Befriending the beast within – shadow work

shadow work

At times it feels like a rising shadow within will threaten your survival. It feels overwhelmingly painful and terrifying. I often either leave my body or become numb and disorientated.

Shadow has many layers. Just when  we think we worked through some dark material and looked in the darkest corner of the psyche and it begins to feel more integrated and less petrifying, more layers get revealed and we are faced with yet another challenge of going through the thick muddy terrain thinking we won’t make it this time for sure. 

As last year was all about re-connecting deeply to love on all levels, this year seems to be about going even deeper into past wounds. For me it is bereavement and ‘mother’ wound that demands my attention at the moment. I find myself learning to navigate murky waters of my darker side, the storm wanting to swallow me up again.

I am in a dark place facing a monster. I feel young and vulnerable unable to look at it and all too tempted to abandon myself and split from my body leaving nothing but an empty shell. Shadow clings onto my skin, strangling me up in its powerful grip. I am afraid to scream or run and I freeze. It blows fire onto my face, roars like a raging beast. What shadow needs is love, attention, compassion and understanding. I have come to understand its purpose. It often presents itself in moments I am most vulnerable. Those moments coincide often in me and many other women with days close to the moon cycle peak. Senses are sharp, intuition is tangible and the body feels fluid and fragile. It seems impossible to be able to fight anything at that time and that’s when it strikes with its open jaws of anger and pain, in your face, in your soul, stabbing the open wound that continues to bleed.

I raise my hand and turn towards it seeking to pacify the beast and staying in my power of love towards myself. I kneel on the Earth and put my hands together in a prayer gesture then stretching my arms towards the sky in the presence of the beast. It watches curiously and lies beside me continuing to grumble and showing teeth. It smells of Earth and I feel its cold, wet skin brushing against my side. My whole being shivers. It feels like myself whenever I am holding on to pain, fear and anger. I recognise it, it is a familiar friend and a foe, always a companion, always present. Turning towards the beast I wrap my arms around its neck with unconditional acceptance and understanding. I surrender to the love that is within me and I rock the beast gently into a sleep till it is contented and lies its head on my lap. I witness its magnificence in its size, bright colours of deep purple and green. I closely inspect intricate shapes on its back, powerful tail and warm breathe within its body. It is safe in love, it is accepted in my arms fully.

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