We all have a shadow that is unique to us. Our shadow is a holder of darkness and negativity that we may not have dealt with. Our shadow is also a holder of light – all the unacknowledged beauty and positivity waiting to blossom within us. Our shadow tries over and over to offer us what it holds, what can be, when it perceives we are willing and able to explore it. Sometimes shadow’s offering is provided to us during trauma and difficult situations in our lives.

In the context of Tending to Your Garden Within, it is necessary to dig into the soil (soul) of our garden and face the beauty and conversely, the perceived ugliness that we discover. The found ugliness can be owned, acknowledged and processed to potentially make our garden within stronger and more resilient. The new found beauty can be owned, acknowledged and processed to make our garden within more beautiful and fruitful.

Dealing with our shadow is a delicate and on-going process. One easy way to recognize the different faces of our shadow is to look at its reflection in the outside world– specifically in the animal kingdom. Seeing a reflection of our shadow(s) may be initially scary, but once faced they can be a potential friend, helping us to grow and expand if we decide to take that step.

If you are afraid of a certain animal, bird or insect, it may be reflection of your shadow trying to get your attention. This does not mean that you need to be comfortable hugging or touching a snake or spider. You may not be afraid of animals or insects, but have no desire to touch them. If you are terrified of such a shadow while thinking about it - you need to learn about that animal. Look at its strengths and weaknesses and see how they may relate to your life.

For a long time the thought of a snake brought fear and discomfort to me. It became clear that this animal (reptile) is a shadow for me. The poem below illustrates what I have learned from the snake.

Snake Shadow

When you see me or hear my name

you may feel uncomfortable and tense.

I may scare you.

I may be your shadow.

In reality I am a potential friend for you.

I am here to help you to blossom with

all the unacknowledged beauty within you.

Your ego does not like me

because of the lessons I bring to you.

Perhaps you need to learn from me that I grow my entire life.

Perhaps you need to learn from me that

I shed my skin every year due to my growth.

Maybe, like me,

you need to work on your growth all your life.

Maybe, like me,

you need to shed (let go of) things that no longer serve you.

Your ego does not like me

because of the lessons I bring to you

Perhaps you need to learn from me that

I do not trust what I “see”.

Maybe you, like me,

need to trust and use your other senses.

Your ego does not like me

because of the lessons I bring to you.

Perhaps you need to learn from me that

I pick up the energy of the environment that I am in.

Perhaps when you are around people with negative energy

you can tune into their energy but

be aware not to take on their energy.

I am your potential friend.

I am your shadow.

I am a face of your soul.

Copyright @ 2010 by Shervin Hojat

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