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The last need of the heart is acceptance.  Boy, is this a biggie!  This may be a straight forward as finally loving our noses that as just slightly crooked, which endlessly bugs us, yet goes unseen by our loved ones to integrating what the founder of analytic psychology, Carl Jung, termed our shadow.

Shadow is experienced by all of us and mostly denied by all of us.  However, if there is to be deep peace within us, its integration is necessary.  The primary way we have all experienced shadow is by meeting it in other people.  We have all had the experience of meeting some one and either being repulsed or enamored, while most people we meet are experienced in a relatively neutral manner.  It is those that we have a strong positive or negative reaction to that are being called forth within us to be examined.   That is our shadow, which may be positive or negative, but it is denied, often unconsciously within us.

To start to meet your shadow, take 5 minutes and make a list of all the qualities in a person by whom you are repulsed by.  Then on a new sheet of paper, make a list of all the qualities in a person in your life you feel inspired by.  Now, being as honest as you can look at the two lists and start to consider deeply if the qualities on the two lists are not qualities you have.

We can stay on a superficial level of our spiritual journey, which is likened to redecorating our prison cell, or we can tear the cage asunder and free ourselves.  Moving into the work of integrating our shadows, accepting EVERY aspect of ourselves frees us.  Two of my favorite mentors for such exploration are Debbie Ford and Katie Byron.  Here are links for more info:

The Shadow Effect

The Work

Be gentle with yourself, yet honest.  Ask for support from a mentor.  Realize the path of the soul is not feeling less, but feeling EVERYTHING to its deepest level.  When we can do such, we are free.  Much love!

“The mouse crawls around the cage, looking for an escape.  The lion tears the cage asunder.”  ~Rumi

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