107 Shadow Quotes About Light And Dark Sides Of The Self

Although thought to be dark and gloomy, shadows have a lot of meaning, as you’ll see in these shadow quotes.

Shadows are usually associated with sorrow, sadness, grief, and mystery.

As a form that is seen behind a person or a thing when directed with a ray of light, shadows just come and go depending on the time.

Shadows follow you wherever you are but suddenly disappear when all the light illuminates around you.

Tell us your favorite shadow quote in the comment section below!

What are the benefits of reading these shadow quotes?

In life, shadows are also linked to our trials—they have a cycle of appearing and vanishing through time.

These shadow quotes will remind us:

  • that life is fleeting
  • to be curious about how things in life work
  • that things we perceive as dark can also have positive impacts in our life

We may perceive shadows as something that brings darkness and sorrow but know that shadows are there to guide and be friends too.

These shadow quotes show how they can help you find out this mysterious form’s real meaning.

Best shadow quotes and sayings

See the symbolic importance of shadow and light in human life within these shadow quotes.

1. “Even the purest cast a black shadow.” — Kaitlyn Jones

2. “All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” — Leo Tolstoy

shadow quotes about the beauty of life

3. “Befriend your shadow and life will be easier.” — Robert Jabert

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4. “I like my shadow; it reminds me that I exist.” — Mehmet Murat ildan

positive shadow quotes

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5. “We think not in words but in shadows of words.” — Vladimir Nabokov

6. “Shadow owes its birth to light.” — John Gay

light and shadow quotes

7. “To light a candle is to cast a shadow.” — Ursula K. Le Guin

8. “Some there be that shadow kiss; Such have but a shadow’s bliss.” — William Shakespeare

poetic shadow quotes

9. “Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

shadow quotes about glory and virtue

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

shadow quotes about life

11. “The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.” — Jay Kristoff

deep shadow quotes

12. “It is only through shadows that one comes to know the light.” — St. Catherine of Siena

insightful shadow quotes about light

13. “Where there is much light, the shadow is deep.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

deep shadow quotes and sayings

Famous quotes about shadows

Shadows have no existence in the absence of light.

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

powerful light and shadow quotes

15. “If you don’t have any shadows you’re not in the light.” — Lady Gaga

shadow quotes to inspire and teach

16. “The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.” — George R. R. Martin

bright flame and shadow quotes

17. “We are linked by our shadows, not by our light.” — Jun Mochizuki

shadow quotes to enlighten you

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

shadow quotes about what we see

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

20. “Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…” — Louisa May Alcott

sunshine and shadow quotes

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

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

shadow quotes about art

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

strong shadow quotes

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

shadow quotes about pain and happiness

25. “Somethings can only be seen in the shadows.” — Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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

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Shadow self quotes about conquering negativity

You will find motivational messages hidden amongst these shadow quotes.

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

28. “I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing, and the shadow won.” — Muhammad Ali

Shadow BOXING quotes

29. “Some people have an identity. I have an alibi. I have a shadow self.” — Andre Aciman

shadow self quotes

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

Shadow quotes about false friends

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

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

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

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. “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

36. “The constant in my life was me not knowing my worth, not loving me enough, not shaping my life, being a shadow of my true self.” — Porsha Williams

Other inspiring shadow quotes

37. “Nobody can rest in the coolness of their own shadow!” — Mehmet Murat ildan

38. “Shadow is not an umbrage only but the proof of our Existence.” — Samar Sudha

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

40. “Life is a mixture of light and shadow. Calm and storm, and it’s all good.” — Susan W. Krebs

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

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

43. “The dearest friend on earth is a mere shadow compared to Jesus Christ.” — Oswald Chambers

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

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

46. “Shadow is a colour as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.” — Paul Cezanne

47. “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

Shadow Quotes That Speak to Enduring Adversity

The following shadow quotes are wonderful examples of how to speak about the hidden side of existence.

48. “If you look toward the sunshine, you will never see the shadows.” — Helen Keller

49. “Adversity shows whether we have friends or only the shadows of friends.” — Publilius Syrus

50. “What happens tomorrow is but the shadow of thoughts we held today.” — Joan Bennett Kennedy

51. “Look, up at the sky. There is a light, a beauty up there, that no shadow can touch.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

52. “I live my life free of compromise, and step into the shadows without complaint or regret.” — Alan Moore

53. “I wonder how it takes you, that moment when everything turns to shadows. – Somerled.” — Juliet Marillier

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

55. “When it comes to our integrity: one moment in a dark place can cast a shadow for a lifetime.” — Steven Furtick

56. “Evil and good are everywhere, like shadow and substance; inseparable (for men) yet not hostile, only opposed.” — Thomas Carlyle

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57. “I’m afraid of love because it involves things that are beyond our understanding; it sheds such a brilliant light, but the shadow it casts frightens me.” — Paulo Coelho

Shadow Quotes To Make You Face The Light

When you face the light, shadows always fall behind you.

