There once was a shellfish, living out its days, together with all the other coastal creatures, in the intertidal zone, between the ocean and the shore. Its world being a tiny circumference of wet sand that it could claim as its own, the shellfish did not have lofty goals and was resigned to its lot in life.

One morning the Sun was shining brightly and the mollusk prepared itself for another ordinary day in its ordinary existence, stuck on the beach and nowhere to go. It was directing its gaze downwards, for everything that was of importance happened on the ground. The only thing that bothered the shellfish, as usual, was its own shadow, for the blackness obscured a clear view of the sand.

It was then that the mollusk noticed something that had never occurred to it before: the shape of its left shell combined with the left shell's shadow was the spitting image of a wing. Exactly the same was true for the right shell.

The shellfish thought: "Rather than being exasperated with my shadow as an ungainly encumbrance that always hinders my perspective, I could use it instead for my own advantage! For if I were to unite my body with it, I would then turn into a butterfly and soar up to the heavens, away from my grounded existence that has imprisoned me for so long and taste the mysteries of the sky for the very first time!"

And this is precisely what the mollusk-butterfly did, joining itself to its shadow, soaring up to the sky and beholding the world from an entirely new vantage point, in all of its glory and splendour. All that the other shellfish could do was look with envy and astonishment as the mollusk-butterfly flitted effortlessly, in ecstatic rapture, across the heavens.

I think there is a lesson to be learned for all of us from this true story, for which one of us is not ashamed of their shadow self? Which one of us does not try to heal, hide or eradicate their doubts, insecurities, fears, delusions and anxieties?

But, rather than denying our neuroses and seeing them as defects in our make-up, we should, instead, recognise and embrace them as an essential part of who we are. Rather than seeking remedies for psychological "disorders", take a look at your "problems" from above and you will see that they are actually wings attached to your body!

And so, accept your shadow self as a vital element of your identity, for only then will you become whole, reach your full potential and acquire powers that would enable you to achieve impossible things.

Let your darkness be the light that lightens the burden of your being! Harness your shadow to your shoulder blades and soar up to the sky, above all the other oyster-people stuck in the mud of life - a new existence of wonder awaits you!

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Comment by Sharon Lee Goodhand on November 8, 2012 at 2:01am

Boris... this has always been a favorite... great to read it again.

Comment by Trevor Taylor on October 28, 2012 at 2:57pm

Lovely bit of writing...

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