The Winter Solstice is a time to invite light to return to the world, both physically and metaphorically. In my mind, there has never been a better time to welcome light to the world than there is now. To make room for the light, we must let go of shadow. And like so many things, shadow doesn’t let go unless we allow it to relax and release.
My small daughter loves to grab shiny objects, especially if they could be broken, swallowed, or worse. At the wise old age of 18 months, she has figured out that I will take them away from her, so she holds them tightly in her hand. There are two ways to get it out of her hand. I can wrestle out of her hand and risk breaking the object, hurting her, and leaving her longing for another chance to steal the object back. Or I can slow down, spend some time exploring the object with her, and let her hold on a bit longer until she feels finished. Then her attention moves naturally to something new. The item is dropped and forgotten.
When I rush to grab the object, her longing remains and she tries to get it again in sneakier ways. Once she finds it, she holds on tighter than ever before. Just as my daughter clings to tight to what is taken away, our own shadows — our fears, our unfulfilled dreams, our hidden rage — get a firmer grip and stay much longer if we try to fight them off or skip past them without looking.
With the Solstice this year, I commit to slowing down and looking closer at the shadow side of my life. Just as with my daughter, I commit to giving time and attention to the things I want to push away most. I will think of how such patience leads her attention to move naturally to something new. The item is dropped and forgotten. The shadow has passed. And we turn toward the light.
You can find more on this from the Akashic Records, check out "Spiritual Practice: Embrace the Dark Without Losing Your Light."