There is always a shadow.
No matter how amazing, talented, or kind others say you are, the shadow never goes away. And that’s a good thing, because it keeps us honest.
Samhain is a time when we look at many things around us that scare us. But this time we look inside ourselves.
As part of my spiritual studies, I’ve created two shadow masks. The idea of the mask is to take the part of you that makes your angry or fearful, one that keeps you from succeeding to the greatest extent possible in your life, and give it shape and form. That way, you bring the “shadow” out into the light so you can deal with it.
If you’re sitting there asking yourself why anyone would choose to do such a thing, I’ll be honest and say that if you’re doing it correctly, you say that to yourself at some point. It’s supposed to make you uncomfortable at first, but later, it makes you more at ease with the “shadow” that you might prefer not to acknowledge. It forces you to really deal with it.
Unless you are absolutely nuts, you only deal with one Shadow Mask at a time. And you’ve got to be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. You start smaller and work your way up toward the larger issues that plague you.
I’ve shouted at my mask. I’ve kicked it and stomped on it. I’ve thrown it around. I’ve had somewhat pleasant conversations with it and have spewed my venom at it. But you can’t obliterate it until you have finally conquered it.
My first one took me a few years to finally destroy, but I did so knowing that it would not be my last. Actually, my mask was only a part of a larger mask that I’m working on now. I’m almost done with the second, but I’m far from finished. I plan to really attack my shadow with the 3rd mask, but I’m not done with this one yet.
Since I started doing this work, I’ve definitely seen a difference in my life. I feel like I can now go further and be the person I’ve wanted to be.
My Witchcraft students go through the same exercise, and as their teacher, I can’t see asking them to do it unless I am as well. So I share my mask with them and talk about it. Let me tell you honestly…having to explain to others what your mask is all about is a real test of your courage. But kind of like jumping into cold water or riding roller coasters, the more you do it, the less painful it gets…in some ways. Will it ever be easy? HELL NO. And I’ve accepted that.
This Samhain, embrace your shadow as part of you. Then bring that ugly thing--that thing that pains you or keeps you from blossoming in your life--into the light and deal with it.
There is always a shadow, ladies and gentlemen. But you decide if it controls you, or if you’re its master.
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