150 Shadow Quotes on Using Darkness for the Good

Love and accept your whole self through these inspirational shadow quotes.

Shadows cannot exist without light. It is through the presence of goodness where the darkness is also birthed. As people, it is just a matter of choosing where we will side.

Yet, people are often afraid of discovering darkness, even if it’s their own. This denial causes an unhealthy reflection of our shadows in the world. Find out how accepting your dark sides can result in a greater good in life through this list.

Start reading here.

Best Shadow Quotes

1. “Shadow owes its birth to light.” – John Gay

2. “Don’t be afraid of the shadows. It only means there’s a light nearby.” – Amy Lee

3. “It is only through shadows that one comes to know the light.” – Saint Catherine of Siena

4. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman

5. “There is strong shadow where there is much light.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

6. “Befriend your shadow, and life will be easier.” – Robert Jabert

7. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. “All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” – Leo Tolstoy

9. “To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

10. “Life is a mixture of light and shadow, calm and storm, and it’s all good.” – Susan W. Krebs

11. “I like my shadow. It reminds me that I exist.” – Mehmet Murat İldan

12. “If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light.” – Lady Gaga

13. “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

14. “Everything that is, casts a shadow.” – Neil Gaiman

15. “To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light.” – Carl Jung 

Inspirational Shadow Quotes

16. “I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast, but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Have fun with it, and you know, is to accept everything about ourselves.” – Anthony Hopkins

17. “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles

18. “Light is the shadow of God.” – Plato

19. “There is no light without shadow, just as there is no happiness without pain.” – Isabel Allende

20. “Loss and possession, death and life are one. There falls no shadow where there shines no sun.” – Hilaire Belloc

21. “Every life has death, and every light has shadow. Be content to stand in the light and let the shadow fall where it will.” – Mary Stewart

22. “The shadows are only the darkest when the light is at its brightest.” – Glenn Beck

23. “Be kind to your shadow.” – Rebecca Lawless

24. “Don’t be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

25. “Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.” – Carl Jung

26. “We are linked by our shadows, not by our light.” – Jun Mochizuki

27. “The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.” – George R.R. Martin

28. “From the ashes, a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

29. “There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night.” – Albert Camus

30. “We are but dust and shadow.” – Horace

Quotes That Talk About the Metaphors of Shadow in Life

31. “We all have a dark side. Most of us go through life avoiding direct confrontation with that aspect of ourselves, which I call the shadow self. There’s a reason why. It carries a great deal of energy.” – Lorraine Toussaint

32. “A light here required a shadow there.” – Virginia Woolf

33. “The mind is the shadow of the light it seeks.” – Jim Dodge

34. “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it. The tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

35. “Don’t depend too much on anyone in this world because even your own shadow leaves you when you are in darkness.” – Ibn Taymiyyah

36. “Like a shadow, I am, and I am not.” – Rumi

37. “Some things can only be seen in the shadows.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

38. “Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

39. “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” – Pablo Neruda

40. “Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light, and dark which that thing provides.” – Junichiro Tanizaki

41. “A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.” – Benjamin Franklin

42. “Your identity is like your shadow—not always visible and yet always present.” – Fausto Cercignani

43. “The shadows—some hide, others reveal.” – Antonio Porchia

44. “Shelter in your shadow.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

45. “When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Quotes About the Lessons You Can Learn From Shadows

46. “Do not live in the shadow of the masters forever. Learn to live in the light of your soul. Life deserves full expression.” – Amit Ray

47. “Remember, you have no companions but your shadow.” – Genghis Khan

48. “How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.” – Carl Jung

49. “The shadow is the greatest teacher for how to come to the light.” – Ram Dass

50. “Turn and face the light, and all you see is brightness. Turn and face the shadow, and all of life will appear before you.” – Stan Sudan

51. “Never in its life has the sun seen shade, never in its life seen a shadow where it falls.” – Laurence Housman

52. “You don’t notice the light without a bit of shadow. Everything has both dark and light. You have to play with it ’till you get it exactly right.” – Libba Bray

53. “Every shadow of doubt is cast from a candle of hope.” – Samuel M. Griffin

54. “Beware that you do not lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” – Aesop

55. “Every man who walks the earth casts a shadow on the world. Some are thin and weak, others long and dark.” – George R.R. Martin

56. “I’m not saying that everyone should swim with sharks, but sometimes you have to jump over your own shadow in order to learn something that you will never forget for the rest of your life. Then you know you can conquer your fears.” – Heidi Klum

