The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams by Debbie Ford
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, who wrote about our shadow selves. In The Dark Side of the Light Chasers Debbie Ford makes that journey to know your shadow self a practical journey and this is the tour guide for that journey. We can pretend we have no shadow side, no dark motives, but we do, and if we ignore that as a human being we have both good and bad within us, we run the risk of letting our shadow side sneak up and kick us in the butt. We do, what we don’t want to do, because we pretend that option was never there for us. That’s wrong.
When we are angry with the selfishness of a friend, when we find the arrogance of others off putting, we may be reacting to that exact same trait within ourselves. We deny parts of ourselves and so we never are in tune with the world, we stay at war with the world, or at least aggravated with it. This doesn’t mean we surrender to, or take the leash off the bad stuff. It means we can only control something if we know it is there.
Within our dark impulses are gifts, but the gifts come only when we reclaim our whole self.
– Tex Norman
We know the shadow by many names: alter ego, lower self, the dark twin, repressed self, id. Carl Jung once said that the shadow “is the person you would rather not be.” But even if you choose to hide your dark side, it will still cast a shadow, according to author Debbie Ford. Rather than reject the seemingly undesirable parts of ourselves, Ford offers advice on how to confront our shadows. Only by owning every aspect of yourself can you achieve harmony and “let your own light shine,” she explains. “The purpose of doing shadow work, is to become whole. To end our suffering. To stop hiding ourselves from ourselves. Once we do this we can stop hiding ourselves from the rest of the world.”
As threatening as shadow work may seem, it is often very effective in creating transformation. Ford’s step-by-step guidebook is modeled on a highly successful course she developed about embracing the shadow. Ultimately, she helps readers illuminate the gifts and strengths that lie within the shadows. Although this works sound vague, clouded in dark metaphors, Ford manages to make it clear and specific. She has the writing gifts of a successful seminar leader–inspirational, trustworthy, and able to convey murky material with grace and ease.