I have spoken with so many beautiful, spiritually oriented people who deeply believe there is something profoundly broken within them. These are people who are open-heartedly surging toward the light with all they have, using whatever path feels right to them. They are genuinely kind and sensitive, giving and warm. Yet, these gentle, loving souls carry wounds within their hearts that are tender to the touch despite the scar tissue that has formed around them. It is painfully poignant that those who reach out time and again in compassion, with unconditional love for others who are wounded, can find it so difficult to shine that same ray of light into their own hearts.

For many of us, there is a sense that our spiritual work is intense either because of, or in spite of this feeling of brokenness. Philosophically, we recognize that there is a connection between our darkness and our light, but the chasm between them can sometimes seem hopelessly vast. It only takes a moment to go from mindfulness to madness when something pushes our buttons on a bad day when we’re tired, irritated, or exhausted. Depression, grief, or anxiety can move us without warning or explanation from brilliance into the morass of despair. Where is the light on these occasions? How do we reconcile these polar opposites?

Healing is the compassion-laden process of making room for our brokenness, of letting it be, just as it is, without judgement or exclusion. Doing so enables us to invite both our human nature and our spiritual nature to dance together. This is the beginning of self-love, and the beginning of possibility.

The light of loving compassion is always shining brightly within each of us. We must learn to recognize it, even in the dark.

Photo Credit: CanDaN

13 Comments on “Dancing with our Shadow

    • Thank you, Patrice. It’s wonderful to see you here in the comments again. ❤

  1. Wonder if you might say more about “human nature” vs “Spiritual Nature”. The way it is stated in this piece seems to imply that our “human” nature is bad. I don’t think you meant it that way.

    • Hi, Alan. Thanks so much for your interest and your comment. “Human nature” is, of course, the whole package of being human, including our failings, our anger, our short-sightedness, and all of the not-so-pleasant aspects of being a person in this world. People often struggle with the idea that our “human” nature is what holds us back from being “spiritual”. Of course, this is the point of the piece – that healing means integrating and accepting the whole person – failings and all, and that this whole package IS our “spiritual nature”. In accepting the whole person, we have begun to learn self-love. Trauma victims are particularly prone to the belief that there is something deeply and inherently wrong and broken in them.This piece is an encouragement to those who struggle with feeling broken and somehow unworthy of spiritual growth that integration of the whose sense of self is a deeply spiritual act in itself.

    • Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, Ben. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. All I can say is thank you. Today I asked a question that brought me here, and here I found understanding. I needed this today. 💕 I need to learn to block others’ darkness from taking over. It sure got me this morning.

    • Hi, Soulinterrupted. I’m so glad that you found something healing here. Thank you for letting me know. ❤

  3. I’ve missed reading you and am so happy that I made the time to find you and begin reading you anew. Such wise and profound wisdom in these pages. You are a sage after my heart and I am so glad to have connected. Be well Sweet Woman…and continue. Please ❤

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