It seems for many of us who undergo pain or difficulty the transformative encounter with our own shadow is an essential part of our awakening journey. I am called to write about this subject today after picking up a beautiful book by Deepak Chopra called The Deeper Wound : Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering. And my reflections on fear were also prompted after listening to a radio programme on the subject this morning which reminded me to pick up the book.
I would like to share here three of the 100 meditations that Deepak writes in the middle of the book. The book was actually written just shortly after the experience of 9/11 in America and was his response to the massive level of fear and suffering that the terrorist attacks awakened. Astrologers know that at that time a major opposition of two very strong planetary energies Pluto and Saturn was taking place. Saturn in astrology rules, boundaries, defences and fears, also the ring pass not we often erect to hide from us the deeper Plutonian feelings which can include intense feelings of grief, sadness, powerlessness, obsession, a lust for control or rage often prompted by a deeper wound (thus the title of the book). Pluto rules what becomes hidden and then persists and exerts a powerful hold – thus its association to the shadow. But it also deals with transformation in and through facing and making friends with our dark side.
It seems to me that fear is one of the shadow energies in our lives that we need to learn to face and deal with, for often fear is feared and fear of fear means we can and do project it onto others who the split ego judges to be ‘not like me’ and therefore a necessary target for anger, rage or judgement. We struggle with our fears and don’t often quite know what to do with them and in this situation fear becomes anger and defensiveness or it becomes a paralysing anxiety that is diffuse, generalised and non specific. And such fear can plague us.
Fear is a large subject but I hope these readings speaks to you, as they did to me today. When I read something this powerful that really makes me think I like to share it.
I ask my shadow self to emerge
This is the first step of healing it
.. we are all aware of having dark impulses, which include hatred, fear and aggression. These impulses arise from our unconscious and our normal response is to keep them there. We push the dark side out of sight, yet it doesn’t go away. It seeks expression as all energies will. Healing isn’t possible when dark energies are kept bottled inside. To being healing, invite the shadow self back into your awareness. This isn’t the same as acting out rage or terror or revenge. You are only sending the message that you are no longer shunning the shadow self : you are acknowledging its right to exist
My shadow self is serving me
I am grateful for that
This affirmation is about repression. Your shadow self has gained the energy to frighten you because you are repressed it. But the shadow doesn’t see itself as the enemy. It sees itself as your guardian. It protects you by holding onto those energies that belong to you even though you feel guilty and ashamed of them. Guilt made you turn to suppression as a solution. Shame makes you not want to look or listen when these energies call out. Because the shadow energies got pushed out of sight, they never had a chance to show you their hidden spiritual message. This message was for your growth, and thanks to the shadow self, who has held these old forgotten experiences, you can revisit them. As the shadows of fear, rage, terror, and revenge return, you need only see them and understand. As soon as you do they will deliver their message and then go. This is the whole process of healing the shadow self.
I ask the dark energies to teach me
This affirmation is about facing fear. Like the shadow self, your fear doesn’t see itself as harming you. It, too, believes that it is a safeguard. Stored in everyone’s memory are past experiences of terror. By reminding you of those feelings, fear is trying to protect you from repeating the traumas of the past. As long as you push down your fear, you will nor be able to receive it as an ally. By the same token, you cannot just act on the basis of fear. At a soul level you see no need for fear, because you don’t need protecting. Living in the now poses no threat, and therefore referring to the past serves no purpose. It is safe to go into your fear and ask it where it came from and what it wants you to know. Having seen the world from its perspective, reassure yourself that the soul needs no guardian. Learn from fear, heal it, and ask it to leave.
So often when we keep the door locked on our fear or tell ourselves we shouldn’t have it we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. If we can really face our fear, know the situations from the past that gave birth to it and make peace with these events we can know that there was at one time a very real threat that caused us terror. It may be difficult to feel that we are safe now but if we deny our fear we don’t really get that chance or opportunity to give up old defences that no longer serve us and keep us blocked, trapped and driven by fear.