When Shadow Season Stretches Into The New Year: Stay With Yourself In Deep Love

    by Tau Tara

    After almost 6 years of journeying with the feminine in various ways and multiple dimensions, and during which time I had literally shown my palm to the masculine, last year, I felt like I could finally start opening and expanding and re-inviting the masculine and connecting with this energy again.

    As if by divine synchronicity, a very beautiful man walked into my life.

    And let me tell you how that went.

    Expecting it every bit to be a wonderful fairytale (since I had done the feminine work now) I went in thinking this was going to be different.

    Had to be!

    C’mon, what about the hours of grieving and emotional work I had done? Not to mention the amount of money I did not have and that I still spent on therapy?

    But after two weeks of what seemed like an incredible kind of love and softness, one evening, I saw it – the first of the slinky shadows!

    It disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. I didn’t know if it was mine or his.

    Since it’s easier to spot the unconscious pattern in others than in us, I readily assigned the shadow to be his. And decided to be ‘cautious’.

    We went traveling soon after and in the weeks that followed, along with exhaustion, confusion, miscommunication and loose motions, I also noticed several more shadows emerge into the picture. I got more cautious.

    “We must be ready” I told myself.

    “Our pristine fierce wild inner feminine must at all costs be protected”, I warned myself.

    So every time I sensed a shadow element playing between us, I quickly drew boundaries, raised some walls and went cold.

    It hurt and pushed the wrong buttons in my lover, which then caused him to push some of mine, thus starting out a push ‘n react pattern.

    By the time we finished the trip and got back and built a small hut together, our shadows were ready to spill ugly all over our living space.

    Now this was intense because at no cost was I willing to sacrifice my inner feminine that I had saved and revived and resurrected over the last years through intense suffering, struggle, depression, financial crisis, loneliness and hardships.

    “Let him go”, my mind said.

    “End it right now, walk away, this is toxic” etc., etc.

    And truth be told, yes, I was emotionally getting drained, it was showing physically in my body, and I had moved far away from my center. Certainly proving it was every bit toxic.

    But, and yet, still, I held on. I was aware of my weakness that led me to stay on.

    And it is important to identify this- the weaknesses that make us stay stuck in old, damaging patterns.
    But there was also something else.

    When Kali dragged me to the dark underworld years ago, I had also stumbled upon some of my inner demons.

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    The most tender, broken, wounded parts of me that lived in perpetual suffering and created suffering in my life because of their abysmal existence.

    What compounded matters further was that I was in complete ignorance of their existence in me.

    But without knowing it or understanding it fully yet, I had, instead of running away from them, embraced them. They were me.

    And something about my own wounding brought an incredible amount of tenderness in me, for me, for my demons.

    And that was an incredible experience that released me into so much lightness.

    That’s when the idea of ‘letting go’ and ‘release’ got a whole new meaning for me.

    That I wasn’t letting go of something from the external world that had latched on to me.

    Perhaps there were situations and people who through their actions created a jarring energetic imprint in me, but what I had to release still ultimately was from within me.

    Anger, insecurity, fear, anxiety, were all residents inside me.

    And I had to own them, and embrace them before I could do anything about them.

    Unbeknownst to me, I had stumbled upon the incredible work that was shadow integration.

    And then last year, by another stroke of pure synchronicity, (because I couldn’t have afforded it otherwise) I also joined Carolyn Elliott’s ‘INFLUENCE’ class and had begun doing the work.

    So that by the time New Year was around the corner, I found myself swinging heavily around those “release negative people and toxic situations from your life” messages I was seeing on social media.

    Now I fully agreed with the messages, but I also started feeling there was something incomplete that wasn’t getting addressed, wasn’t receiving it’s due.

    That often while we conveniently make it about the other, there was something we were perhaps avoiding looking at because it was hidden, living an abysmal existence within us.

    So, even though my relationship felt like high intensity drama that sucked the living energy out of me,  somewhere within, another part of me was also putting two and two together and considering that this could be a shadow play and that there had to be another way than just severe ties and run away.

    And even if that wasn’t the case, I still had to try and get as honest as I could get about my role in creating this experience for myself.

    And so I got as far as this:

    That I had some suffering part inside me that had a) manifested this beautiful man, and then b) was now botching it up and c) this beautiful man had the perfect set of shadows that could play with mine.

    So that even as I looked to social media that screamed messages of severing toxicity from my life before the new year and I fully paid heed to them, thoroughly convinced I do need to weed out the toxicity from the relationship (while trying all I could to keep the relationship), another part of me remained neutral, choosing to not severe yet, but stay in curiosity, observing the ensuing drama and my own feelings around it.

    During times when my conscious mind spiraled down it’s unhealed path of leftover wounding from the past, it churned gloomy thoughts around how I made this choice, criticizing angrily that I had ignored all warnings from my intuition. Just downright shameful.

    Also, after all these years of doing such intense work and journeying in the underworld!

    “Girl go hang on a balloon string!!! You are downright humiliating for the feminine, how could you not know better?”, said this shaming voice.

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    But the other part of me, now stretched, was holding something remarkable.

    It could no longer fully blame the other, or the outer, without suspecting the certainty with which it blamed.

    Because here is the deal.

    My real suspicion was that this somehow promoted that ‘holier than thou’ idea, the one that promotes the idea of ‘separation’ which has run on this planet as a dominant emotion and created fear/insecurity and all manner of chaos for ages.

    So now, instead of blaming, or rather even while I was resenting it all, I also suspected that the very existence of toxic situations and people in one’s life meant that there are shadow elements within oneself that have drawn those people and situations in the first place.

    This doesn’t mean that there aren’t dangerous elements in the society or people who could do actual harm to us.

