According to Jung, at around the age of six or seven we separate and then hide away the parts of ourselves that don’t seem acceptable, that don’t fit in the world around us. Those unacceptable parts that we secret away become our shadows.
Charles De Lint is one of my favorite fantasy writers. I’ve read many of his books and have yet to be disappointed. I highly recommend checking him out. He has created a world in which he populates a fictional town called Newford with a wide cast of characters. What I like about his stories is the fact that his cast of characters in Newford all appear in the series. It’s like getting reacquainted with old friends. It’s not simply one character who is center stage in every book. You get to know everyone. In one book one character may be upfront while in another book that character may in the background while someone else steps up.
This is a fascinating way to write and I almost like this better then having the same central character in every book. There are certainly challenges to this, but so far, in my opinion Mr. De Lint has surpassed all of them. Alright onward to the quote above and the reason for this entry.
Why do we hide our shadows? They need to see the light of day as much as any other facet of humanity. They are as much a part of us as our light is. If we hide our shadows away they will always find a way to show themselves and sometimes at inappropriate times. If you take your shadows out to play in the sunshine you’ll find that eventually they will stop coming at awkward times. As in Spirits in the Wires, Mr De Lint writes on the same page that the above quote appears:
I remember reading somewhere that it can be a useful exercise to visualize the person our shadow would be if it could step out into the light.
What are you waiting for? Take your shadows of the closet. Bring them out into the light. You may be surprised. There is nothing to fear. I think that’s what keeps most people from playing with their shadows. It’s fear. Fear of the unknown. Let me ask you this though. How many times have you feared something and how many times have those fears been unfounded? It is beyond time for you to bring your shadows out. Find them! Speak to them! Enjoy them!
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!