The Shadow⏤from my last column⏤we know are the parts we see in others that we judge harshly, because we do not accept those parts within ourselves.
Overly criticizing someone who is putting themselves out there and claiming their gifts. (Writers, performers, artists, athletes, academics, social media influencers, happy people).
The emotion evoked when you see your ‘Light Shadow’ can range from insecure meekness “I could never do that, or be that way…” to judgemental arrogance “that one note was off, what a hack…”
Basically anything that evokes strong emotion is in some way telling you something. Emotions, in their purest form, are meant to be messengers to help guide us and get our attention when we need to pay attention to something we are not seeing. For more on this go to ‘You Are The Manual‘.
Obviously the concept of a ‘Light Shadow’ doesn’t make any sense literally. But, in the context of the concept of ‘The Shadow’ we can see how there are parts of ourselves we do not see, can’t see, or deny out of fear of perceived pain from judgment, humiliation, failure or rejection.
Eeck! those are some heavy-duty words.
Yes, these words keep us from choosing to claim our Light, so it stays in the Shadow. The shadow of,
“I can’t do that.”
“what would they think?”
“what if my spouse leaves me if I go for my dreams?”
“I might be misunderstood.”
“why try, what’s the point, I never win in life anyways. I’ll save myself the time, money, and disappointment and not even entertain trying to do what lights me up.”
The LIGHT shadow, includes goals and dreams like writing a book, singing on stage, doing a competitive or extreme sport, gaining a certain title or promotion in a profession, starting a company as an entrepreneur, buying a sailboat, selling all your stuff and getting a tiny home and living off the land, wearing a bright red outfit just because, doing your hair a certain way, doing a life your way.
When you find yourself judging people that are “in the arena, on the stage, in the spotlight, or on the field” so to speak, it is a sign you actually might be denying your own potential and possibilities. It is easier to be a critic, it is easier to sit on the sidelines and point out flaws or fumbles of those choosing to be visible, to be in the light.
But is is really easier?
No, no it is not. Because all that energy you waste watching and judging everyone else was meant to be lived by you. That is energy you are squandering.
If you turn your spotlight back on to you, and ask yourself,
“What would you do if you couldn’t fail?”
I think you would eventually have an answer. Sit down with a pen and paper and actually create that list. This will bring your light out of the Shadows. Once you know what you want, now you can re-direct the wasted energy of being a critic to actually living and enjoying your life. You be you, and they can be them.
The light shadow doesn’t have to be big and shiny.
It might include things like donating or volunteering, reading regularly, eating with joy and balance rather than restriction and self-judgment, having a baby, having a clean trunk of your car, being that person who is early, having a loving life partner…the list of desires could go on.
The key, the message of a Light Shadow, is to pay attention to the judgments that are obnoxiously incongruent with the situation. Such as yelling at the screen, or constantly talking about someone else trying to convince them of your own judgments about someone else’s wins or accomplishments.
What keeps the Shadow alive?
That’s enough to snuff out anyone’s light.
It’s my mission to help other people equip themselves to live a life of joy in a world afraid of their light. Our world of be mediocre, blend, be grey, don’t stand out, in my opinion, has contributed to the rise of illnesses from Cancer to Depression and even Suicide.
If we pay attention, life has messages for us. Life wants us to win at being ourselves and shining our light in whatever unique way that might be. It is not unicorns and rainbows people. Shining your light is hard, you will be judged, you will be criticized, you might go broke for a time, people might leave you, you might be rejected 1000 times, but…
You will be You
And be Alive.
This is what we all want.
We want to be accepted for being ourselves, and we all want to live our potential. It is just as natural as a seedling breaking through concrete to follow the sun rays, we seeks to break through our own limitations to experience our fullest expression.
Stop projecting, judging and criticizing.
Your life is waiting for you.