the science and soul of an innocent world

Dancing with my Shadow:
Self-Love, Freedom and Forgiveness

By Crystal Anne Mitchell


Until now, I had no idea that my shadow was such a great dancer....or teacher.

I am free. I did what I thought I was not capable of in previous chapters of my life. I have forgiven. I sit here in my newest chapter in gratitude. I do this every morning and throughout the day. Today, I have just realized, is the two-year anniversary of surviving a near-death accident. But that is not what I want to celebrate. This morning, I had an epiphany. I have fully forgiven.


I didn't even realize it happened!

It’s been two and a half years since what I thought was the love of my life left me and my two precious angels with no note and no money in the cruelest of ways. When someone leaves you for their drug dealer, you should be relieved. But I, the Forever Romantic, felt the loss of what I found to be the potential-of-what-I-thought-he-could-be to unbearable. At one time, I thought he was all I could ever want. I was in love with my soul mate of many lives. I fell in love with him every day for 15 years and would soon know that it was not reciprocal. I gave him my heart and soul and in the process lost me.

Is it more painful to hang on? When a relationship is not giving you joy, should you abandon it? There seems to be two extremes in this modern society: People who throw away a relationship or a marriage just for trivial things-- divorces seem to come by the dozen. But the other extreme happens as well.

Holding on to something because you feel you can fix it isn't the answer either. Many times people fall in love with the potential of a person. Just because it is your potential for them and you may see the good in them does not mean they will live up to that. Sometimes one partner evolves and the other is stuck or taking another direction on their path. Do not think you can pull the other long into a higher evolution or in your direction. That is their work. If you have given your all and the other person does not seem interested in healing the relationship, is it authentic to yourself to continue not being blissful? When you love the other more, you put your happiness to the side.

For me, it happened slowly, but I refused to see the signs or let go. It delved deeper and deeper into a dark place and I anchored myself there in the self-pity and victimization. It was a phase. We would survive it. I had lost all self-respect to stay in such a miserable place. I created a scenario where I felt trapped. I prayed for help. Night after night, I waited for my love to come home, and then regretted when he did. There were episodes of abuse and many affairs but most of all, he lied to me, and I lied to myself. Finally, the Universe ripped off the Band-Aid: he left, just like that.


Oddly, in all of the pain of rejection, I felt free. I knew he wouldn't be coming home. I could sleep. After over two years of sleep deprivation, it was like being on vacation in the most beautiful place in the world. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I had forgotten.

Oh, I still had my episodes of “why oh why?”. But having two small children will keep you occupied, until the nighttime hours. I slept better than before but my mind still tortured me in those insomniatic hours. However, two and a half years later, I find myself in a peaceful and extremely happy place: single and loving myself. I highly recommend it. Book yourself a one-way ticket.

So my epiphany this morning started with this: how can I forgive a person who has hurt me so much and still continues to do so?

Since he is the father of my kids, I cannot remove him from my life completely. He is here for a while and then disappears for a while to another country, to his other family. I had fooled myself into thinking that I have forgiven him, and I try to be the good person who allows him to see his kids every weekend, asking nothing in return. And each time he leaves the country, the kids are deserted again and my false forgiveness evaporates. And all the past pain descends.

Crystal Anne Mitchell and kids Photo courtesy of Crystal Anne Mitchell

The last time he left, I was relieved. I think it may have been the biggest drama of leaving yet, and he sucked the kids into it. I was livid for their pain but glad to see him go. But, due to unforeseen circumstances, he has now returned for good, along with the purging of his sins in a letter he called his “letter of truth,” in which he describes his relationship with me through tale after tale of the affairs he had with “friends” and strangers, and how he never loved me, only used me to his advantage. I knew most of it, but it was obviously one more tactic to hurt me again, even after all this time…

Enough! On to the good part. So, wrapped up in my sheets this morning, bookended by these beautiful angels I call my kids, I realized it’s actually easy to forgive him. My soul took me to another place. If I had not been in the miserable dungeon called my marriage, I would not be in the happy place I am now. I believe we choose to come to this world for the variety of shades and colors of emotions here. On the Plane of Bliss, it’s all bliss. Here, we have ups and downs and can appreciate the grays for the reds.

I have found myself and I love and accept myself fully. I do not need to be with someone. I am happy now. I have to share this new-found love and happiness daily, or I feel I would implode. Do I have stress and worry? You bet! I am a single mom and it’s not easy, but I find happiness each day. And happy opportunities find me each day.


My soul took me to a place where I could see that my past “love” was like the sun. He showed me my shadow. It was dark and small and sad. It was something I saw and lived but I just left it there, feeling bad for it, all curled up there in pain. But there was a point, and maybe it was the accident, but I finally reached out my hand and helped it up. I looked my shadow in the eye and said, you are better than this, you deserve better than this. My shadow agreed.

This is when we became one, my shadow self and I. I began to love myself. We grabbed each other and began to dance in our daily lives. My shadow can dance! We see the joy in every moment, even the difficult ones, which makes it easier to get through them. We have created a life fulfilled and I know that I will never want to see my shadow small and sad again.

This is the realization which allows me to forgive.

Forgiveness isn't always easy when the scars reach your soul. When you can live in the present and realize that you are much more at peace outside the situation, that's when you can forgive by being grateful someone took so much joy out of life that you vow to never let it happen again. Be grateful that they showed you how miserable life was with them and now you have built yourself up and healed to see the beauty in each and every moment. You have taken control by removing the toxic filter, healing, and revealing the very best you to share with the world. Once you realize that's what you have done, forgiveness is a natural step.

bare feet

If it was not for that darkness in my past, I would not appreciate all the light now. I believe everything is perfect. I can now stop holding onto the pain and realize that the pain was a tool for me to learn to love myself and celebrate being where I am right now. My NOW is a happy place where I attract happy opportunities with this new-found high vibration. I just want to help all others who may still be pitying their sad, small shadows to find the happiness I now live in in my life. And in forgiveness now, realizing I have actually done what I had thought I had done many times over, really done it, I am even more free to dance.

About the author

Crystal Anne Mitchell

Crystal Anne Mitchell, M.A., is an American who has been living in Mexico for the last 15 years. She gives Gypsy Card and Rune Readings, conducts retreats and workshops, works as a Doula, writes the blog Caribbean Crystal, and manages social media pages for musicians and film production companies. Crystal has struggled and knows that we all have our own battles; she draws from her own, and shares the tools she gained to help others revision their life’s journeys.

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