Excerpt 3 from "The Shadow Effect"
Debbie Ford, co-author of The Shadow Effect with Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra, further describes, in the final segment from the book's introduction, how we we can use this book to help us integrate the wisdom of our shadow sides.
Introduction - Part 3
Each of us comes with years of experience and a sincere hope that we can illuminate the shadow once and for all. For if we do not counter the force of the shadow and integrate its wisdom, it has the potential to continue to wreak havoc on our lives and our world. When we fail to admit to our vulnerabilities and recognize our bad behaviors, we will inevitably sabotage ourselves when we are on the verge of some personal or professional breakthrough. Then the shadow wins. When we act out of disproportionate anger in speaking to our children, the shadow wins. When we deceive our loved ones, the shadow wins. When we refuse to accept our true nature, the shadow wins. If we do not bring the light of our highest self to the darkness of our human impulses, the shadow wins. Until we accept all of who we are, the shadow effect will have the power to impede our happiness. If left unacknowledged, the shadow will stop us from being whole, prevent us from achieving our best-laid plans, and leave us living half a life. It is our hope in writing this book that we will bring the shadow into the light. There has never been a better time to create a new lexicon, to illuminate the shadow, and to ﬁnally understand what’s been so difﬁcult to see and hard to explain.
Shadow work, as described in this book, is more than a psychological process or an intellectual banter. It is a prescriptive solution to problems unsolved. It is a life-altering journey that goes beyond any psychological theory because it deems the dark side as a human issue, a spiritual issue that all of us must resolve in this lifetime if we are to live a fully self-expressed life. We will ﬁnally understand why we are no better and no worse than anyone else regardless of our color, our background, our sexual orientation, our genetic makeup, or our past. There is no one in the world who doesn’t have a shadow, and when taken seriously and understood, the shadow can birth a new reality that will alter the way we feel about ourselves, the way we parent our children, the way we treat our partners, the way we interact with our community members, and the way we engage with other nations.
I believe that the shadow is one of the greatest gifts available to us. Carl Jung called it a “sparring partner”; it is the opponent within us that exposes our ﬂaws and sharpens our skills. It is the teacher, the trainer, and the guide that supports us in uncovering our true magniﬁcence. The shadow is not a problem to be solved or an enemy to be conquered but a fertile ﬁeld to be cultivated. When we dig our hands into its rich soil, we will discover the potent seeds of the people we most desire to be. It is our sincere hope that you take this journey, for we know what’s waiting inside.
Copyright © 2010 by Deepak Chopra and Rita Chopra Family Trust, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson. Reprinted by permission of HarperOne.
- Linda Woznicki