I met a prophet, dark as the night.

She could see into my soul.

Said she’d been watching and had some advice.

She said “Shadows make you whole.

A life without pain is a wolf in sheep clothes.

Cause if you listen to the lessons that it holds, you’ll find the gold.”

The opening lyrics of India.Arie’s new song Break the Shell, is making me reconsider some assumptions about shadows. Mainly that they’re not all like this:


sheesh! shadows are scary!

Could shadows instead hold some deeper lesson? But to discover the lesson I’d have to actually examine the shadow. Especially the ones that reveal aspects of myself that I don’t like to think about. And I’m a pretty open person!

But we all have pain and we all have scars…mistakes….fears. Locking those memories in the back closet of the basement of my mind doesn’t keep them buried forever. In fact, they just seem to hurt that much more once re-revealed.

What’s the alternative?

  • Risk speaking of them.
  • Risk revealing them.
  • Risk getting comfortable with discomfort.

I’m not claiming that’ll make you feel better in the short-term. Taking risks on matters of most import may not always get you what you want. Yet the alternative probably won’t either.

Nobody likes to feel pain, but sometimes pain helps you heal. And there is some peace in knowing that.


2 thoughts on “Shadow

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