For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13.12)
When I stand…stay in light’s way, my reflected, magnified image.
Thus, not the real me.
Or is it not?
For the shadow, literally metaphorically (or is it metaphorically literally?)
is my unconscious, which is far greater,
far larger than what…than who anyone (even I) can see of me.
More, ‘tis repression’s darkened abode of
ignoble ambitions and apprehensions,
all of which I’d rather none (including, especially, me) know about me.
Yet ‘tis, too, that habitation
that opens nightly to my wary, at times, scary inspection
whene’er I dream,
for, there, I see an array, a stunning display
of kaleidoscopic imagery;
each and every one an emanation of me
telling me something of what…of who I am
what…who now and before time only God knows
and what…who I, beyond time, too, will know
when I behold God –
aye, my self e’er made in God’s image – face to face.
Endnote: The title of this poem refers to the 1927 song by the same name by Billy Rose, lyricist and Dave Dreyer, composer.
4 thoughts on ““Me and my shadow…””
Ohhhhhh my!!! This is amazing!! It spoke to EVERY part of me!! Such an honest assessment Paul! If I had read this yesterday I would maybe have had a different response. I’m filled with JOY tonight as I spent the afternoon & evening with my granddaughter.
Yesterday I was still trying to get my joy back… from a hurt that I’ve shared with you. My shadow “was me”…. dark & looming & sad! And my anger let me know that my shadow was a side of me I didn’t know! And I didn’t like it!! The shadow seemed to follow me everywhere and I wanted to run from it but of course I couldn’t.
So I’m trying to get to know myself again, with or without the shadow, so that when I am face to face with God I can present the image that is REALLY ME, the child that God loves!!! Thank you!!
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Thank you, too, Loretta, for YOUR searingly honest self-assessment.
Having read and reflected on your testimony (and I know of what you speak), here’s my hope. Given that our shadows remain within and abide with us, thus, as you say, you couldn’t (can’t) run away from your shadow-self, I pray that God, whose love for us is unconditional, on the last day (or, rather, at death, our first day liberated from the bonds of this earth), will embrace and wash us clear and pure. That, at the moment, we will claim in full the inheritance of our salvation and, thus, be free, truly free, indeed…
I know I’m throwing words at a reality I can imagine, but not, never fully, praying that some of them “stick” and, thus, allow me to articulate and communicate what it is I hope. I guess what I’m getting at here is that we don’t have to be perfect to approach the throne of God’s mercy and grace (and that’s good news, for we can’t perfect ourselves in any case!). Rather let’s rely on God’s goodness, which is God’s love, which, more good news, is unconditionally forgiving…
Another thought immediately occurs…
God does love you and me and all of us, as the hymn sings, “just as we are without one plea” (without one explanatory, excusing proverbial leg to stand on!). Sometimes I think, I believe if I could accept (really accept!) this as truth, then I wouldn’t be so hard on myself (or on anyone else), for all of us are God’s works in progress.
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Thank you for these words Paul, they are most comforting!! Whew!!
I think we are all really hard on ourselves. That may not always be a bad thing because it keeps us focused on being (and behaving) more like Jesus.
Love you too!
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Loretta, I agree with you about the value, indeed, the virtue of being hard on ourselves as such honest, ethical rigor and vigor may keep our proverbial “eyes on the prize” of following Jesus faithfully. And, you, as usual, you, in your comments, help me see something more clearly. That is, in this instance, in following Jesus (with the stress in following Jesus so be to and become like him, but not ever…never being him), I, you, we all must (rarely do I employ so heavily morally weighted a word, but I will here) allow ourselves to be ourselves and allow Jesus to be Jesus. That is, we do our part in following and he does his part in perfecting us in his likeness, which is something that none of us can do.
Thanks for this thought.