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What resonates with a message is often the shadow.

24 Mar 2024

When the shadow was afraid, I resonated with fearful messages and doomsayers. When it was angry, I resonated with angry pundits who reassured me that other people are the problem. When everything felt hopeless, I resonated with nihilists. When I was faking positivity, I resonated with unflinchingly happy motivational speakers. When the shadow feared uncertainty, I obsessed over data and facts and future predictions.

The messages I was attracted to turned out to be the best pointers to my own blind spots. The challenge is discernment.

The warning sign for me is always certainty, especially if it carries an emotional charge. When I hear a message and the mind says “that’s absolutely true”, curiosity dies. A curiosity necessary to get closer to truth. The belief in the truth of the message leaves no room for new information to prove the message wrong. It leaves no room for our own investigation, other than to search for more and more information to confirm that what we already believe is true.

Yet somehow in that search there’s always a nagging doubt. In that doubt is an opportunity to become curious again. An opportunity to investigate the doubt and see what’s behind it. Often we choose instead to intensify the search for confirmation in hopes of crushing the doubt.

A message that resonates with the shadow is a gift to the shadow, a comfortable little package that says “you don’t need to look here anymore”. But with discernment and curiosity, it reveals the shadow and an even greater gift - freedom from belief.

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Jordan West

Sydney, Australia

jordan [at] west.io | twitter | github | youtube | instagram