Grant Montgomery: Embracing our shadows
In today’s society, especially for those of us living in an urban jungle culture with stress levels at what they are, making time to calm our spirits is necessary to renew and nourish our souls.
Taking a break to come into contact with the beauty and harmony of nature will bring us a peace, and has the ability to make any problems we have seem much smaller. So when we feel disturbed or upset about something, it may be time to schedule a walk in the woods or along the beach, where we can re-establish inner calmness.
And we should take time to focus on what’s happening in our lives – honestly addressing any anger, fears or guilt. This type of meditation and prayer provides the ability to allow God to process our anger, fears and guilt so these negative emotions don’t build up in us. As I’ve mentioned before, when I refer to “God”, regardless of any differences in beliefs, it’s simply acknowledging the common denominator that we know that there is a power greater than ourselves.
If we don’t embrace our shadows, our negative feelings get buried. And if these negative feelings are not processed and released, they will remain in our system and emerge in unhealthy ways. For example, masking anger or injured feelings can result in turning to alcohol or other substance abuse as an outlet.
Of course, even with attempting to own our anxieties or emotions, we will still occasionally meet with obstacles that can knock us for a loop. But with God as our counselor, it may be synonymous with a moment of grace when we hit bottom.
In order for grace to work and to penetrate our lives, our persona must be subdued and we honestly call out to God for help. Human nature is such that it is only after we have exhausted ourselves searching for external connections with people, places and things that we then search for our true selves and become willing to accept God’s love and care.
Read Finding hope