The Dance Of The Shadows

Mar 27, 2021

Photo from Canva


I had not been on the dance floor for a long, long time. I thought I knew all the steps and the moves. Thought I was in control.


Until one day. There I am in the spotlight on the dance floor. In the light, I feel comfortable and safe. Convincing myself that everything is fine. But, for something that seems forever, I have sensed a threat to my wellness, louring in the darkness. It feels like piercing eyes are watching my every movement, wanting my attention. Getting closer.

Desperately, I’m looking for another dance partner. Someone less scary, more familiar. I find it. An old habit.


I want to signal to whoever has taken an interest in me from the dark, that I’m not available. I already have a dance partner, and I like this one very much, thank you! My attempts to distract myself fail miserably. It’s impossible to ignore the presence that is following me. I feel the interest of the one I’m holding passing. I let it go.


Left alone, I am vulnerable and very visible from the darkness. Sick to my stomach, I want to leave the spotlight. Hide in the dark so the eyes can not find me. Divided, I notice there is something inside that is also curious. Despite every cell in my body telling me to run, I surprise myself and reach out, inviting the shadow with the piercing eyes into my arms.


With a firm grip, I want to keep my distance still. There is a battle inside, both resisting and willing to get to know this shadow.  Suddenly I hear myself asking, what do you want with me? What do you have to tell me? The shadow opens up and lets it all out.


Clinging to each other we move, first clumsily. I, resisting and fearing. Then I surrender. Completely. I cry the pain, sweat the anger, and breathe through the sorrow. It is intense. It feels like my body is tearing apart. Separating flesh from bones as I allow the battle of feelings to run through my body. In the middle of it all, I suddenly realize that my job is not to interfere but to observe. My body feels the fierce energy from unresolved and bottled-up feelings that are releasing. Nor the traumas or the feelings are telling me who I am, commanding me, or defining me. They are just feelings. Energy. As I see that, I grow more confident. I accept them all. The good and the bad. The beautiful and the ugly. I realize that as long as I do not resist, the shadow has no control over me. Somehow, we found our rhythm, the shadow and I.


When the shadow gets tired, knowing it’s time to move on, I let it slide out of my embrace. It dissolves like pollen in the air. Left on the dance floor I stand tall, but tired, exhausted, and in need to be cleansed, in need to heal. I let myself fall to the ground, immediately swallowed by Mother Earth. This time it is She who embraces me. She holds me like a mother holds a child. Her soil and water cleanse and comforts me. Making my grounding stronger. When I arise, I am lighter, freer, knowing that my light shines brighter than ever before.

Now knowing that the feelings can not really hurt me, that I am always whole, it’s easier to meet the shadows when they appear. Moment to moment, allowing myself to feel it all without attaching to anything. The feelings shifts at rapid speed, and almost always leave me with a sense of more clarity, peace, and often love. 


When you and I go out into the world and shine our light, we shine so others can see their shadows. Our grounding makes it safe for them to courageously see, feel and start their awkward and sometimes painful dance. There is not much else that gives a better feeling, than seeing another sister or brother raise out of the arms of our Mother, eyes lit with renewed force and their humanness illuminated, less afraid of who they are.


And so the ripples go. It will not be only beautiful dances, but as long as no one is being judged, more shadows will be welcomed out from their hiding, and join the one light we all are.

- Trine Marie Pedersen




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