As long as we are in the human condition we will be dealing with the shadow and the light, in the world and in ourselves. To live in the shadow is to live in fear and limitation. This does not mean that we do not deal with the shadow, but it does mean that we recognize the shadow and without judging it, begin to release it. When the emotions around the shadow are strong, there is a tendency to justify or defend those emotions. This only increases the power of the shadow. We certainly must acknowledge the impact of the shadow and the emotions around it, but we do not want to empower the shadow by justifying it. The light, on the other hand, is the bringer of understanding, love and peace. No one lives solely in one state or the other. Neither state should be judged, but both states should be understood and accepted. There is no perfect way to be, there is only the way we are. When we are able to live life from the light and release the shadow, we can live well. Compassion, not perfection, is the true goal of a life well lived.