58. “Turn to the light. Don’t fear the shadow it creates.” ― Ted Dekker

59. “Under the shadow of swords, any plan is good.” ― Mehmet Murat Ildan

60. “Your shadow will always release whatever overshadows you.” ― Bill Johnson

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

62. “Time is but the shadow of the world upon the background of Eternity.” ― Jerome K. Jerome

63. “When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.” ― Lin Yutang

64. “I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness.” ― H. P. Lovecraft

65. “Shine out fair sun, till I have bought a glass, That I may see my shadow as I pass.” ― William Shakespeare

66. “It is only the quietest one who can hear all the voices of the world; only the shadows can see all the lights!” ― Mehmet Murat Ildan

67. “How can I be sincere if I am constantly changing my mind to conform with the shadow of what I think others expect of me?” ― Thomas Merton

More illuminating shadow quotes

Here are a few more shadow quotes for your enjoyment.

68. “A medal glitters, but it also casts a shadow.” — Winston Churchill

69. “My soul’s the present shadow of a presence gone.” — Fernando Pessoa

70. “Our good and bad deeds follow us almost like a shadow.” — Gautama Buddha

71. “It’s a pretty big shadow. It gives me lots of room to spread myself.” — Lou Gehrig

72. “The comic and the tragic lie inseparably close, like light and shadow.” — Socrates

73. “I spend so much time alone that whenever I see my shadow I feel crowded.” — Dov Davidoff

74. “If a man’s shadow is brighter than himself, then that man becomes the shadow itself!” — Mehmet Murat Ildan

75. “Happiness is a shadow of harmony; it follows harmony. There is no other way to be happy.” — Rajneesh

76. “The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.” — Richelle Mead

77. “Life cheats us with shadows. We ask it for pleasure. It gives it to us with bitterness and disappointment in its train.” — Oscar Wilde

Funny Shadow Quotes  

78. “In the dark, where do shadows go?” ― Orson Scott Card

79. “Technically, the weight of pain is the weight of shadow.” ― Carl Phillips

80. “There are no shadows in darkness. Shadows are created by light, and only exist in the presence of light. Refusing to acknowledge our shadow leads us to deny the presence of light in us.” ― Franco Santoro

81. “it was like trying to see a shadow in the dark.” ― Melissa Andrea

82. “A shadow is hard to seize by the throat and dash to the ground.” ― Victor Hugo

83. “Sometimes I feel as if I’m racing with my own shadow” ― Haruki Murakami

84. “To speak with the shadow, you must know the language of the darkness!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

85. “My shadow is tired walking with me; but I have yet to be bored walking with myself, all by myself…” ― Munia Khan

86. “To bite off your shadow is neither easy nor painless. It demands a single-mindedness that is almost unknown in this day.” ― Neil Gaiman

87. “He’s looking into the night, in case a shadow comes to listen and look.” ― Herta Müller

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Shadow Quotes About Overcoming Troubles

88. “To live in the shadow of another person…to desire to be adored as that person is….is the weakest ambition of all. Find yourself. Be loved as yourself.” ― Faye Hall

89. “It [moonlight] had a tentative grip on their shadows, as though the irregular shapes had been borrowed momentarily from the dark expanses left and right.” ― Scott Wyatt

90. “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

91. “A farewell to my shadow is not my death; it’s my rebirth in darkness.” ― Munia Khan

92. “Shadow is Light’s child. It is nothing without the Light, and nothing if it falls into Darkness.” ― Anne Hamilton

93. “Shadow is an intelligent artist; it creates its works in places where there are already great beauties!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan

94. “The sun’s brightness painted our shadows on the ground.” ― Ishmael Beah

95. “If we didn’t have shadow we’d just sit around loving the light, likely doing nothing with it.” ― S. Kelley Harrell

96. “The most beautiful of human things are born in the shadows and thrive there and are endangered by light” ― Prabhukrishna M

97. “Get acquainted with your shadow, or find yourself surprised when a crisis emerges.” ― M.B. Dallocchio

98. “Being in a shadow is never just as simple as stepping out of it. Shadows can camouflage a lot of things.” ― Leah Henderson

99. “The best in this kind are but shadows, and the worst are no worse if imagination amend them.” ― William Shakespeare

100. “Sometimes the moon is light and sometimes it’s in shadow, but you should always remember it’s the same moon.” ― Terry Pratchett

101. “It is within the sunshine of positive outlooks that we can feel the warmth needed to surpass the shadow of lifes challenges.” ― Natasha Potter

102. “I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather no shadow unless there is also light.” ― Margaret Atwood

103. “That’s not my shadow, that’s my darkness.” ― S.L. Jennings

104. “The true essence of the soul is revealing when we embrace the light and shadows within ourselves.” ― Dee Waldeck

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

106. “A leader helps the brilliance of others shine and never allows them to be hidden in his or her shadow.” ― Jeffrey G. Duarte

107. “Sometimes shadow are even precious but every time her single glimpse flows me away.” ― Raveen Paudel

The emotional shadow

Another meaning of the shadow is that it represents the emotions opposite of your “light” and is often called the “shadow self.”

This means shadows are connected with whatever positive emotion you have.

If your light is happiness, your shadow is grief.

If you are outgoing and sociable, your shadow is afraid to be left alone.

It is one’s alter ego, and it defines your inner character.

It offers you something to learn that you can apply to a similar situation next time.

The shadow may not disappear in your life, as it will always come to you when there is little light, but you should know that it is there to remind you of your true self.

You just have to stay true to yourself and be real.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these shadow quotes and sayings?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. Elmarie

    October 26, 2022 at 3:52 PM

    My shadow has more purpose than what I have.

    • Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor

      October 27, 2022 at 12:34 PM

      What a great quote!

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