Eating My Shadow

Back when I was taking classes in spiritual direction at the Mercy Center, we had a workshop with a gentleman called Don Bisson. Dr. Bisson is a Marist brother and a pioneer in the dialog between Jungian psychology and Christian spirituality, which I totally dig. His talk on transformation only occurring when one encounters the shadow, either external or internal, was brilliant and super fun to apply to other people. Not as much to myself.

In my last session with my spiritual director, she mentioned hearing Don speak the previous weekend and that he talked about “eating one’s shadow.” What an intriguing idea this is – that one would not merely acknowledge the existence of the shadow but would engage it, devour it and allow it to nourish and become part of you.

I’m in a phase of my life where I am (yet again) realizing that perhaps I don’t have the most accurate view of myself.  Who knew? My life seems to be a constant peeling away of a shell of self-reliance and someday I’ll learn to stop fighting it. It’s a bit like when my parents would spank me and rather than cry to make them stop, I would defiantly glare at them and tell them that it didn’t hurt.  Stubborn much? Add 30 years and not much has changed.

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