Your shadow is real. I'm not talking about the dark image that forms on the ground behind you when you face the morning sun. No, I'm talking about a part of your consciousness.

Your shadow is born when you are born. It's job is to collect and save all the thoughts and feelings you deny. Every time you suppress the urge to get angry; every time you stuff your anger, it goes into your shadow.

Every time you want to feel sorry for yourself, but don't - because pity is bad and wrong and you shouldn't feel it - that pity goes into your shadow.

Every time you want to cry... but don't. Every time you want to feel hurt... but don't. Every time you suppress your shame. Every time you stuff down your fear... it's all there. It's all saved. It didn't just go away.

Every feeling - every thought - from 'Day One' - that you denied in one way or another - it's stored in a living repository called your shadow.

But it's not just the so-called 'negative' emotions that find their way into the shadow. All that happiness you refuse to feel ends up there as well. Often times, we're just as willing (if not more) to stuff our happiness as our misery.

And love? How plump with love must your shadow be right now?

And caring? Your heart cares enormously. But if you won't feel it - down it goes into the shadow.

I see my shadow in two ways. First, as an actual entity. A living, breathing image of someone who looks fairly human and is quite willing to talk to me. My shadow is not my enemy. My shadow always tells the truth. (Unlike my ego!)

Sometimes my shadow appears quite dark and sinister and menacing. Other times it seems quite loving and wise and light. I never know how it will look when I go to seek it out in meditation.

The other way I see my shadow - as a huge shiny castle of light. Filled with excitement and unparalleled success. Which also comes with dark dreary underground passageways. That's the part I know best. Dark dank claustrophobic catacombs - deep underground - oozing with fear and anger and pity and shame and hurt.

I've walked those hallways many times in meditation.

Why would I do such a thing? Because if I'm proactive - if I seek our my shadow - I can reclaim the energy 'down there' so I don't have to manifest it in my life. But you don't necessarily need to walk your hallways if you don't want to. No, you can meet your shadow in the world around you. Believe me, it's there.

Are you surrounded by angry people? Are you surrounded by pitiful people? That's your shadow. Absolutely. Guaranteed. Your shadow is always 'out there' in the world around you.

Just look to those people in your world who invoke the strongest emotional response in you. What 'sticks out' in the world you see? That's your shadow. What pushes your buttons? That's your shadow.

Also, what about the happy successful rich-and-thin people you see - or watch on TV - or read about? That's your shadow also. Anything - any image - whether of beauty or ugliness - that registers an emotional response in you, most likely is a reflection of your shadow.

To work with your shadow, start by feeling your feelings and thinking your thoughts. Embrace them fully. Especially those thoughts and feelings that come up as a *reaction to* people or situations around you.

Your shadow never gives you more than you can handle. I know it doesn't seem that way. But just because you're in pain, that doesn't mean it's from your shadow.

Your shadow usually comes at you from the world around you. The one person who drives you crazy. The news story you can't stop thinking about. The angry driver who cuts you off on the way to work. That's what your shadow looks like.

Now that you've read these words, start to notice those people and places and situations that bring up a strong emotional response in you.

Your shadow is real. Ignore it at your own peril. You'd be much better off working with it, as opposed to denying its very existence.

Your shadow is real.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Ivar Myhre, The Emotional Healing Wizard, offers cutting-edge tips and techniques for ending all types of emotional pain. Go To: