Walking with my Shadow

by Celia DeWoody

My shadow and I took a walk together along Crooked Creek today.

It was fairly late on this short winter day, just two weeks from the Solstice, so the shadows were long and eastward-facing as the sun dipped toward the western hills.

As I gazed toward the creek to soak in its sweet peace, my shadow kept appearing, reminding me of Carl Jung’s shadow teachings that Richard Rohr often refers to:

“One of the great surprises on the human journey is that we come to full consciousness precisely by shadowboxing, facing our own contradictions, and making friends with our own mistakes and failings. People who have had no inner struggles are invariably superficial and uninteresting. We tend to endure them more than appreciate them because they have little to communicate and show little curiosity. Shadow work is what I call ‘falling upward.’ Lady Julian of Norwich (1342–1416) put it best of all: ‘First there is the fall, and then we recover from the fall. And both are the mercy of God!'”