Shadow work, just like the inner child work, is a partnership. It’s like a couple’s dance.
When I learned salsa dancing, I realized precisely what it means to let my partner take the lead, and all I need to do is to follow. It was a new territory for me, as being told what to do isn’t exactly one of my favorite things. 😉
But it was effective in helping me develop my feminine side. It helped me tame my overly developed masculine side, which resulted primarily from my 16 years of corporate life. And when I’d find myself taking the leader’s role, out of habit, it disrupts the flow and the freedom in our movement. It ruins the dance. And it takes away the joy in dancing and partnering.
There are also moments during the dance when my partner and I let go of each other’s hands, and we each do our own thing and individual routine. We give each other the chance to “shine.” We take turns. We don’t upstage each other. And we eventually come together again as a couple, like a photograph in a picture frame.
As they say, when a couple is dancing, the lady is the picture, and the man is the frame. The man is tasked to bring out the best in the woman, to let her shine, because as she does, so does the man. The frame is tasked to bring out the best in the photograph and enhance its beauty.
The man and the woman, the frame and the photograph — they may look good individually, but they look better when they’re together.
Shadow work isn’t much different.
Just like a couple’s dance, it’s a balance between leading and following. And it’s clear who the leader is and who is the follower. There can be no leader without a follower, and a follower will be lost without a leader.
And just like a couple’s dance, and like a framed photograph, one feels incomplete without the other.
And I am not complete without my shadow.
And while I’m not particularly a fan of the famous line in the American movie, Jerry Maguire, like other misleading and disempowering lines from romantic films, this time however, it seems quite appropriate for me to tell my shadow,
You complete me.
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