A couple weeks ago I went to listen to my son’s middle school choir performance. While waiting for the concert to begin, there was a little girl sitting at a table within view playing with someone who appeared to be an older brother. They were making shadow puppets on the table and I watched as her eyes lit up each time she could contort her fingers to create a shape on the table, and she watched in awe as her counterpart created elaborate animals.

I can remember a time when the shadows were intriguing and interesting… exciting and fun. Much like finding shapes in the clouds, shadows were just another medium.

I’m not sure when shadows become something more sinister… the idea of the unknown lurking around dark corners… a hiding place for the bad guys or monsters…
In reality, a shadow is a space where something is blocking the light, right? and the shadows in my mind are rarely happy little bunnies… the shadows in my mind are made up of the “What if” and “Why not” types of questions… the doubt and fear and beliefs that bind me…

There are many days when my world is full of light and rainbows and unicorns. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here – I don’t need an intervention or anything, just way too deep in thought most nights which is likely the cause of my insomnia. Thoughts about where I am… what I want… why I’m not perfectly blissful in ALL areas of my life and how to change the parts that need changing. That’s where the shadows live.

They feed on our insecurities like lioness on an injured gazelle. they are equally hungry and unyielding.

Sometimes, we get so deep in our shadows that we can’t even see that we are living there. We can’t understand that it’s our shadows leading up to make the decisions we do… clinging to things and people and ideas that are not good for us… pushing away anything that might bring light back in. It makes sense logically of course. The shadows can’t survive in an abundance of light…

What’s worse is sitting on the sidelines and watching someone you care about make those choices… seeing how the path they are on is going to lead them to a very lonely, desolate corner with all the love and support that was on the table before them gone. They can’t see that they have a choice to make and are making the one that continues to lead them down this path…

It’s hard to watch someone who resides in the shadows… you want to shake them by the shoulders and scream at them “Don’t you GET IT? Can’t you see that there is a light right in front of you? one that you are turning your back on to gaze upon the shadows…”

But unlike a dim room filled with shadows, life doesn’t have a switch you can flip on for them. You can’t turn the light on to help anyone see things more clearly. You are unable to show them that it’s not a monster in the corner, but the way that clothes are draped making something evil lurk in the corners of their mind.


Axis of Ineptitude


  1. I don’t either….you wrote it.

  2. Something tells me there’s more to this blog than meets the eye. Hmmmmm.

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