Peeking under the siding

“Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior.” Carl Jung

I’ve been learning so much about construction from watching the excellent teams at Limina. Jake, Greg, DJ, and Scott have been working their tail-feathers off to get the house ready for our opening next month. Greg took this aerial photo from the top of the lift that they are using to remove the siding.  When we began the renovation, weren’t anticipating the replacement of windows and siding. Addressing many broken window seals and opening mechanisms, rot under the siding, and terrible energy efficiency (the home was originally used only in summers) forced us to expand the scope of the renovation. As hard as it was to continue finding “issues” under the siding, at least we now know they are there and can address them. And we feel very blessed that we found the potential leaks before a crisis arose.

This is yet another reminder I need – it can be so easy for me to avoid looking under my “siding,” especially when things are going well. But the reality is that I have to face the shadow side of my personality and learn to appreciate all the blessings to be found in this work. Through the landscape at Limina, loved ones, spiritual counselors and therapists, the Spirit strengthens me to expose and address areas that need healing.

I have come to realize that the main healing I need is in accepting the shadow as a part of me, not something to be ashamed of, ignored, or rejected. My shadow is part of what has shaped me, and often a fount of compassion and humility. Our society, and the church, has treated the shadow as something to be despised and feared, and it feels counterintuitive to look into the shadow as a place of wisdom. I gained these insights … and still work to integrate them… from Richard Rohr. He has written extensively on the need to do shadow work as part of our spiritual lives, especially in The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder and Falling Upward. Rohr invites us to consider how we can carry shadow and light at the same time, rather than working to dispel the darkness. The dark of the shadow can be a space of quiet generative becoming, a womb of transformation and healing. But so often “shadow” and “darkness” have been negatively coded with devastating effects on members of the BIPOC community.

While on retreat at Limina or in a spiritual direction session, we will be honored to accompany you if the Spirit leads you into the shadows, to experience the wisdom of darkness. And mark your calendars! At the fall equinox, look for a whole retreat called “Beautiful Darkness” and hosted by author and wellness guide Laurie Frazier. May we all be blessed by the shadow and the freedom that comes when we can lay aside our personas that always need to look good and right.