I used to be one of those “love and light” people.
A product of New Age Spirituality.
When I was introduced to the Law of Attraction (LOA), specifically the teachings of Abraham Hicks, whose philosophy can be summed up as,
You are the Creator of your reality. Where you focus your energy/attention is what you attract into your reality. So, only focus on the “positive” and you will be rewarded with experiences that reflect this point of attraction.
I gulped it up like an elixir.
Let me be clear, I am a believer in the law of attraction. However, there are a few caveats. One of which is a lil' something called, “the Shadow.”
Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds... at least, it doesn't have to be.
Let’s define the shadow as the suppressed or denied aspects of yourself. Within the Shadow lurks the wild and primitive, the socially and religiously shunned emotions and impulses. Anything that you label as evil, unacceptable, or inferior and deny acceptance or expression, becomes a part of the Shadow.
The Shadow can be a source of great creativity and power when understood and consciously worked with. Instead, it often becomes an energy drain. It takes a lot of energy to keep the door shut into this part of our psyche. It also takes a lot of energy to repair the mess that is created when our Shadow aspects wreak havoc. And trust me, they will.
The Shadow is created as a means for survival. Maybe you were outspoken as a kid and you recognized that expressing yourself with confidence and bluntness made people dislike you, so you started to talk less and keep your thoughts to yourself to be accepted. Maybe you were once sensitive and emotionally expressive and your parents chastised you for crying and so you began to suppress your emotions. Now you call yourself “reserved” and you can’t stand emotional or "dramatic" people.
Even though most people aren’t even cognizant of the shadow self, it is still a MAJOR point of attraction. Whether you focus on it or are aware of it or not doesn't matter.
Experiences that trigger these suppressed aspects of yourself will continuously be attracted into your life so that you can bring awareness to them and integrate them into your conscious mind.
This is called HEALING.
Looking back, I see that I gravitated towards these LOA teachings because they gave me an out (or the illusion of one.)
A teaching that ENCOURAGES me to avoid anything that makes me feel “negative” emotions? I get to be happy ALL OF THE TIME?! SIGN ME UP!
This is called, DENIAL.
Denial can be a useful coping mechanism. Sometimes you just ain't in the space to deal with shit and you need to put it off, lock it away, stuff it down, to protect your sanity or to meet other more pressing needs.
This done for a prolonged period, though, makes your Shadow a BEAST. Just because you hide your anger, your envy, your greed, or that fetish that you're ashamed of, doesn't make it disappear. These things will still rear their heads, but in unconscious and possibly destructive and defeating ways.
I also refer to the Shadow as the Schism.
Throughout our lives, we are taught through various means to split ourselves. We learn that our whole, authentic selves are not lovable or worthy of space to be acknowledged or expressed.
We learn to compartmentalize and suppress parts of ourselves for love, validation, acceptance, and other needs.
When you are triggered by something and experience an emotion or have an impulse that makes you uncomfortable, you are being given a precious opportunity to integrate, to hold some part of yourself that is begging to be acknowledged. Going into a state of denial– even if it is disguised by some fluffy affirmation or teaching– where you find a way to avoid doing that work only continues the cycle of suppression and perpetuates self-loathing.
Life is incredibly complex. It is beautiful and painful. It is full of joy and magic as well as suffering and sadness. The light needs the dark. The world needs your darkness just as much as it needs your light. Your darkness is where dreams are created and birthed, where transmutation happens, where your magic is refined.
When you remove the dark, you cut yourself off from the full experience of life.
AND THAT’S WHAT YOU CAME HERE FOR!
You didn’t come here to be perfect, to get it all right, or to get it all done. You came here because you wanted this human experience with all its beauty and ugliness.
2016 has been an INTENSE year. And I don’t see it getting any lighter as we move toward 2017.
This is the year of death.
What lies and illusions need to die for you to step into your power?
What dark spaces in your mind and heart are begging to be seen and honored so that you can be your whole, authentic self?
As we move toward the Black Moon on October 30th, there will be A LOT surfacing from our Shadow to be attended to and most importantly, to be met with love and care in the ways that they were not in the past.
So, roll up your sleeves folks, its gonna get messy.
Photo Credit: Mykie Mcgowan
Jamila Kani is a witch of many trades. Through her collective, Black Femme Witches Brew, she co-creates spaces for black femmes to reclaim their magic and step into their power as Creators.
Find her on Instagram and Facebook @blackfemmewitchesbrew.