Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Does your shadow ever leave you?

Our shadow is a nickname for our past and/or our reputation. Rephrasing my blog title’s question results in:
– Can you escape your past? (eg, guilt & shame, regret & remorse)
– Can you change who and/or what you are? (eg, thief, murderer)

A Google search revealed a Chinese Taoist story from an ancient book named after its author Master Zhuang Zhou. The book Zhuangzi (or Chuang Tzŭ) is “one of the two foundational texts of Taoism“, along with the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (or Laozi). The story is this:

“Long ago, there was a man who was afraid of his own shadow and hated his footprints. He tried to avoid his shadow and his footprints by running away. But, no matter how fast he ran, his shadow always kept pace and his footprints were always there. Thinking that he was running too slowly, he ran faster and faster until he was exhausted and fell down dead. He didn’t understand that, had he relaxed in the shade, he would have rid himself of his shadow and by resting in quietude he would have ended his footprints.”

Hence, the answer is – as usual – both a no and a yes, depending on your focus & perspective. Probably, introspection may result in its difference. It just occurred to me that “yes versus no” is an example of dualism, while “yes, no, both” is an example of trialism (my blogs).

In my recent blog. I mentioned that many people dislike introspection (ie, 67% of men, 25% of women). I assume that these numbers should also apply as a “No” to my question: does your shadow ever leave you?

Moreover, I suppose that many people have regret over consequences rather than remorse over motive. This is a paraphrase of a quote by Mignon McLaughlin. Hence, true change requires true remorse.

I’ve changed a lot compared to the period before mid 2013. I’m mostly happy and satisfied now, although still unlucky in love. My 2019 relocation was the final part of that change. I’ve no history here. Still, I know that my shadow hasn’t really left me. It’s “hiding” inside me and returns in exceptional situations (eg, anger).

Perhaps, it’s as simple as the song below: I want to be a better man. Not only because of “that girl” but just because. I want to reconnect with the person I once was, before a loveless marriage deformed me.

Better Man (2014) by Paolo Nutini
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

That girl makes me wanna be a better man
Yeah, and should she see fit
Gonna treat her like a real man can

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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