From as far back as my memory will allow me to go; I always felt like I was living “in someone else’s shadow.” I wouldn’t understood the why behind it until years later. But, it is connected to my childhood. Growing up feeling invisible, unheard and dismissed had a tremendous effect on me. Looking back, after years of God peeling back the layers and revealing facts vs. lies I realize it was no one’s fault. Events, choices are made in life that leave ripple effects on a child’s heart. BUT GOD! He has a way of redeeming, restoring, resurrecting who He made us to be! When we choose to let go of a life lived “in the shadow” of others and begin to live in the shadow of The Almighty!
Living in someone else’s shadow you tend to lose your own. Or in my case have a really hard time finding it. Remember how Peter Pan was always looking for his shadow? He came into the nursery looking for it, thinking he had left it on one of those nights when Wendy would read to him. Wendy finds it and sews it onto his feet so he wouldn’t lose it again. That’s what it feels like to not really know who you are. To not have your own shadow or what we call identity. You feel like something has been lost so you keep looking to find it. I was looking for my “shadow” (my identity) but instead of sewing it on so I would not lose it again, for me; it was easier to just blend in and live in someone else’s shadow.
I grew up in an environment where physical appearance or beauty was of utmost importance. Now, beauty is not a bad thing. But when that is the object of conversation or compliments were given only to the beautiful ones, it can be a hard environment to grow up in. Especially, if you don’t feel like one of the beautiful ones. I was the little girl with gray teeth and freckles across my nose and a pixie haircut! I was the quiet, shy kid who never looked people in the eye when they talked to me. So living in the shadow of another was easy. I was accustomed to it. It had become my safe place.
In that type of atmosphere, it is easy to blend into the wallpaper, because there was always someone all too eager to take center stage! There were quite a few in my sphere of life who were willing to have all eyes & ears on them. As a matter of fact, if they weren’t the center of attention believe you me, they would make sure they were seen and heard! It was nauseating and exhausting. I was definitely not one of those! I just tried to stay out of the way. So at an early age I learned to live in the shadows. After many years of searching, seeking and self medicating something inside of me woke up!
Through My Abba’s help in his word, prayer, pain & counseling I have been set free to step out of a life lived in another person’s “shadow” and am learning how to live abundantly in the Shadow of The Almighty!
I am sincerely hoping there are others out there in blogosphere world who can relate to my experience. My heart is to share my story of restoration, redemption & renewal so others can find their true identity & freedom in knowing who they are and why they were created. Purpose brings peace & power. I have found that shadow living can be a wonderful way of life but the key is choosing to live in the right shadow. Hoping to hear from a few of you soon.
Choosing to live in the shadow of the Almighty,
Psalm 91:1-2 Shadow Living