Shadows or fears are our greatest teachers and the place of our power, but learning from them is an art. There are different ways to discover our shadows such as divination or meditation but most people have only one or two fundamental shadows that manifest in different issues or challenges.
These are the questions we need to ask when processing the shadows:
What are our shadows?
Where have they come from?
What have they taught us?
How have they shaped our life?
How can we release the negative aspects and keep the positive teachings and energy?
The Shadow (fear) of Abandonment
The fear of abandonment is a common fear that is the root of many other shadows such as being unable to love or trust, fear of moving forward, fear of telling your truth and much more. This shadow may have originated from trauma in childhood, divorce, death of loved ones, and many other losses. Sometimes people feel that shadows are also rooted in past lives.
Positive lessons from this shadow are gratitude for family and community, understanding the value of love, loyalty and never taking loved ones for granted. There could be many more positive lessons. Because of my experiences with abandonment I became committed to creating a loving and strong community. The Sacred Cauldron wouldn't exist without that! Some negative effects from the fear of abandonment could be not loving yourself, fear of trusting or loving others and worry that people will lie to you or leave you.
We can reinforce the positive lessons taught by our shadows when using affirmations. “I am worthy of love and family.” “I am free, and others are free to live their own lives. They are not forced to stay with me and I am not forced to stay with them.” “Love is a gift, not an obligation.” If you can acknowledged the positive ways the shadow shapes your life and the powerful lessons it has taught you, the strength of who you are and who are becoming in relation to these shadows is revealed.
One of the best ways to release the negative aspects of the shadows is to acknowledge first that you don't have to hold on to them, and then write them on a paper and burn them in a sacred fire. Whenever you see them creeping back in again because they have created a habitual internal dialogue, remember that they are not part of your life any more. We can change, we can grow and we can be free from fear! Blessed Samhain everyone!