There's a shadow side of me that's thin. Much too thin. She weighs about 46 kilos, and hardly eats, except for chocolate. She cannot get comfortable in bed because her bony knees press together and hurt. No one wants to caress her shoulders because all they can feel is bone. Her hair hangs limp.
She is making herself a smaller target, day by day, hoping then that the verbal and emotional abuse will go away, not believing she has the power to stop it herself by saying, "No more, get out of my life."
She believes she deserves this, that in some way, she is paying off past and future karma.
She wants to exercise but is too tired. She falls asleep on the floor, halfway through housework.
I don't want her to come back, ever, but I know she's there, in me. She was me, 15 years ago
There is a side to me that's overweight, considerably so. She lurks, tempting. She eats what she likes in copious amounts, her only exercise is a bit of walking a small dog. She has someone come in to do the garden, someone else to do the housework, and does her shopping online.
She buys books by the score and watches old movies on DVD.
She believes she has earned this life, that she's pushed as hard as she's ever going to, paid off her karma, and deserves a blinking good rest.
I could become her, so easily.
There is the woman who is ambitious. Who would, if she could, conquer every mountain set before her. She has already done so much. Launched straight from owning a tarot deck, to professional reader. From learning the basics of astrology to teaching it at neighbourhood houses. Never having a hobby that doesn't earn money. Telling herself she's of use in the world, an agent of Spirit.
She will not be content until she's a combination of Doreen Virtue, Bryce Courtenay, Oprah, and Bill Bryson. There must be bestsellers, brand names, and television interviews in her future, if only she could work out what it is she will be famous for. So she tries out everything, hoping something will resonate.
I have within me a family woman, a mother, nurturer, giver, grower of living things. A burgeoning garden, four cats, one puppy, and two children. I have been advocate for rights for the hearing impaired (both kids), the autistic (one kid), animal activist (no, I wouldn't like to see my pets experimented on).
I have mentored friends to follow their dreams, and been a saggy shoulder to cry on.
I take great joy when one of my kids demonstrates knowledge or skill that I have no clue about. They are no longer extensions of me, but their own people, getting out there, living lives I could not have imagined for them.
I love it when I plant strawberry leavings, and pumpkin vines come up instead. How did that happen?
I love lying in bed, with cats curled like heating pads around me, and hearing family move around the kitchen.
A little girl told me not so long ago that I looked padded, like a grandma should. It gave a trendy friend of mine, similar age, conniption fits. I don't mind being seen as a grandma in training. Most of the time. She does.
Behind the mother, is the female nomad. The woman who rebels against owning things. I grumped mightily when we moved to a bigger house and my husband and daughter teamed up to Shop. My house now contains a large brown lounge suite, a big flat screen TV, and sundry other big items.
In my fantasy, I live in a wooden yurt, with a bed, a yoga mat, and sunlight streaming in every morning. I lean out my window and pick fresh fruits.
I can pick up and go whenever I want, wander the world, with backpack, and well worn sandals.
Deep under all these women, is the angry teen who wants nothing more than to dress in black, make the three finger sign at AC/DC concerts, wear steampunk, and be all hardcore and hard.
The young woman who sees injustice, and inhumanity and hates it. This is the young woman who gets herself chained to trees in forests, and buys the occasional piece of punk clothing. She signs petitions, questions authority, and shouts "Why?"
I asked a scientist what happened if you combined 50 shadows. Would they then have weight, substance, mass?
He said no, because there would still only be one shadow.
Which one, then, is the true shadow of me? None of them.
My spiritual name contains the word "Satya" which means "truth". As I become more transparent, more my truthful self, as I age, I cannot have shadows, for the light streams through me. Instead, I have facets, sides, that at various times are turned to the light, or not.
I have facets I have not spoken of here, and would not. Even a diamond has aspects that are not often seen.
None of them are evil, or bad, an idea often associated with the shadow. They just are.
Perhaps I am all shadow, and there is no real "me". Perhaps I am a light catcher flashing sides. I contain multitudes, as poet Walt Whitman once said. From infrared to ultraviolet and beyond, all the aspects of the spectrum, and more.
A rainbow does not have a shadow.