    Or that my lover was completely angelic and I was demonic. No.

    I only found it equally relevant to not disown and run away by blaming it on the ‘other’, because that only added to the ‘separation’ story, the one that has kept our planet in panic for centuries.

    To a large extent, I felt, it’s also about acknowledging that there are shadow elements within all of us that still need attention and integration.

    That the unconscious we are dealing with carries the weight and energy and momentum of thousands of years and merely wishing it away with a candle flame does not let them disappear overnight.

    It surely perhaps needs the burning candle yes, but as a way to get clear on our intention and to clear/invite the energetic space for it, but then, it also needs a humiliating level of self honesty, attention, awareness, digging deep within, finding love, getting humbled, and integration work along with it.

    The existence of certain unpleasant elements and experiences in our life can work precise indicators of what’s going on in our internal landscape.

    The level of toxicity present can be a guide to the inner work we can still do to evolve and grow. In many ways the shadows humble us, teach us to be real and raw if we choose to be so.

    Having said that, it is also true that no one needs to put up with abuse of any kind. And abuse is not just physical.

    It is important to discern what and how much we are willing to and can put up with.

    And to take that as an indication to start taking action.

    If there are places and people that drain us and are threatening to our existence, we have do everything in our capacity to protect ourselves. And move towards our safety and wellbeing.

    But this action can be taken either from a panic/attack mode as before or we could get a little curious about it all, as exploring and stretching ourselves a little.

    Because if last year taught me anything, it was that all of us have an unconscious part in us and we tend to act up as long as we remain blind to it.

    And that the relationships in my life are far too precious for me to lose just because we all didn’t know how to deal with some of the best, most amazing parts of us we didn’t know existed in us.

    Also, being able to see the shadows inside myself brought me closer to understanding the unconscious in the other.

    That whole aspect of “toxicity in the other” loses its charge when we realize there is something in us that is able to recognize/pick up and react to the toxicity in another, and that’s the Unconscious inside us.

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    So while all this self-care and self-love and moving toward our joy and pleasure is very real, just as real and humbling has been this shift in how I have began to explore the unconscious shadows in me, in the other and the world and the interconnection between them.

    It helps to know that if I can own my part of the drama, (and that’s all I ever need to do), it changes the roles and energies of the collective as well.

    That when I stop being ashamed of my dark unconscious, it takes away shame from the collective unconscious and that heals and helps us all.

    And this idea of healing and growth and evolution just feels so much realer than anything I have come across so far.

    This is real alchemy, a severe challenge, and highly rewarding.

    Because it brings me closer to our shared experience as humans instead of creating separation by judging and condemning each other.

    I realize amidst all the cheery positivity of the season, this isn’t the most pleasant thing to hear about oneself or the happiest of new year messages.

    But then it’s what’s real for me right now.

    Also, in this timeless land that I live in and whose ancient people don’t follow a Gregorian calendar to decide their important days and shifts, New Year is still a few months away, in April.

    What all this means is that the dark season has the tendency to activate the shadow energies both within us and outside, and that while we take precautions to protect ourselves, to also look into the ones that might be acting up from within us and could be ’embraced’, so that we ‘release’ energies from where they were trapped before, inside us.

    Tough luck for my conscious mind, but my body and psyche pick up on the land and the seasons and these little known practices more than the dates on a calendar or the good wishes on my cell phone.

    There is a whole dimension of us, and a very human one at that, trapped in tons of shame and there is no way we can walk out of it whole if we are going to leave parts of us in continued suppression.

    The gifts of shadow work are the invisible energetic releases and unexpected opportunities that arrive creating greater meaning and connection in our lives.

    They are the dragons who are no longer isolated and shunned and ready to be slayed, but the greatest allies waiting to be welcomed into our living rooms and the incredible synchronicity, clarity and beauty that is possible, even if they come after much struggling, internal wrestling and external dismantling.

    And I would choose them any day over any messages that ask me to shame/slay/severe/suppress the unconscious in me or in another, any further so we may continue our “we are separate” games.

    And although I have had brush ups with my shadows in the past, and I have read about, resonated with and understood plenty of content on shadow work, this was where I was going to actively be tested in a practical way.

    My strength and capacity is a crucible to work with the shadows, especially when in relation to another’s.

    No longer as a battle between anything internal and external, right or left, good and evil, masculine and feminine, and any other polarity, but as necessary work I need to put in to learn, grow, and evolve into harmony.

    What will become of my journey with the masculine and of my relationship is yet to be seen.

    But I find this journey I have chosen on this planet for this lifetime to be so thrilling I couldn’t go back even if you bribed me with the best, most amazing and perfect lovers.

    Because frankly, that is how much I am learning about love these days.

    And for this I can only feel an incredible sense of gratitude to the willing players who have boldly come into my life to play with my shadows and wake me up to their existence, my own existence.

    So if you haven’t gotten it all sorted out, haven’t released and let go of toxicity and negativity, if you don’t have a smashing new list of positive intentions and goals yet, do not fret!

    Your inner being might just be right in tune with nature and her seasons, and doing and being exactly where she needs to be, learning and deepening still into an ecstatic kind of love that may be unavailable to us if we severed ties with it.

     

    IN CONCLUSION

    If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.

     

    About the Author:

    Tau Tara is a young budding witch, engaged with the healing process and learning about her witchy gifts which she is still discovering through the power of plants, sounds, body wisdom and soul connection. Tau is spring born on Indian soil, chirpy in the sun, but sharing a special relationship with violent storms. She loves digging up ancient secrets from the buried past, and buried truths from primal spaces. You can find and follow her adventures on Instagram.

     

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