I’ve been reflecting a lot on my post about the stranger in the bar who told me I was beautiful but carried shadows with me. While his words may still haunt me on occasion, I’m given clarity by another obvious truth: there can be no shadows without light. I may have shadows, but my longest and darkest ones are cast by the brightest parts of me. Hence the beauty he also spoke of. Suddenly, the shadows don’t seem so bad: they are a part of me, but they exist because of all the light I have as well. Suddenly, when I think of my shadows as a necessary product of and compliment to my light, my entire way of thinking about myself changes.