Shadow Obstacles in Your Story & Your Life
I write a lot about how the obstacles and antagonists your character meets in the middle of your novel, memoir, screenplay on the way to her goal often mirror the obstacles you meet in your life on your way to your goal of finishing your story. Shadow obstacles like fear, resistance, anger, negative thinking, blame, shame, frustration, interfering and uncooperative people and situations, difficult tasks, ignorance, naiveté and conflicting beliefs represent lessons and challenges both you and your story character are expected to meet, overcome and learn from in preparation for the gift of your goal. These obstacles and antagonists are called shadow obstacles because the meaning of their true nature is hidden, often buried and out of reach. Shadow obstacles represent the dark and repressed parts of your character and yourself you must face and overcome to succeed.
When you lose energy for your story (or whatever your goal) and rather than write you feel sluggish and your thoughts turn dark, listen. What are you saying to yourself? Is it a true representation of your best self? Or, do your thoughts represent a shadow part of yourself?
If you find impossible the task of turning your dark thoughts more productive, then sit quietly and listen to the words you say to yourself. Rather than become powerless and taken over completely, write the dark words down. Write or draw how the words make you feel. These draining and toxic thoughts usually come up when we’re afraid. Explore where those thoughts and emotions originated and what they are here to teach you. The dark parts of yourself represent the lessons you’re here to learn and point to those part of you that needs exposure to light (love and joy and understanding). Get to know what’s in your shadows. Acceptance of what you see revealed about yourself is healing. Appreciate both the light and the dark in you for full integration. Embrace both for spiritual growth.