by Milan Karmeli
January 13, 2015
Milan Karmeli is a
psychosomatic therapist and facilitator of group
workshops. He specializes in counseling,
childhood/primal trauma healing, breath therapy, and
bioenergetics. Milan's love and passion is to live by
truth, and to help others remove all illusion of
separation through his work.
Check out his
When you were little, were you afraid of the dark? Most of us were.
And I doubt we ever thought to question this fear. We
were almost naturally taught to be afraid of the dark, because the
dark is full of unknown things that might hurt us.
But what usually happened when you turned the light on? You learned
the unknown things were not so scary. And they were not so
unknown. They were just part of the environment.
We learned to associate darkness with scary and unknown, and we
learned it's better not to speak with our dark thoughts and
Turning the light on our emotional shadow is a lot
more challenging than flicking a physical light switch on. So we
avoid it. Superficiality is easier. But this darkness of our soul
has a life of its own which thrives, whether or not we choose to
It's there, and it's powerful.
This fear of our emotional complexity grew as we grew, and with time
became our shadow.
It's a hidden part in us that influences our choices
more often than we are aware.
In truth, much effort goes into repressing and hiding it from
ourselves and others. It's our dark side. The parts we are ashamed
and afraid to show. But through denial, we fail to see that in the
obscurity of darkness also lay our strengths.
For reasons originating in the past, we have decided to negate and
hide this dark side without exploring it further. And so in return
it keeps us distant from truly expressing ourselves.
In many ways, hiding our shadow can be considered the highest form
By concealing this part of us, we are saying we don't
deserve to show our complete selves, thereby betraying ourselves. In
return, secrecy, manipulation, and pretending take over large
parts of our lives from fear of being 'exposed' and rejected for the
part of ourselves we are hiding.
As mentioned, our shadow can show itself as weakness or
strength. Becoming aware of our complete self allows us an
opportunity for expressing strength. Ignoring these qualities,
however, will always produce a damaging result.
The more we repress these dark corners of our being, the more we
face disorder in our personality.
This can manifest as,
...or other behaviors that cause destruction to
ourselves and others.
To become aware of our shadow is to shed light on our earliest
wounds and to give ourselves a chance for healing and
transformation. But as long as we choose to close our eyes to
this, the wounds will continue to decay while emitting poison into
To Deepen Our Spirituality,
We Must Pass Through the Shadow
Any spiritual work must entail exposure and understanding
of our shadow.
Solely focusing on finding our light keeps us away
from places of shame, guilt, jealousy, greed, competition, lust and
aggression. But it is these very emotions that must be worked
through first before coming near our lighter sides.
Even certain spiritual practices like meditation can become
difficult when we try to ignore our shadow self. Its repression
shows up when we shut our eyes, and we're left with only our
As with all strong emotions, what we don't want to look at always
keeps us contracted and in rejection. Deep down we know these
qualities and feelings reside in us, and hiding them leads us to a
life of in-authenticity and sometimes incomprehensible
If our shadow is not acknowledged and embraced, the depth of our
spiritual and personal growth is limited. Denying to look at the
darkness is rejecting ourselves the need to be received in totality
We start to over-identify with the side of ourselves acquired
through our own perception of reality. This in turn shapes our
personality, the superficial side of us, which the world meets.
Our roles and personality try their best to help us feel worthy and
lovable. For some, it is by being intelligent, successful, and
powerful while for others it is the opposite. In whichever way our
personality tries to control life, it remains just another attempt
to be loved for something we know we're not.
As long as this partial picture of ourselves is kept intact, we
The message is,
"I don't want to look and feel certain parts
inside me and I prefer to judge others for showing and living
what I choose to reject",
...hence choosing separation, inside and out. It is a
painful cage of continuous isolation.
Embracing The Complete 'You'
The way to our light is through darkness.
Whether we want it or not, the dark side in us is
very active even though it is concealed and not evident to the
outside. But we know it's there, continuously asking for
The shadow should be met in a safe and loving environment.
Otherwise, it is too afraid that its face will cause devastation and
result in further isolation. When it's safe we can start looking,
seeing, and expressing what has been hidden from our awareness.
There are many unpolished diamonds of strength, creativity, and
beauty, which we've kept limited so that others close don't feel
small, intimidated or scared. Speaking to our shadow is an immense
step towards healing and self-love.
Initially, when we embark on this exciting and necessary journey, we
may not be sure who we really are. But this is only because we are
so used to our masks that expressing our true self is like meeting a
Soon new possibilities, choices and, perceptions
Suddenly we can face the many question marks in our life from a
place of strength and authenticity. We strengthen our
capacity to be in this world more fully and completely.
So, are you ready?