On the darkest day of the year I walk with my shadow. We are old friends, and my shadow is wise. She sees me differently to everyone else. She knows my weaknesses, my regrets, my sorrows and she is my guide. My shadow reaches deep into the past, into the beginning of time.
Walking in silence, I am overwhelmed with the compassion and acceptance I feel right now. Coming to a moment of peace, of stillness, as the darkness halts and will soon make room for the light, the psychological processes of being human are played out simultaneously.
My shadow is kind because she knows how hard I struggle. She is understanding because she knows how much I hurt. And she is accepting because she knows that although we walk together as one, we belong in different realms. Today I trust her wisdom and power completely, I rest exhausted as she puts her hand on mine. Today she is the strong one, the one with the insight and the knowledge of what to do.
She helps me to see aspects of myself I’d rather ignore. She helps me to face up to, and remember, who I am with no judgment. I am human. She helps me to see that the difference between myself and a cruel murderer is only circumstance, and that we are not so different from the monsters we incarcerate. We incarcerate them because we do not want to find those same aspects within ourselves. So we incarcerate them to protect us from ourselves.
But not today. As my shadow and I look at who I am we see the totality. She sits here with me, like a goddess from the underworld, helping me to see and to take stock. The honesty is brutal and cutting and mindful. I process and reflect, set my goals for the year to come as my shadow holds me. My strength is fading and I feel myself slipping away into the nothingness that is darkness. I give in. I let go.
When I wake I am alone and the sun has risen. I am reborn. My shadow has retreated into the depths of my psyche for another year, or another occasion when she will be needed. We are one.
I sit in silence contemplating her visit. She has taken my burdens and helped me make sense of them. She has taught me lessons; there are some that are hard and uncomfortable to learn. But I will learn, and she will remain my friend. And so the darkness mores to make room for the light, and life goes on…
Vild Prestegard is a shop keeper, yoga student teacher, anthropologist, holistic therapist, Reiki master and public speaker based in Norway. She is a regular blogger for Cycle Harmony and part of a Norwegian Cooperative developing new ways of living and working. You can learn more about Vild and the Coop here: www.allmenningen.org.