I believe that shadow is like karma. What I do to another is bound to come back to me as an annoyance that I get to look at as shadow. Being at choice at this is certainly a very difficult position to put myself in as it involves what I do for part of my income stream, that is, delivering flowers. On one particular day recently, I was given an arrangenent to deliver to a customer that was sent by another person in the household. The mailing address given was correct, however, the actual physical address was accessible on another street entirely and I wasted about a half hour trying to find my way to the house to find no one home and had to redeliver the flowers later that afternoon. Since the information could have been provided when the order was made by the person who actually knew this very vital information from the start, I wondered what they were thinking when they didn’t provide the information in the first place and had nothing to say to me when I told them about it when I finally completed the delivery.
Now why would anyone take the time to make my life unworkable for even a little while by withholding specific knowledge that I judge was crucial to the success of the delivery and would have been so easy to provide? The next questions I must ask, in taking a stand for a likely shadow here are “Where have I been out of integrity with any withheld vital information from another in my life” and “Is there anyway I can clean up the mess I made by doing that?”
In answering that first question I realize that most of my life has been about saving face and being accepted, two shadows of mine that have led me to lie by omission or commission to protect me from damaging my reputation. Each time I have done that I have added another piece of baggage to carry with me which over a lifetime has shown up in my body and which almost made me an invalid seven months ago.
To answer the second question I must simply say that to make my life more whole and workable and to have greater aliveness as a result, I simply have to realize that in order to embrace this shadow all that I can really do now to clean things up is to notice when I am out of integrity and to perform little acts of service to people by letting my genius direct me. As an example, the other day, as I finished my deliveries for the day, I noticed a credit card lying on the ground. I quickly got the idea that information about the cardholder might be on file at the pharmacy next door to the florist shop so I took it there straight away and sure enough, the cardholder was a long time customer. The woman I spoke with at the pharmacy wanted to know who I was and I said “I’m David and I work next door.” The very next day I received a $20 tip from the cardholder. I guess I saved the cardholder a lot of time and worry by doing the perfect thing. It made my day, even if I hadn’t received a penny for my service. Still it’s nice to receive a gift of the heart like that.
The very best use of life
...is to transform to the awakened state. Next best is to develop qualities. Next best and skillful use of life is gaining deep connection to capable mentor who promises to hold you and care for you even after your passing. The least useful is to say you are a Christian or a Buddhist and expect that to save you!