As we come out of hiding so do our shadows

So many of us feel called these day. Called to be who we always knew ourselves to be. Called to create what we’re here to create. Called to express what we’re here to express.

There is a feeling of urgency. There is a sense of no longer being able to postpone this. The world needs us and we need to be there.

And so we step out of the hiding. Perhaps just by accepting our path and our role. Perhaps by beginning to express what we believe, wherever we go and not only when we speak with those who share the same beliefs. Perhaps by starting to build something new, something we’ve seen in our vision and have no idea whether it will become the thing we’ve seen or not. Perhaps by accepting the leadership we have avoided all our life.

We’re courageous. We’re inspired. We’re on fire. We’re in alignment. What a joy to be ourselves this way! And then…

We stumble and we fall.

Just as we’re about to take that next bold, happy, inspired step, we fall into darkness.

All of a sudden, we feel small, vulnerable, lost, scared… perhaps smaller and weaker than we have felt in a long time. And we hate it. We hate being back in that place again. That big dark cloud, that relentless shadow of our life.  The one you thought you were done with. Oh please, not this again, not now.

And then the fear comes. And then the questioning.

“Will I ever be free? What’s wrong with me? Why am I being stopped now that I’m finally coming out of the hiding, finally saying yes, finally agreeing to be who I’m here to be and do what I’m here to do”

What’s going on?

Do not worry, please. This is exactly what needs to happen. As we come out of the hiding, as we stand at the gate to the next phase of our lives, everything that has kept us back will stand there with us and will demand our attention.

It will not be ignored. And we will not pass through the gate until the meeting has taken place.

The meeting

If what kept you back is fear (of pain, of punishment, of isolation, of loss, of madness) it is now here waiting for you to meet it.

If what kept you back is worthlessness (feeling inferior, an impostor, shameful, painfully small…) it is now here waiting for you to meet you.

If it is dependency (on people, on status, on material security, on food, on things, on thoughts) it is waiting for you as well.

How do you meet a life-long adversary?

First of all, we need to acknowledge that this part of us, which has been following us all our lives, including when we thought it wasn’t, cannot follow us into that next phase. Not in its present form anyway. That’s why it stands in the way, like a gate keeper.

There’s no sneaking around. No elaborate justification will make it go away. On the contrary.

We need to stay with it. We need to engage with it again, wholeheartedly, patiently, with all the love and all the awareness that we have. We need to become it fully, for a while, so that we can feel it through and through.

And we’ve got to trust that we won’t drown in the shadow. This is not really an enemy, even if it feels that way. This is a call for healing.

If it was fear that has kept us back, this is the time to fully embrace that fear, until the instinctive courage of our soul emerges.

If it was worthlessness that kept us back, this is a call to fully embrace it, until the innate knowing of the indisputable worth or our being emerges.

If it was dependency that kept us back, this is the time to fully embrace it, until the deep-seated knowing of our true identity and freedom emerges.

The paradox

We won’t get anywhere unless we stay with it. This is how this journey works.

So let’s be patient now. Let’s stay for us long as it takes. Let’s do whatever inner work and outer changes are needed. If help is needed, reach out for help.

When this part of the work is done, we move on. And we walk with the courage and the confidence and the sense of freedom that our calling requires. And even more joy, even more lightness!

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