Musings & Inspiration: Talking with the Shadows
There was a young man standing alone, barefoot in the concrete park the other day. He caught my attention as I took a look down from my office a few floors above, as the fountains are often where children play. He was deeply engaged in a conversation with his shadow on this rare beautiful, sunny day when a clean cut man soon approached him respectfully.
The two men both stood there, facing their shadows. Perhaps the younger man gained the other’s trust in that moment as they both observed their own hand gestures, and that of their shadows so eloquently responding. In no time at all, it appeared that they were also talking to each other. The young man still making interesting arm and hand gestures watching his shadow, while the other man said a few things and eventually motioned toward a direction. Perhaps he was telling him about a place down the street, maybe somewhere he could go to get food, shelter, a compassionate ear, or other assistance.
In my mind, that’s how the conversation went, as neither of them seemed threatened or had made any erratic gestures. They continued this exchange for a few more minutes before a gentlemanly handshake and parting ways, both headed in different directions, physically and metaphorically. As small children, we all discovered this mysterious thing lurking about on a sunny day at some point in our past. After not being able to scare it away, or run from it, perhaps we even engaged in a brief or lengthy conversation with our shadows. The only difference is that we were small children, and people were amused by our wonder and imagination, not afraid of mental instability.
There is a saying “dance like nobody’s watching” and evidently a variety of opinions about who said it first, regardless, when we were young, before losing innocence to experiences of shame, guilt or any other silly or unspeakable things grownups put on us, we would do most everything like nobody’s watching! And that takes us down another path, to the other shadows we carry around, and how they affect us in so many different ways. If we are aware of our shadow selves, and understand the power it may have over us, we can react to situations within normal realms of societal expectations. Where if we are unaware, or afraid of our “darker side” it could mean that we react in some shocking or even dangerous ways. What is it that hides behind your shadow? When is the last time you took a long hard look at your physical or metaphorical one and had a deep meaningful, though maybe introspective, conversation? I suggest that if you don’t know what lies in your shadow that you should try to get to know it better. You could be suppressing a creative genius, or some hidden passion that makes you feel alive. The more you integrate these other subconscious aspects into yourself, you will begin to feel more authentic. The more authentic you feel, the more radiant you shine for everyone else to see. You may even be willing to carry on a group discussion with someone else and their shadow, in a park on a sunny day.
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