Why Exploring Your Shadow Is Necessary + How You Can Do It

What would you think if I told you that your Shadow(s) are one of your greatest gifts in life? If you think that statement is crazy, I would like to prove you wrong in this blog. I believe our society has become too afraid of our own pains and darknesses in life, when if we would look at them with the right perception we would see that these pains, darknesses, and shadows are merely abundant opportunities waiting on us to play.

Yes, I said play. Because you can definitely play in darkness. It may not be as pleasant as playing in light may feel, however you can bring the intention of play into your darkness and experience a much different process of growth and expansion. Which is exactly what this post is going to be about. Our shadow(s), darkness, and pain(s), are our biggest gifts in life because they are opportunities for serious expansion and growth.


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Also, healing cannot occur unless we work with (notice: not sit with/in) our shadow. You cannot live in the light all of the time and be a vibrant healed butterfly every moment of your life. Because this is Life. We have to work with our pains and shadows in certain spaces in our lives because it is time for us to grow, evolve, and expand into our next version of vibrancy and authenticity.

There is a certain amount of life that we have to spend working with our darkness and doing the work we need to do to heal, so that we can be the vibrant healed butterflies that we want to be as much as possible. Our darkness + our shadow selves are deeply valuable gifts in life, when we allow them to be. These experiences, though unpleasant, teach us about the light we seek and how to become it.

So the next question becomes, how can we explore our shadows, darkness, and pains with the least bit of upset as possible? It’s not an easy practice, but it is one of the most powerful in my experience. I have personally found that it starts with a foundation of understanding and awareness. Before you even intentionally work with your shadow, you have to have an awareness that the outcome will be for your highest good, and the only thing that can come from moving through your darkness will be even more light.

You have to understand that everything happens for a reason, and everything happens in divine timing. So if something is coming up for you with your shadow, darkness, or pain, this is a sign that it is time to explore, heal, and grow from whatever is showing up for you to heal for yourself. You will never leave this work without having learned a new lesson, and if you think you did the work but don’t have a lesson as a souvenier, then you’re not done doing the work. There is a brilliant video about this very thing from the equally brilliant Glennon Doyle Melton that you can watch below (it’s a longer one, so make some coffee or tea and take the time to enjoy it, let it speak to your soul and teach you).

I invite you today to see your shadows as opportunities. Pick one, and gently begin to work with it. Bring your light along with you and it won’t feel so dark, scary, or lonely. You choose your destiny, but if you want to get there you have to heal some things along the way. And along that journey know that you are loved and supported in every way.


~Riley Reign



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