When we see another feeling flat, not doing so well in life, not sitting in their usual shiny state – sitting in the darkness of their shadow, we can often feel overcome with a number of feelings. We may want to shrink in ourselves and hide away our own light in fear that it will drag the other further into their darkness. We may feel protective and want to take the pain away, to make it all better especially when it is our child or another that we love. We can feel weighed down by the heaviness of the darkened state and fall into a responsible guilt around whether we have caused or contributed to its visit, especially if we are sensitive empaths. We may even feel repulsed and scurry to be away from the person in order to escape the anger and frustration we are feeling at them for not being how we think they ‘should’ be or for being anything other than light and buoyant, their ‘usual selves’.
Allow yourself or another to feel around in the darkness that has fallen in order to discover the magnificence it is inviting to be found.
Usually these feelings of discomfort within ourselves spark the way in which we respond to another’s darkness and bring us into a sense of urgency around wanting to ‘fix’ the person or the moment as if something were ‘broken’. This can leave the person sitting in their shadow feeling further isolated, judged, unlovable and further validated by what they find in their darkness. I think we have all sat in this shrunken state over different times in our lives so we all know what it feels like to be sat in our darkness; it can be incredibly confronting and makes us vulnerable to what lurks around in there. For instance the stories we have held on to and tucked into the darkest of corners, formed out of the judgements cast upon our successes and failures, narrated at the time by ourselves or another. The words that we have taken deeply into ourselves after they have rolled scathingly from a vitriolic tongue, repeating them over and over to ourselves until they have a tight grip on us squeezing us of our light. The uninvited touch that has burned through our skin and buried a bottomless mistrust causing an ever contracting wound to the many forms of intimacy with have with ourselves and others. These and many more get louder as they toss us about while in our shadow and form a resistance to our worth and a controlling fear that surrounds our safety in expressing our authenticity, numbing or completely severing our connection to ourselves and others.
Our need to ‘fix’ or label something as ‘broken’ takes away the opportunity for the transformative quest this darkness has bestowed upon the individual, but also it takes us away from the one it has gifted us. Another’s darkened state gives way for an opportunity for us to explore our own shadow. Because as we linger in their darkened perimeter it begins to open a space where both shadows, theirs and ours, can converge to soften our initial feelings and reactions and give way to a deepening of our ability to just sit and hold the space for another without the need for anything other than a powerful loving presence – compassion for another and compassion for ourselves.
…the real magic occurs when we can witness and be witnessed in our shadowed state which alchemises our connection…
Next time you see the shadow approach and push the light to the side in yourself or another, accept the quest and settle into the discomfort. Allow yourself or another to feel around in the darkness that has fallen in order to discover the magnificence it is inviting to be found. If you are the one being called to hold space remember there is no rush, allow the convergence as you surrender to feelings and reactions and allow your own exploration to occur. And observe as the loving presence shows up for you to hold space for another. And if you are the one that the shadow has fallen upon, remember you will eventually walk from the darkness to the light, but until then you are safe to be held while you explore. Know that when you walk into the light it will be a triumphant return holding a stronger connection to your worth, your authenticity and your trust in others.
As confronting and overwhelming as the shadow can be to both, it offers a transformative magnificence, if it is approached with openness and is allowed time to be explored with a loving presence surrounding it. But the real magic occurs when we can witness and be witnessed in our shadowed state which alchemises our connection through expanding the knowledge of ourselves and eventually lifting our trust and vibrational state each time we are invited on a quest into the darkness.
So find your people, together learn how to hold space in the darkness and allow this reciprocal connection to alchemise and flow between you.
From my heart to yours