Debbie Ford and your Shadow
I spent the weekend with Debbie Ford viewing her soon-to-be-released film on the Shadow (which featured Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Mark Victor Hansen, and many others whose work includes the Shadow) and experiencing the interactive version of the film where you answer questions to reveal your relationship with your Shadow. Debbie Ford is the author of several books including Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Why Good People Do Bad Things, Spiritual Divorce, and The Secret of the Shadow: The Power of Owning Your Story , to name just a few.
The Shadow, a term coined by Carl Jung, is comprised of the parts of ourselves that we’ve disowned and deny. The Shadow has the characteristics and qualities that most bug us in other people, those that we’re likely to judge others for and would least want to be seen as having ourselves much less be judged for having. These are our many Shadows. We expend a tremendous amount of energy attempting to conceal our Shadow and create masks to cover our many Shadows. We cannot succeed at this 100% of the time no matter how much we effort. When these efforts fail, we act out. The characteristics and behaviors we’ve tried to conceal are revealed in a raw form. The masks become our prison. The Shadow holds a tremendous amount of power over us! Power that we could be using in positive ways if we weren’t denying the Shadow. Anything that we are identified with has control over us. Anything we can disidentify from, we can control.
Here are a few quotes from the film:
What we can’t be with, won’t let us be!
Either you’re going to use the Shadow or it’s going to use you.
Whatever we judge in others is something we’ve disowned in ourselves.
We possess every human characteristic whether dormant or active- this includes the flip side of all of your positive qualities!
What you resist, persists.
At our very core, we all believe that we are bad and wrong; this is why we are constantly trying to be good and insisting that we are right (and also insisting that others are wrong and bad).
Anywhere you are overcompensating or trying to prove something, the Shadow is present.
When we suppress any part of ourselves, we’re living in denial of all that we are and we’re cut off from the totality of our power.
The Shadow is merely a part of our humanity. It’s completely normal to have one. Having a Shadow is an impetus for creativity and growth.
More than anything, we long to be set free and accepted for who we really are.
As we move through our Shadow, we reclaim our light. Our external world can shift once our internal world shifts.