(inspired by the Tools, by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels)
There is a Greater Power
residing in your chest—
take a deep breath…
…from deep inside.
You’ll find your shadow fades
and that’s not to say it goes away,
rather, it’s integrated.
Back into your essence
of which, is part of the eternal
inward and outward cosmic flow.
Shine, so the entirety of your true being
is fully known.
Your higher, your lower —
everything and all of you
Shine so all meaning
is laid bare, all of you
In this pain,
this effort of work.
All of you
won’t be heard, seen
until you shine.
you will see you
turn to yourself,
Psychotherapist Barry Michels believes that doing Shadow work can bring about a multitude of benefits.
According to him, engaging in this introspective practice can lead to:
- increased confidence,
- enhanced self-expression, and
- deeper connections with others.
But perhaps the most profound benefit of all is beautifully captured in the lines from Derek Walcott's poem Love After Love:
it allows us to truly come home to ourselves.
Derek Walcott, poet and playwright, lived from 1930 to 2017. He’s considered one of the most important West Indian writers, with most of his life spent in Trinidad.
In 1992, he received the Nobel Prize for literature.
Walcott's poems and plays were all about Caribbean culture and touched on topics like identity, history, and colonialism. As most writers, he talked about his own experiences while also addressing bigger issues in society.
Here’s his poem, Love After Love.
Love After Love
by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.