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Excerpted from The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. Copyright © 1999 by Debbie Ford. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 

"Instead of trying to suppress our shadows, we need to unconceal, own and embrace the very things we are most afraid of facing."

  Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of 
the Light Chasers
, Part 1

Most of us set out on the path to personal growth because at some point the burden of our pain becomes too much to bear. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers is about unmasking that aspect of ourselves which destroys our relationships, kills our spirit, and keeps us from fulfilling our dreams. It is what the psychologist Carl Jung called the shadow. It contains all the parts of ourselves that we have tried to hide or deny. It contains those dark aspects that we believe are not acceptable to our family, friends, and most importantly, ourselves. The dark side is stuffed deeply within our consciousness, hidden from ourselves and others. The message we get from this hidden place is simple: there is something wrong with me. I知 not okay. I知 not lovable. I知 not deserving. I知 not worthy.

Many of us believe these messages. We believe that if we look closely enough at what lies deep within us, we will find something horrible. We resist looking long and hard for fear of discovering someone we can稚 live with. We fear ourselves. We fear every thought and feeling we have ever repressed. Many of us are so disconnected from this fear we can only see it by reflection. We project it onto the world, onto our families and friends, and onto strangers. Our fear is so deep that the only way we can deal with it is either to hide or deny it. We become great imposters who fool ourselves and others. We become so good at this we actually forget that we are wearing masks to hide our authentic selves. We believe we are the persons we see in the mirror. We believe we are our bodies and our minds. Even after years of failed relationships, careers, diets, and dreams, we continue to suppress these disturbing internal messages. We tell ourselves we池e okay and that things will get better. We put blinders over our eyes and plugs in our ears to keep the internal stories we create alive. I知 not okay. I知 not lovable. I知 not deserving. I知 not worthy.

Instead of trying to suppress our shadows, we need to unconceal, own and embrace the very things we are most afraid of facing. By "own" I mean acknowledge that a quality belongs to you. "It is the shadow that holds the clues," says the spiritual teacher and author Lazaris. "The shadow also holds the secret of change, change that can affect your very DNA." Our shadows hold the essence of who we are. They hold our most treasured gifts.

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