I recently lost my Shadow. Shadow was a cat I adopted when she was barely six weeks old, over sixteen years ago. I named my kitten Shadow because she followed me around, like my real shadow, the one I can see when light shines on me.
I came to dearly love my Shadow kitty. She was my favorite cat. In the 16 years I lived with my cat Shadow I also learned to love my psychic shadow. Cat Shadow was brave. When she joined my family as little kitten she immediately dominated my older three-year old cat and my one-year old dog. She quickly established that she was the boss. She was alternately playful, bossy, and loving. She had the loudest purr even in her latest days.
I have also come to know, appreciate, and listen to the shadow of my psyche, my inner shadow. It’s no longer a mystery to me. I have come to recognize my unconscious patterns. I expect them. I have tools to work with the behaviors that are triggered by my shadow. I let my shadow sit in my lap. I comfort my shadow. I help my shadow be in the light of conscious awareness.
My shadow shows up in disturbing thought patterns, physical pain patterns in my muscles and joints, in my habit of going numb to emotional pain, in my insecurities, in my struggle for my identity. It appears as my damaged child, a younger part of myself.
When my shadow leads me astray, I help it come home. I accept it. I hold it. I reassure it. I love it no matter what. I no longer reject it or try to get rid of it. It’s here to stay. I shine the light of awareness on it. I sense what it needs. I take care of it.
In return, my shadow retreats. I remember who I am. I take care of feeling emotions, challenging my negative thoughts, listen to what my body needs and wants. I come back into my adult self. My adult self is who I am today with all my experience and wisdom. My body calms down. I feel better. I find my way forward again.
Now Shadow kitty lives on in my heart too, along with my inner shadow. I shine the light of my heart and my wisdom on them and take in the comfort of knowing and integrating my shadow.