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The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams Paperback – November 2, 2010
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In this enlightening guide, Debbie Ford explains that the dark side of our personality should not be hidden. By denying our dark side, we reject these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically. Here she shows that it is possible to acknowledge and accept our so-called weaknesses, proving that these qualities may be important, hidden strengths. For example, perhaps some 'selfishness' can save us from exhaustion and resentment. Full of illuminating stories and practical exercises, Debbie Ford shows us how to reconcile our darker impulses and find the gifts they offer. Your life will be transformed when you unconceal, own, and embrace your shadow.
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I might venture to say that women have a harder time showing their anger because society teaches us to be nice and long-suffering. While being compassionate is good, it's also okay to fight for what you believe and to fight hard.
Reclaiming the hurt, angry, suffering parts of ourselves can be the key to peace in our lives. Ford lays it out clearly. She's not the first to write about our Shadow Side, but she's one of the best. I highly recommend this book in fact I gave mine to a friend, she read it and then passed it on to someone else who was going through their 'dark night of the soul'.
When I Dream
The exercise where you own words you have judged others on by saying "I am _____" was particularly powerful for me. As I said them, I can feel these words just pushing at me at parts of my energy body. It's like something there needed to be released. The more I said it, the more it released. At times, it hurt. There was a tremendous amount of pain to release. But it was the most painful ones that was the most rewarding. As she said in her book - you felt lighter. This feeling of burying a secret inside yourself no longer needed to be veiled.
It's changed the way I view people in a way I never thought possible. I now see people I dislike as my teachers - people who are brought to me to show me parts of myself I need to accept. And that has had a profound and completely amazing effect on my relationship with those people. All of a sudden, the tension lifted... and we got along better.
I was also going through a period where I needed to reconcile the "old" me who was egotistical and ambitious and the "new" me who strived to be compassionate and humble. I beat myself up for having been that person, and was working so hard to suppress those old parts of myself and it was causing me to be depressed about who I am. The book made me realize that I didn't need to suppress that person - instead, it needed acceptance and there's no reason to completely put that part of myself away.
It wasn't until after I finished the book that I found out Debbie Ford is no longer with us and had such a long struggle with cancer. Indeed, some may wonder about her teachings if she was sick - then could we really listen to this way of healing through shadow work? But I think it makes her human. The whole idea of the shadow is that it's always there. We will always struggle with the shadow - even the teacher.