The weather was BEAUTIFUL this past weekend so I took my kiddos to the local playground. As we were swinging, my youngest son said, “Look how big I am!” (He was admiring how large the afternoon sun made him appear.)
My daughter was sitting on the swing next to him and she asked, “Mama, why do shadows scare me sometimes?” I laughed and told her I knew what she meant. I explained the meaning of the expression “Afraid of their own shadow.” She told me that she wasn’t afraid of her own shadow, just afraid of shadows sometimes because she didn’t know what they were.
Again, I assured her she wasn’t alone.
Here is the heart of my message. There are a lot of things out there that frighten us. Most of them are the unknown. Some of them are cold and dark. Some of them make small things seem enormous. Here is what we need to do to shed light on those scary old shadows:
Stop! Take a look at what is casting its shadow your way with an open-mind. When you allow yourself time to develop a clear perspective, it is a lot easier to find solutions to the situation that frightens you.
Shine your own light on the shadow. If the thing that frightens you is hanging around because of something scary a loved one is facing, be a beacon of joy and hope for them. When you share joy, it multiplies. Shadows don’t stand a chance when hope glows in the hearts of the frightened.
Tell the shadow to go away. If there is a threatening person or situation that continually darkens your door, let it go. Tell it to move on. Stand firm and move with unwavering intent to leave that shadow behind you.
Laugh it away. When you are able to face your fears and laugh in their shady faces, you are no longer afraid. You have put power into your own hands and taken charge of the situation.
Acknowledge that there will always be shadows to cross your path. Not every day can be all sunshine and roses. Not every song can be love and laughter. Not every story has a happy ending, but you can start a new tale or rewrite your personal history as you over come your shadowy fears. They exist but they the can only scare us if we let them.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been scared by my own shadow once or twice.