The freedom of self-love and forgiveness
~ Joyce Boudreau
Over the last 20 years of my life I have been
on a path of healing that I call a shadow journey. A shadow journey is
a compassionate in-depth look inside ourselves. It is about uncovering
and healing those parts of us that we deem unacceptable or that we deny:
both the dark and the light.
We have all created patterns of beliefs and thoughts that come from our
experience in this world. They are created mostly in our childhood. These
beliefs come from the adults in our world when we are children. These
are mostly unintentionally because as adults we think it is for our
children's own sake. It can be as "simple" as a negative message either
nonverbally or verbally from a teacher, caretaker, or parent. [Messages
can come from] sayings such as "children should be seen and not heard"
or from ignoring our children because we are so overwhelmed with life or
from the absolute worst pain of emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
Often these unconscious beliefs are well hidden and drive our everyday
actions. They do not serve us well as adults. We find ourselves stuck in
damaging patterns, blaming others, beating ourselves up, and staying
stuck in a life that can be unfulfilling and often destructive. Even worse,
when children witness or are the product of abuse, it burns indelible
memories that can create protective scars around the heart. This can set
up a lifetime of running from our true selves, for those scars create a
false sense of protection and unworthiness. When we are willing to look
at ourselves, no matter what our history, both the light and the dark,
we find peace and forgiveness both with ourselves and the world.
A shadow journey is about being 100% responsible for our lives, no matter
what challenges or struggles we have. I am constantly reminded that this
is a journey and not a destination. Shadow work is ongoing and ever healing;
as long as we are willing to continue honestly looking with gentle
compassion at our reflections. I am reminded daily that my journey is a
continuous uncovering of new layers. I would not want it any other way.
The truth of who we are, both light and dark, is not always easy, yet it
is the most freeing!
~ Joyce Boudreau
Joyce recently published her autobiography in an eBook called "Beloved
Daughter" in which she changed her story of childhood abuse into a
celebration of life. She loves this journey so much that she now supports
others on their own shadow journeys as an Integrative Life Shadow coach.
To learn more about Joyce, visit www.sacredsharing.ca. For information
on her e-book, visit www.ebookit.com/books/0000001381/Beloved-Daughter.html
Click here to
return to the women's stories index