Friday, November 13, 2009

Power Animals: The Crow

I am now willing to forgive myself... for allowing the shadows of my past to eat away at me.

Native American folklore teaches that the crow is a bird with visionary power whose curiosity sometimes gets the best of her. According to lore, when the crow saw its shadow, it began to stare with amazement. The crow pecked at the shadow. It even left food for the the shadow. One day, in response to the crow's fascination, the shadow came to life and ate the crow.

The story of the crow teaches us about the danger of being fascinated with things that are behind us. We are mesmerized by the shadows of our past. We examine them often. We feed our shadows with mental and emotional energy. We can never seem to move beyond the images, memories, and fears caused by the shadows of the past. We give the shadows of yesterday the power to swallow our today.

When she does not succumb to her fascination with the past, the crow, unlike us, has the ability to see beyond the shadow. The crow is an omen of change, with no sense of time. It does not matter to the crow what has happened, she looks beyond the shadow to create what will happen. She determines the path of her flight based on what she can see now. When the crow's feathers are ruffled, she smooths them out. If her wings being to droop in flight, the crow rests. Unlike humans, the crow has learned how to use her past to determine which way she will go.

Until today, you may not have used the sacred crow energy of vision. Just for today, use the shadows of the past as a mirror. Look for the talents, skills or abilities that you can use to chart your flight forward. Use what you see in the shadows of our life as your encouragement to move beyond an old way of being into a new vision of yourself.

Today I am devoted to viewing all the shadows of my past through forgiving eyes!

(Iyanla Vanzant, "Until Today" - June 14)

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