If you are like me and so many others, you were led to believe that your shadow self, your wild longings, your sadness and darkness was something to be shamed and ostracized. Good manners won the day, and acting ‘proper’ took priority over true feelings and messy emotions. There is much fear regarding the unknown, the unseen, the untamed, the uncomfortable.
But why is it that when we suppress our shadow, we do not find happiness? At least that is how I have experienced it. The perfect attitude, good grades, smiles all around, and then… Is this it? Is this all there is? I feel like there’s something missing.
Can we even entertain the thought that what’s missing might just be all of that beautiful sorrow, that earthy depth, that searing rage we have been shutting out for so very long? You see, that Dark Side is in fact an entire side of ourselves that we have been ignoring despite its cries for freedom. I daresay there is incredible truth and beauty in the Dark Side.
One cannot exist without the other. And we like to define it like Yin and Yang, or Good and Evil, or Black hat and White hat, but the truth is that nothing is ever that rigidly delineated. You could say there are veritably fifty shades of grey, although I would argue that these said shades are undoubtedly infinite.
Not long ago I had an intriguing vision come through during one of my morning meditations. I had offered up a question about the nature of the divine feminine, and what I received was an image of a black pearl.
At the outset, I was unsure of what it meant, but I knew it was powerful. Now I see it so clearly I can hardly get it out of my mind. And then today, as I sat in the theater devouring the latest Hunger Games movie… There it was again. The black pearl. This time as a gift from the Masculine to the Goddess (or Peeta to Katniss if you prefer). And with this more insistent vision, I knew I’d be a fool not to address it.
The black pearl is, to me at least, a perfect metaphor for the divine interplay of darkness and light grounded in a circle of impeccable beauty and purity.
How does this apply to our daily lives? Well, for me, it serves as a clear reminder that in order to be whole as well as holy, I must embrace all aspects of my self– the good, bad, and the ugly naughty bits– all the while remaining consciously connected to my Truth.
Not an easy task. And yet, it does not alter the fact that it is our destiny. Look at it this way, the black pearl reminds us that our Dark Side is just as much a part of us as is our Light, and maybe we can stop knockin’ it so much and invite it in for tea every now and again. It’s not necessarily as big and scary as it seems. More likely that it’s just misunderstood.
The eminent Joseph Campbell once said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Maybe there’s a black pearl in that there cave. Who’s ready to find out?