A Letter to My Shadows - Step To Health

A Letter to My Shadows

Your shadows only seek to complete and complement you, not to make your life bitter. Remember that they are part of you.
A Letter to My Shadows

Last update: 04 December, 2021

I want to greet my shadows. I know you’re there, stalking me, lurking in the darkness. I’ve been following you closely for years. You are witnesses of my internal combat, but you do nothing to help me.

You just gaze at me, impassively… and I don’t understand you.

Since you’re a part of me, I’ve given you a name,.I hope you like it and that you don’t mind. I’m going to call you sadness, exhaustion, and fear.

I’ve spent many years denying your existence and even fighting against you. However, today I realized that I want to embrace you and listen to what you have to tell me. After all, if you had never appeared, I would not know joy, vitality, and courage.

So I reserve the right to make use of you. I reserve my right to feel sad, to feel exhausted, and to be afraid sometimes. I do this because I know that not admitting to these things is even more harmful.

These are my shadows and they’re not really that dark. They ask me to understand them and tell me that what I feel is life and that it’s up to me to accept myself and build the life I want.

Sadness, it’s not your fault that no one loves you

We’ve been sold the idea that we have an obligation to feel good to avoid suffering. We’ve been told that if we feel anything negative, we have to push it away if we want to live a full life.

But I’ve decided that I want to be your friend, sadness. I’ve realized that I can be sad, and that it’s normal to be sad sometimes.  In fact, I should be sad from time to time.

I never thought I would say this but… You’re part of me. With you, I can be me. No masks and no shells. I need you.

Mujer con depresión

Of course, I won’t hide from you anymore. If necessary, I’ll shout to the whole world that you’re with me to help me on my bad days. You’ve taught me that not every moment can be good and that there’s always something to learn from it.

Anyway, I’m going to explain this a little better…It turns out that feeling sad and still thinking and pretending you’re OK isn’t healthy. Likewise, if someone says “I feel bad but I’m fine, you may look at them quizzically, trying to discern what’s wrong with them.

We’ve fallen into the trap of demanding an excess of optimism in our lives. We’ve forgotten one of life’s biggest lessons. The lesson is this: we learn from our suffering, and even sadness is very important for us to understand who we are and what we want from life.

We think you’d like to read: Seven Tips to Discover Your True Passion

Exhaustion, thanks for letting me know you’re there

Exhaustion, you know the problem we have with you?

That we don’t understand that you’re coming to spend a few days with us to bring us a message.

Your message is simple: “Turn off the autopilot and start cultivating your inner self.”

Sometimes I can hear you in my mind, but I just can’t find the right way to answer you.

I understand that when you come, my body can no longer give me the sedative that allows me to hide my problems and “just keep going” day after day.

I promise not to push you away anymore and to attend to you. It’s time for me to stop pretending like I can keep going when there are things that I’m not supposed to be doing. I’ll try not to reach my limit so I don’t give you too much work.

Fear, I will let go of my chains

Fear, it’s not your fault that we’re so scared of you. But you have to understand that most of us are afraid of heights, especially if they’re emotional.

As you will probably understand, ropes have become an important part of our daily lives. And the tighter they get, the harder it is to get rid of them.


Anyway, fear, thank you for teaching me that I have to let go of what no longer belongs to me. Life is so much better if it’s lived in freedom.

I promise you that I’ll work on myself and allow myself to let go of what imprisons me. After all, the only thing the ropes really do is collect dust.

We think you’ll like to read: 6 Keys to Close Cycles and Move Forward in Life

We all have shadows

My shadows and your shadows are fighting against the barrage of positive phrases and motivational posters that force them to hide behind a wall of repression.

The sad the negative need their space in our lives because otherwise they’ll explode and drown us. We no longer seem to even have the right to frown when something bothers us. In fact, there’s a tyranny and dictatorship in excessive optimism.

Don’t let them force you always to be happy, because your sadness is the only thing that helps you to truly value joy.

If sadness, exhaustion, or fear tells you that something isn’t going well and that you should be concerned, it’s for a reason. After all, if we never felt sad we would not know how to value what it is not to be sad.

However, it’s not about being pessimistic or melancholic people. It’s just not right to label our shadows as oppressive when they’re helping us to survive.

Therefore, defending our shadows is about accepting ourselves and stopping rejecting our natural reactions. If we accept that they exist, they won’t cause us to suffer by trying to avoid them, nor will they frustrate us because they embrace us with more strength every time they find us.

Therefore, it’s best to let them enter our house and enlighten our minds from time to time. After all, if there’s anyone who doesn’t lie to us in this world, it’s our shadows. When we let them in, they tell us that it’s worth fighting because it’s worth being happy.

Mujer feliz con un girasol en la cara

My shadows are necessary

Shadows are necessary because it’s healthier to live thinking that you’ll feel good even if sometimes you feel bad than to live with the obligation to feel good in order to be happy. All we have to do is admit that life isn’t just black and white.

When it comes to the many choices and roads we take in life, our shadows scream at us until they make our souls ache. This is because they want us to understand that not knowing how to live in the moment or not always wanting to smile doesn’t mean you’re not living a full life.

That’s the reason why we have to reserve the right to use our sadness whenever we want. After all, our shadows don’t seek to harm us, but to remind us that we’re alive. 

It’s time to abandon the fight that destroys us, accept our shadows as an inevitable part of life, and understand that peace only comes when there are no battles against ourselves.

It might interest you...
8 Useful Tips to Be an Independent Person
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
8 Useful Tips to Be an Independent Person

To be an independent person, it's necessary to let go of personal ties that limit you. Learn more in this article!

  • Grün, A. (1991). Nuestras propias sombras: tentaciones, complejos, limitaciones (Vol. 150). Narcea Ediciones.
  • Fernández Ramos, C. (2016). Efectos de la inducción emocional usando realidad virtual en la percepción de bienestar en personas vulnerables a padecer ansiedad y depresión.
  • Bastian, B., Kuppens, P., Hornsey, M. J., Park, J., Koval, P., & Uchida, Y. (2012). Feeling bad about being sad: The role of social expectancies in amplifying negative mood. Emotion, 12(1), 69.