Learning to Love our Collective Shadow

I used to live in an extremely cozy home on the moral high ground. Yes, I was a good person but oh how I absolutely loved that about myself. It took a harsh fall from grace for me to realize just how cruel I was actually being.

You see, I professed non-judgment, I always made sure to do the right thing even when it was hard and I cut people out of my life if they even hinted at not living up to my hefty standards of morality, using the disguise of self-love as my reason why.

For a very long time, every challenge that came my way was met with value-filled veracity. Nothing was going to get in the way of me living up to my high standards of values and morality, until one day, as most things eventually do, it all came crashing down.

It’s a funny thing how a deeply toxic relationship can turn a person into someone they don’t recognize anymore. My switch from angel to devil left me isolated by the city of high moral individuals I had purposefully built around me. How could I even hold it against them for leaving me? The old me would have done the exact same thing.

The thing is, it was not the fact that I felt so isolated that hurt me the most but rather the shameful and judging manner with which this at least felt-abandonment was executed.

I realized within that time that I had not in fact, been the good person that I had always idealized in my head. That being kind, good and righteous had become part of my incredibly proud ego and although it was denied, I was judging those who were not the same. Little did I know that this judgment was just a suppression of the shadow side of me: the side of me that could not always do the right thing, the side of me that was weak and not strong and that felt so deeply unloved that it felt the need to attract what felt at the time like a total devastation of my life.

I am still working on loving this side of me whilst not letting it take the steering wheel but, what brought me to my knees even more was when I realized, half way in to my first Ayahuasca ceremony, that we as a society have dismissed our collective shadow. I realized that my darkness and the darkness of the world were one in the same. That I was the pedophile, the murderer and the rapist.

This, I think, has been one of the hardest pills I had to swallow and to be honest, I do not know how to go to a victim of any of these horrendous crimes and present this idea. What I do know is that I have been called to love the darkest parts of humanity. The parts we look at with faces curled in disgust and venom sitting like bile in the back of our throats.

Because what I see these days is not good people looking down on bad people but a collective consciousness looking at itself with disgust.

Now I am not claiming that these people should not be locked up for the safety of the collective but the manner in which we do this I feel needs to change. I have never seen shame create a change. I know that in my darkest moments, shame was the animal that pushed me down further as if to say, you are intrinsically the devil himself and if we truly want to move forward as a collective, we need to put aside what morality we have created in our heads and do what is actually going to change the planet – Loving accountability.




Contributor and FounderDayna Joan Remus

     Previous long-time fence sitter, Dayna now refers to herself as a “wary anarchist” and “part-time vegan” – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. When she isn’t working her full-time job as a publisher and obsessing over it’Sunny you will probably find her pacing around and reading or singing Disney songs in – and out – the shower.


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