Like Oscar Wilde’s character Dorian Gray, each of us seeks to show a beautiful face to the world. So, unknowingly, we banish those qualities that don’t fit the image into a dark cavern of the mind. Then, like Dorian’s painting, these qualities take on a life of their own, which appears abruptly like an unwanted stranger—a critic, an addict, a victim, a tyrant, a liar, a cheater. This stranger, known as the shadow, is us, yet is not us. We are invited to explore the shadow as a mystery, not as a problem to be solved. When the “other” arrives from the dark side, if we honor that part of ourselves as a guest we will discover that it comes bearing gifts. Each shadow character began with a purpose, carrying a valid need. It can erupt and sabotage our adult life, wreaking havoc on self-esteem, loving relationships, and meaningful goals. But when we learn to “romance” it, or create a conscious relationship to a shadow that was previously unconscious, we cultivate a deeper self-knowledge and learn to live a more authentic life. 2018.