“The place where light and dark begin to touch is where miracles arise.” –Robert A. Johnson

On a walk recently, I saw a mobile home with a piece of metal art on it. The image was that of a smiling sun split perfectly down the middle. One side was white and the other side black. It spoke to me about who we are as humans— light and shadow.

I used to be so ashamed of my shadow parts. In my mind at that time, the shadow parts of me reinforced my low self-worth. I felt the shadow highlighted that there truly was “something wrong with me,” and that I’d never be good enough. I always felt like I “missed the mark” somehow. I couldn’t really love myself, because I had to “be better” before I could do that.

The funny thing about the sun image was that both sides were smiling. It wasn’t only the light side that had the smile on its lips, but the dark shadow side as well. There was no disconcerting frown on the dark side of the image; the sun smiled exactly the same on both sides with one seamless, pleasant smile. There was no judgment from the sun as if one side was the “bad” side, and the other “good.”

Our shadow parts are not UNlovable parts like we often judge them to be—in fact, they are often parts that have loved us very much. Although, in an effort to protect us, some parts may have come up with some interesting, dysfunctional ways to show us their love. They are often wounded parts of ourselves in need of compassion. In our recovery work as we learn more about ourselves and look at our shadow parts, we are able to understand them. It’s part of healing and self-love to learn to accept and love these parts of ourselves. My shadow side has taught me so much about myself, and there’s no question it has helped me love (and have compassion for) myself. I now know myself at a deeper level. I’m also more “comfortable in my own skin.”

I invite you to explore those repressed, shadow parts of yourself. Today, there is much help with that process of discovery through traditional therapy, and many non-traditional methods—like healing touch/reiki energy work, breathwork, soul collaging, astrology/numerology, dreamwork etc. Be curious and see what helps you love your shadow. Like the sun smiling metal art, let your “inner sun” smile on ALL parts of you—light and shadow. Begin to let them touch within you so the miracles can arise!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.