Today is February 2 or better known in the United States as Groundhog Day. If the groundhog sees his shadow we are supposed to have six more weeks of winter. For fair weather friends that is not a good thing. This morning Punxsutawney Phil, the official groundhog, did NOT see his shadow, predicting an early spring.
Acknowledging Groundhog Day is fun. Living under a shadow is not. Every day we hear stories of tragedy and hardship. Today my prayers are with the five year old kidnapped and held hostage in Alabama. The families of the victims of Sandy Hook will be in our hearts for a long time. Many of you reading this post have experienced your own suffering whether from abuse or other emotional pain.
You may quickly respond—n o. You’ve moved on; don’t talk about the experience, perhaps never even told anyone. Not talking about an emotionally damaging experience does not mean you are notliving under its shadow. The effects may be subtle but they are there. I remember always doubting myself. I silently questioned everything I said and did and each time fell short of feeling good about myself. No one knew. I didn’t talk about it, but I was living under the shadow of a childhood of sexual abuse that had destroyed my self-esteem. That is just one small example. For me it took years of therapy, confronting my abuse and abusers, to move out from under my shadow into the light.
Your shadow may be created by abuse, grief, anger or emotional pain. You can choose to live beneath it or choose to live in the light. It means taking a big step forward; talking, seeking professional help and letting go of your past. The work is hard but the rewards are great.