57. “Remember, light and shadow never stand still.” – Benjamin West

58. “Sometimes you grow to love the shadow that follows.” – Donna Lynn Hope

59. “Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin. We can illuminate our paths or darken our way. It is a matter of choice.” – Maya Angelou

60. “No man can walk so long in the shadow that he cannot come again to the light.” – Robert Jordan

Short Shadow Quotes That Are Full of Meaning

61. “Nothing is the shadow of everything.” – Meher Baba

62. “There is a shadow on every page.” – Eugene Ormandy

63. “Always shoot from the shadow side.” – Ted Grant

64. “The end of the day is near when small men make long shadows.” – Confucius

65. “That’s not my shadow, that’s my darkness.” – S.L. Jennings

66. “Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.” – Euripedes

67. “The flickering candle casts liquid shadows.” – Khang Kijarro Nguyen

68. “Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow.” – Louisa May Alcott

69. “The most reliable friend you have is your shadow.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

70. “Both light and shadow are the dance of love.” – Rumi 

71. “A human being is only breath and shadow.” – Sophocles

72. “Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow.” – Thomas Campion

73. “Our imagination flies. We are its shadow on the earth.” – Vladimir Nabokov

74. “My shadow serves as the friend I crave.” – Anna Akhmatova

75. “We think not in words but in shadows of words.” – Vladimir Nabokov 

Philosophical Shadow Quotes

76. “Darkness is the absence of light. Shadow is the diminution of light.” – Leonardo da Vinci

77. “Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

78. “Without black, no color has any depth. But if you mix black with everything, suddenly there’s shadow. No, not just shadow, but fullness. You’ve got to be willing to mix black into your palette if you want to create something that’s real.” – Amy Grant

79. “What would your good do if evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?” – Mikhail Bulgakov

80. “To speak with the shadow, you must know the language of the darkness!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

81. “Even the purest cast a black shadow.” – Kaitlyn Jones

82. “More than a shadow and less than a soul.” – Anne Bishop

83. “Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant. Light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.” – Paul Cezanne

84. “Life is but a walking shadow.” – William Shakespeare

85. “Nobody can rest in the coolness of their own shadow!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

86. “You can only come to the morning through the shadows.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

87. “The souls of some people shine so bright that even their shadows bathe us in light.” – Shakieb Orgunwall

88. “Integration of the shadow cannot take place and be put to a useful purpose unless one can admit the tendencies bound up with the shadow and allow them some measure of realization, tempered, of course, with the necessary criticism.” – Carl Jung

89. “Capture a shadow, dance with the wind, stand in a rainbow, begin at the end.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

90. “A shadow is never created in darkness. It is born of light. We can be blind to it and blinded by it. Our shadow asks us to look at what we don’t want to see.” – Terry Tempest Williams

Quotes on Accepting the Shadow Inside Ourselves

91. “I love to chase my shadow to feel how it rests in the dark.” – Munia Khan

92. “But only he who, himself enlightened, is not afraid of shadows.” – Immanuel Kant

93. “What men call the shadow of the body is not the shadow of the body, but is the body of the soul.” – Oscar Wilde

94. “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” – Carl Jung

95. “Light is easy to love. Show me your darkness.” – Randy Queen

96. “The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.” – Gregory Maguire

97. “If we are able to see our own shadow and can bear knowing about it, then a small part of the problem has already been solved.” – Carl Jung

98. “Wherever there is light, there is shadow, and where there is shadow is cast an amplified perspective, a deeper understanding, an extension of compassion. Accept both light and shadow to sanctify the ground on which you stand. Reject one or the other and be damned.” – Amy Larson

99. “The shadows are as important as the light.” – Charlotte Bronte

100. “Shadow work is the path of the heart warrior.” – Carl Jung

101. “There is a time when passing through a light that you walk in your own shadow.” – Keri Hulme

102. “Shadow is not an umbrage only but the proof of our existence.” – Samar Sudha

103. “The more cut off and unconscious we are of our personal shadows, the more vulnerable we are to having those shadows break out and be set free for a time by addictive behaviors.” – Carl Jung

104. “No matter how hard you fight the darkness, every light casts a shadow, and the closer you get to the light, the darker that shadow becomes.” – Plato

105. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung

Quotes About Battling Your Shadows

106. “May the dark remain in your shadow and the light shine upon you.” – Giovannie de Sadeleer

107. “To rid ourselves of our shadows, who we are, we must step into either total light or total darkness. Goodness and evil.” – Jeremy P. Johnson

