Sometimes coming face to face with our shadow self is nothing but a good cry and a new perspective.
Other times it’s a total melt down, negative words and thoughts spewing from deep within that allows us to witness our shadow first hand, running right into it.
There are also times it feels like we’re being split in half, cracked open, exposed with no where to run and no where to hide. A moment when we are experiencing a split so intense that we may feel mentally and emotionally unstable and full of fear. Not knowing what is real, what to believe, what to trust... A moment when the only way out is through. A moment of true SURRENDER and TRUST.
Each one of these experiences is a call for integration. An invitation to wholeness. It IS the moment the door opens and we have the choice to walk through or stay where we are.
Neither choice will make it easier in the moment, but it does determine what comes next. Will we begin a new healthier chapter, or we will repeat the same pattern until we finally take the plunge and heal our shadow self?
The choice is always ours.
We can resist it all if we want to. That’s the beauty (or the pain, depending on how you look at it) of free will.
I have been on an intense inner healing journey for a few years now that led me to one of the darkest, most painful places in my being. This is a place that was so deeply buried that I didn't know it existed. Covered with distractions and survival techniques, it took some time to finally arrive.
Once there, facing the pain and accepting the truth became another journey in and of itself. You see, the longer I denied my truth, the longer I had to sit in the pain and discomfort. My inner guidance was showing me this was, in fact, the place I needed to heal, but my fear kept telling me to run the other way. This inner struggle consumed me. It kept me stuck.
There were times I would come up for air, but then my energy went straight back to the depths of my body, the place I'd chosen to forget since childhood. I didn't know that I made this choice. It was sort of made for me, in my best interest. It was a survival mechanism. My brain shuffled it away and protected the rest of my being from it. However, my journey required me to face this darkness and open the door; to let the light shine on the dark.
As I navigated through this work, it began to wear on my spirit. Sitting in darkness for too long can do that.
I knew that I had to find my light again. I also knew that I had to bring it with me into this portion of myself. With my new understanding, my new feelings of acceptance and love, all I needed to do was find a way to FEEL and embrace my light while being in this dark place. Integration.
Becoming whole again.
This is when my soul gave me a prescription.
"Watch the sunset for 7 days."
Not only was I to commit to viewing this spectacular show, but I was to LISTEN to it as well.
So I did.
And this is what I learned...
Day 1 Sunset:
The stormy grey skies made it harder to see the sun, to see the light, but it was there. At first I started to complain, "oh sure, the day I am told to go watch the sunset, there isn't one!" but thankfully, I stopped that negative train and LISTENED. Through my decision to surrender, I saw a new sunset. I embraced a new perspective and boy was that storm gorgeous! No matter how dark it got, the light always found a way to shine through. In fact, it became quite fun to watch the darkness separate and the light shoot across the sky! This joy and anticipation seeped into my heart and I could feel the truth it held. Just like the evening sky, when the light inside of me is less powerful, I can tune into it's subtleness and surrender. I can embrace the storm and know that beauty exists here, too. I can trust that the light is always working behind the scenes. Always. I am never alone.
Day 2 Sunset:
Enjoy it while it's here! Slow down. Relax. Surrender to the moment. Often we give up too soon. I left the area that I could see the sunset the best because I felt the urge to leave. As I drove away, I noticed how quickly the sky had changed as the sun slipped away behind the horizon. I also noticed there was way more beauty to behold! Why had I given up so soon?! Impatient for the next thing? Worried I'm gonna miss out on something? Why the rush? So I drove back, parked my car and let myself be. I let myself soak up the light, the gift from Mother Earth. After all, nothing lasts forever.
Day 3 Sunset:
I am already starting to feel better. Arriving at this familiar place for the third day in a row, I felt my heart smile. This action, this commitment to myself, to my soul, I was doing it. I was honoring myself. I took in a few deep breaths and noticed something I hadn't felt in a while. Peace. Yes, this is what I was feeling... inner peace. I could no longer feel the buzz of pain or the desire to crawl away and hide. Instead, I felt calm. I felt ease. I could breathe.
It is a feeling.
It comes from me. From my inner world. Peace is not contingent upon outside forces. It's an internal job. In that moment I could feel that no one but me had power over my inner world. No matter how much I have believed in the past that peace comes from outside of myself, I knew for sure, in that moment, it was an illusion. Peace is MY JOB. It's for me to find and nurture. It is in my control. I can not tell you how beautiful it was to feel inner peace that day. This was in a place in my body and mind that have not had peace for over 30 years.
Day 4 Sunset:
There is an ending. Things do end. To some that may be obvious, but to others, especially those dealing with chronic health issues and internal conflict that never seem to let up, endings can feel out of reach. As I witnessed the end of each day, I began to embrace the belief that things do end. There is always a new beginning. The sunset helped me feel the truth of this belief, the feeling of completion, so that I could bring that energy into my life. And it worked. Sometimes all we need is a jumpstart!
Day 5 Sunset:
Every day there is a new view. Another intricate and glorious landscape. The possibilities are endless! Every day is a new delight. Not one sunset has looked the same as the other. New elements come into play each night. The Earth is full of surprises! Magic! Pure magic! This is how all life works. There are endless solutions, unlimited possibilities, and an infinite amount of ways our dreams can come true.
Day 6 Sunset:
On this day, the area I go to watch the sunset was full of birds! So many blackbirds swooshing this way and that way, all in perfect alignment. I knew immediately that my heart was flowing again. I had found the alignment I needed. The stagnant places that were disconnected from the self-love I was unable to offer to my inner child was now flying through my being with ease. As I watched the sun take its exit, I noticed how the blues and purples (higher chakra centers) met with the reds, oranges, and yellows (lower chakras). To me this was symbolic of the way our spirit meets with our body and creates a perfect balance. This occurs in the heart center. Wow, what a beautiful message! My soul, my light, was returning to my being. I had successfully brought myself back and integrated it with my current reality. It also made me think about the sunrise and sunset. The most beautiful times of the day are when the night greets the day and the day greets the night. Completions. New beginnings. Never ending. Always there. Endless cycle of Yin and Yang, of balance. Sigh...its pure magic.
Day 7 Sunset:
Driving to my destination, I could feel that I am different person than the one who drove to greet the sunset on the first day. I felt stronger. I felt closer to my truth. I felt more whole. Turning left at the top of the hill, my eyes went straight to the mountains ahead of me. The sunlight was so bright behind them, that I had no choice but to witness their beauty. I smiled so big because mountains symbolize strength! Ha ha! Wow! The light was highlighting and validating my growth. I HAD found my power! Yes!! I had forgotten how much the Universe plays with us, leaving reflections everywhere so that we can better understand ourselves and the world. The sunset on this night was mostly yellow, a color of the third chakra. The energy center of our power and strength. Thank you Universe, I am listening. I am thankful.
I am happy to be alive.
Believe it or not, it had been super difficult for me to say this and mean it with my whole heart before I met with my soul for 7 days. I was that lost in the healing of my wound, in the darkness.
Thankfully, the longer I sat with sun each day, the more I began to feel the energy of trust. Ultimately I realized no matter what is happening in my life, no matter how dark I feel, no matter what pain lives inside of me, the sunset has always been there. Without fail, it's there.
This sense of trust brought more inner peace.
These two feelings mingled in my heart, dancing and enjoying each other's company.
Per my soul's guidance, I was viewing the light in the sky, but what I was really doing was plugging my lifeline into the Earth and reigniting my inner flame. I was connecting with nature. With myself. With God.
...and it saved my life.
I'm not naive.
I know there is more to come. I know life will always ebb and flow, but when we know how to save ourselves, nothing can hold us down for long.