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Shadow Quotes that Speak to the Ups and Downs of Life

Stephanie Kirby, Content Writer
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Said to be dark and gloomy, shadows are usually associated with sorrow, sadness, grief, and mystery, as you’ll see in these shadow quotes.

Shadows have a lot of meaning.

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.

It follows you wherever you are but suddenly disappears when all the light illuminates around you.

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

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According to research by the University of Michigan, people who experience a wide range of emotions, including negative ones, are more likely to experience happiness and life satisfaction. 

Shadow quotes can help us to embrace the full spectrum of our emotions, leading to a more fulfilling life.

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 it can help you find out this mysterious form’s real meaning.

Don’t forget to check out these light quotes on becoming awakened.

Positive shadow quotes and sayings

A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that people who experience adversity and challenges are more likely to develop resilience and thrive. 

Shadow quotes can help us to acknowledge and navigate these challenges, leading to greater resilience and personal growth.

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

black shadow quotes

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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

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

short shadow quotes about life

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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

shadow quotes about words

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

light and shadow quotes

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

uplifting shadow quotes

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

poetic shadow quotes

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

shadow quotes about glory and virtue

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

shadow quotes about life

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

deep shadow quotes

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

insightful shadow quotes about light

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

deep shadow quotes and sayings

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Shadow quotes about light and darkness

Research by the University of Chicago has shown that people who feel a sense of awe and wonder are more likely to feel connected to something larger than themselves. 

Shadow quotes can evoke a similar sense of awe and wonder, helping us to find meaning and purpose in the ups and downs of life.

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

powerful light and shadow quotes

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

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

bright flame and shadow quotes

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

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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

shadow quotes about the valley of the shadow of death

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

sun and shadow quotes

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

shadow quotes about art

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

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

shadow quotes that will make your day

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

Positive shadow quotes and sayings

Shadow quotes about conquering negativity

According to a study conducted by Dr. James Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin, expressive writing can improve emotional well-being and even help people heal from trauma.

The research suggests that sharing and reflecting on the ups and downs of life through quotes could be a helpful tool for emotional processing and personal growth.

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

shadow quotes to motivate you

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

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

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

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

35. “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

36. “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

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Other inspiring shadow quotes

In a study by Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, it was found that individuals who regularly practice gratitude experience increased happiness and life satisfaction.

Sharing shadow quotes can encourage gratitude for both the challenges and triumphs in life, potentially boosting overall well-being.

37. “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.” – C.G. Jung

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

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

40. “Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.” – Unknown

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

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

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

44. “In life have a friend that is like a mirror and shadow; mirror doesn’t lie and shadow never leaves.” – Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

50. “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.” – Unknown

Shadow Quotes That Speak to the Ups and Downs of Life To Endure Adversity

Research from the American Psychological Association (APA) indicates that social support plays a crucial role in maintaining mental health and resilience during difficult times.

By sharing shadow quotes, readers can create a sense of connection and provide support for others going through similar experiences.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shadow Quotes To Make You Face The Light

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

62. “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

63. “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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shadow Quotes To Make You Feel Yourself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What did you learn from these Shadow quotes?

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

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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