Finding balance between our Shadow and Light sides
Our dark and light sides are two ends of the exact same person. Embracing your dark side then, paradoxically supports you being a lighter, brighter and a more authentic you!
For our Light Ceremony, we will celebrate the parts of ourselves that are easy to adore. Maybe you love your warped, silly sense of humor. Some of us are awesome caretakers and know we're great at listening. Hell, I know that my hair rocks and I make funny observations! I love to embrace that and take joy when others point it out.
Sometimes, we are so in touch with our shadow side that its the only voice we hear in our heads.
Our "Inner Critic" is so loud that it drowns out any positive aspects of ourselves. Again, this isn't a problem, its just another shadow to acknowledge. When we're skewed toward our shadow side, we tend to:
1.Have a very hard time accepting compliments
Someone may give us a genuine, out-of-the-blue compliment and in our head we're like, "uh, yeah right! What are you getting at? What do you want from me? That's SO not true!". With few exceptions, compliments are beautiful ways for others to acknowledge our light. When we refuse these messages of love, we're purposefully shutting out our light and trying desperately to prove to everyone how we're REALLY just a stupid piece of crap!
A great practice is to live in the moment of a compliment, see where you can feel it in your body and be the observer. We play the judge when we say either, "yes, that is a correct observation" or "you, sir are obviously blind as I do not in any way have lovely eyes. They are small, red, squinty, weirdly shaped and truly repugnant. Compliment deemed incorrect!"
2. Punish ourselves over and over for past mistakes
The interesting part of our "Inner Critic" or inner judge is that, he's terrible at his job! Usually, if ajudge finds you guilty, you are given your sentence and once that due is paid, you're free. However, our Inner Judge will keep bringing up the same old stuff over and over again, sometimes throughout our entire lives.
Let's say you were at a work party and made a bad joke. We've all felt the awkward shame of a joke or comment that just doesn't land. Depending on how harsh your Inner Critic's voice sounds, he may have shamed you in that moment or over and over again throughout the night. One year later, you're at a different party. Instead of commenting on a funny story from a co-worker, you Inner Critic starts the shame cycle over again, even though you've already paid your dues for that past mistake (shaming yourself, berating your sense of humor, etc). This guy is way too mean!
When we become the observer of our dark and light sides, even very specific ones, we can see that there will be times we make amazing jokes and times we bomb. The crazy part is that everyone does this! Yet we're still so incredibly hard on ourselves.
However, if you truly embrace your light side, wouldn't it make sense to congratulate yourself on a great comment? To be proud of your wit and ability to bring humor to others? Try to think of the last time you truly, deeply embraced a loving compliment from yourself.
If you're doing more punishing and shaming than loving and cheering, you may be out of balance with your shadow and light sides.