believe that all our shadows are light shadows, for they are cast only because we are in the light.
So look at your shadow. Dance and play with it. Enjoy!