Yesterday was Groundhog Day. As the story goes, when the groundhog comes out of his hole on this day and sees his shadow, he retreats back into his hole and we will have six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, the spring is just around the corner.
It seems the groundhog is scared of his own shadow. Too bad he doesn't understand that the shadow exist because there is light somewhere.
I am reminded of Psalm 23, where it says "…even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me".
"Shadow" is an important metaphor in the spiritual life. Some call it our "dark side", some call it part of the "false-self", some call it the unhealthy part of our ego. Some call it sin.
I tend to believe our shadow side is that part of our behavior that is rooted in our brokenness. And we can miss the mark because of our brokenness. These are places of fear, low self-esteem, our need to conrol, to feel we are right, better than others.
I also believe our shadow side can be our teacher. So, unlike the groundhog, who runs from his shadow, I think we need to sit down and listen to the shadow, get to know the shadow, understand it's parts and what those parts might be rooted in.
If we get to know it, we can come to see what it looks like, sounds like and acts like. And then maybe it will not control us so much as it will inform us when we are living out of our brokenness instead of our wholeness (true-self)
So get to know your shadow Eleanor. It's not going away. You can't run from it. Turn and face it. And let the light of your spirit expose to you it's truths and lies.
Raising our awareness of our shadow brings it into the Light.
And it that we are transformed.
By the way, the ground hog saw his shadow yesterday, so keep your coat and hat out for a while.
Looks like six more weeks of winter.