108. “Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish Proverb

109. “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings, always darker, emptier, and simpler.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

110. “It’s part of what we call the shadow, all the dark parts of us we can’t face. It’s the thing that, if we don’t deal with it, eventually poisons our lives.” – Michael Gruber

Interesting Quotes on Light and Shadow

111. “You cannot escape from the shadow into the light and become illuminated. You must dive into the shadow with the light of your consciousness to reach your core.” – Teal Swan

112. “No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself. It’s like your shadow. It follows you everywhere.” – Haruki Murakami

113. “Shadow is never besieged, for that is its nature. Whilst darkness devours, and light steals, and so, one sees shadow ever retreat to hidden places, only to return in the wake of the war between dark and light.” – Steven Erikson

114. “The light of lights looks always on the motive, not the deed, the shadow of shadows on the deed alone.” – William Butler Yeats

115. “Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow.” – Wystan Hugh Auden

116. “For every light, there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare.” – Amber R. Duell

117. “Every light has its shadow, and every shadow hath a succeeding morning.” – Nicolaus Copernicus

118. “I think that light and shadow have exactly the same duality that exists between life and death.” – Manuel Alvarez Bravo

119. “Light enhances but its shadow deletes, thus giving the picture its depth.” – Augusto De Luca

120. “There is a shadow wherever there is light, but the mind can see what the eyes can’t.” – Atul Randev

121. “Some shadows are so long, they arrive before the light.” – Terry Pratchett

122. “May your feet ever walk in the light of two suns and may the moonshadow never fall on you.” – Robert Marston Fanney

123. “The brighter the sun, the darker are the shadows.” – Anonymous

124. “Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow’s speed.” – Howard Nemerov

125. “Stop in somebody’s shadow to rest and cool down, and you are lost. No one can make anyone else happy.” – Peter Deunov

Poetic Shadow Quotes That Will Make You Think

126. “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.” – Michelangelo

127. “Once, there was a man who was afraid of his shadow. Then he met it. Now, he glows in the dark.” – Ben Loory

128. “Love is like a shadow, one can only catch it by falling into it.” – Ambrose

129. “We never see others. Instead, we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them—shadows, projections, our associations.” – Chuck Palahniuk

130. “I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow.” – Sylvia Plath

131. “I don’t pretend to know anybody well. People are like shadows to me, and I am like a shadow.” – Gwen John

132. “Love is the pursuit of shadows.” – Margaret Atwood

133. “Events cast long shadows before. One such event would be a war. But how are shadows to be seen when total darkness fills the screen?” – Bertolt Brecht

134. “The life of a human being is like a shadow.” – Old Latin Proverb

135. “I’ve been trying to convince my shadow that I’m someone worth following.” – Rudy Francisco

136. “Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.” – Leo Tolstoy

137. “Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” – Carl Jung

138. “Some there be that shadow kiss such have but a shadow’s bliss.” – William Shakespeare

139. “The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.” – William Shakespeare

140. “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor shall be lifted nevermore!” – Edgar Allan Poe

Deep Quotes About Shadows That Will Change Your Perspective

141. “Peace follows love energy like a shadow.” – Rajneesh

142. “The shadow that hidden, repressed, for the most part, inferior and guilt-laden personality whose ultimate ramifications reach back into the realm of our annual ancestors.” – Carl Jung

143. “Shadows cannot see themselves in the mirror of the sun.” – Evita Peron

144. “The dearest friend on earth is but a mere shadow compared with Jesus Christ.” – Oswald Chambers

145. “One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.” – Elizabeth Bowen

146. “Never judge things of which you only know the shadow.” – Japanese Proverb.

147. “Life is a shadow and a mist. It passes quickly by and is no more.” – Malagasy Proverb

148. “Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.” – Carl Jung

149. “Maybe the only thing each of us can see is our own shadow.” – Chuck Palahniuk

150. “When the tree falls, the shadow flies.” – Chinese Proverb

Did These Shadow Quotes Help You Learn a Lot About Yourself?

Most of us were taught that our dark sides are evil and should be concealed. People fail to realize that our shadows within only exist because we have light inside ourselves.

We need to learn how to love our shadow selves because this is when we will be free. Embracing our shadows is necessary to keep goodness and control our beasts. It is a natural part of being human, and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Remember that certain dichotomies in life are to be accepted instead of being shunned. We hope that these shadow quotes were able to assist you in knowing more about yourself and loving your imperfections.

Which shadow quote resonated with you the most? What is your biggest takeaway from the collection? Let us know your answers in the comments section below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.