Bring A Light: A Shadow Work Primer

“We endure the task to come back purified from the fires of hell within. We wish to come back shining like gold.”

Gather all your supplies. 

What’s needed to complete the trip? As a rule, packing light for a fast getaway is best. But necessity over economy is more prudent.

The last time I went, I was so hyped about bringing my fancy, gold-filigreed Zippo and how cool I’d look holding it up in the darkness to light my way that I plumb forgot to bring extra butane, and I got lost in the gap for weeks. 

I couldn’t see shit. 

I ended up waylaid by some lonely dweller who just wanted a word with anybody who’d listen, gods help him. 

The crazy mf plied me with hollow food and bad jokes to distract me, and he kept me tied up for days. If I hadn’t accidentally touched the memento in my pocket, my lucky copper penny, I’d likely still be there, feasting on nothing for all eternity and laughing myself to death. 

I was thankful to escape. And a part of me can’t help but feel sorry for anybody unlucky enough to call that place home.

But I’m sharing my folly with you now so you won’t join me later. Hopefully.

When you go into the shadows of yourself, there are two things you’ll need. A light is number one, but a memento can be a backup in case the light or your ability to see it fails. 

And it’s not that the light fails or your eyes actually go out so much as the darkness just swallows everything whole.

If you can keep your wits about you and stay focused, your chances of success stay better than slim. If you’re a fool like most first-timers and pretentious blowhards drunk on their own hubris, you might end up bunkmates with some poor starved thing who’ll take you for everything you’ve got. 

And I do mean everything.

Oh, they’ll have stories to tell. And you’ll gobble them all up while they drain you dry, mind, body, and soul. 

Not a good way to end, my friend. Not at all. 

Also, make sure to mark your point of entry. A sigil or piece of fabric will do in a pinch. But you can get as fancy as you like. Just as long as you write the vision and make it plain. Otherwise, how will you know which way to leave when it’s time?

That’s if you plan on leaving at all. If not, then think nothing of it.

Though, I’m sure no one who attempts this treacherous trek actually intends to stay.

We endure the dangerous task to come back purified from the fires of hell within. We wish to come back shining like gold. 

The journey is yet another part. You must be careful not to stray from your path. 

Like I said before, there’s much more in the dark than just who or what you’re after.

Things that have subsisted on nothing more than faint whispers of a world within the light lie in wait for even a mere glimpse of that fabled existence. There are others even who used to know the Sun but have been banished for one reason or another to the shadows eternal. And as interesting as their stories might be, I don’t think the weight of what you’ll pay to get the deets is worth the trouble. 

But that’s just me. You’re totally free to make your own choices here. I’m just the messenger.

And the last part, maybe the most important, is the destination. Finding what you’ve come for is one thing, but having the sensibility to see it through to the end is something else entirely. 

It’s rather like meeting an old friend.

And in this case, you could say absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Though, sometimes the heart you’re seeking is bitter, embattled, and wizened with scars.

You must be willing to meet yourself in the dark, without the lights. To listen and not judge. To witness. Though they may rage, your disposition sets the tone. And if you are wise and alert, I daresay you should find an ally instead of an enemy.

The danger in all this is that you lose your goddamn mind and end up more worse than when you started. But that’s the risk you must decide to take.

Ask yourself if what you stand to gain (wholeness, closure, a place to begin again) is worth more than what you stand to lose (your ideas of who you thought you were). 

If the answer is yes, then you had damn well better remember to bring a light.



Image courtesy of Pixabay. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.


About Mojo

Mojo works as an editor, writer, web designer, and all-around badass to help creators to give birth to their ideas over at Hailing from St. Louis, MO, Mojo and her two sons are owned by Baby Cat and Beans, their feline overlords. In her downtime, Mojo loves to ponder the mysteries of the universe, defend her Uno Champion title, and watch horror flicks.




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