Consider the great truth that God/Creator needs you to be your most vibrant, strong and creative self. Consider the truth that Creator wants to express something unique and powerful through you that will help you, and all those around you.
The question is why do so few of us live a life of creative and spiritual empowerment? Why do so few of us have an abundance of life energy that is available to contribute to life? The answer I feel is in choosing to reclaim the light that we have cut off in ourselves.
The disowned bright qualities that we admire in others are the disowned aspects of our unlimited self. Psychiatrist Carl Jung called our submerged creative potential the "Golden Shadow". Mostly when we speak of the shadow in the psyche we are speaking of the more shameful and frightening aspects of ourselves that we have disowned.
The Golden Shadow however is our submerged greatness. The Golden Shadow is the key to finding out what our unique strengths are - and our strengths wait - hidden in our deepest weaknesses. The Golden Shadow is the soul part of ourselves that is meant to offer love, healing, vibrancy and joy to the sometimes dark world we live in.
Life cycles us through difficult periods in our lives to challenge our soul qualities to emerge into this world. In the journey of our lives, especially in times of strife or trauma we are offered various crossroads or choice points. At such times we can choose the darker choices of the ego, or the more powerful and healing aspects of our Soul. It is most often at times of great difficulty that we can access the unique strengths that is our soul and our healing purpose in this world. This is why it is impossible to predict how any human being will turn out, given their life circumstances, even if they have been severely abused. Because within the greatest traumas and weaknesses are our golden strengths.
Strong Choices or Weak Choices?
In each moment we are either choosing strength or weakness. Some people in our human history have risen out of a childhood of severe pain and neglect to become the helpers and healers of life. And other people who may have experienced lesser forms of neglect go on to make choices to self-destruct through addictions and unhealthy distractions of every kind.
Usually we make a combination of weak choices in our human lives, along with more powerful choices that are guided by the more unlimited power of our souls. The gift of life however, is that we can begin in any moment to build the strength and power of our good choices. Each strong choice to develop our spiritual, loving and creative nature builds on the next choice. And at some point the light of our Inner Spirit will become a strong and richly developed part of ourselves.
But it takes determination and honesty to be strong enough for self-examination. As you become more self-aware and engage in your own healing you will start to go through passages where you begin to remember the choice points or crossroads in your life where you chose strength or weakness. As you look back on your life you will start to see where you closed down your light in disappointment and anger at the world around you.
You will vividly see where you chose to withdraw from life and shut down your light. You will start to see where you willfully chose to have problems, illnesses, addictions and failure when instead you could have brought great light and strength to the situation at hand. You will start to see where you got scared about how much you could really give and you retreated. You will start to become clearer as to where you still choose to not do well in your life emotionally, physically, relationally or financially.
Core Soul Questions
For the past few years I have been meditating into my "Golden Shadow". Having burned through much of my "pain body" which is my darker, more subconscious aspects of self, I have come upon a deeper layer of unconsciousness. I have come upon a more golden part of myself that is longing for expression. As I start to publish my writings to a wider audience and begin moving into more success in my life, my earliest childhood somatic memories have come to the fore.
Considering moving into more largess as a writer and as a human being has brought up many of my core soul questions this past year. Our core soul questions are what we are here to learn and do again and again with more strength and more light at each crossing point. My core soul questions are: "Am I living fully in my integrity and in my honesty? Am I fully living what I teach?" Am I the same person of integrity in the "back room" - which is with my family, colleagues and friends - as I am in the "front room" - which are the public forums where I work?
I have at pivotal points in my life chosen to move into my greatness of spirit. There are areas of my life where I have chosen to live in integrity, which for me means living with a commitment to my core soul questions. One example of this was fifteen years ago when five members of my family members died and my marriage ended within the period of a year. I chose at that time in my life to move towards my connection to Spirit and my core soul questions of honest self-expression and integrity.
I moved through the death of my loved ones with a renewed commitment to authentic self-expression and living fully. I followed my inner instincts and impulses and dreams and my life became more honest. Relationships ended and new people came into my life. I fell in love and embraced my spontaneous creativity. I started moving towards a new life from one of passivity and letting others shape my life into becoming a woman of integrity.
The Choice To Not Do Well
What I have come to understand is that on subconscious levels we choose not to do well because we want to hide from the responsibility of living with full strength into our essential life/soul questions. I can remember times and choice points where I chose not to do well in my life in my teens and twenties. And those choices in my life delayed my spiritual and emotional progress for long periods of time.
When we choose not to do well we withdraw from life and from other people out of hurt, anger and vengeance. In my 20's I chose to go down the road of my ego darkness into depression, dependence, and under functioning in my relationships. I chose not to express my honest truth and as a result did not require it from other people in my life.
The decision not to do well in our lives is made early. It is made in childhood and we may not even have specific concrete memories surrounding it. But there are always clues if you look deeply enough. This past year for example, I struggled with mysterious eye infections to such a great degree that I would wake up in the morning and my eyes would be glued shut. I considered the metaphor of my eyes being sealed shut away from the light, and seeing nothing but darkness. As I did my inner work I remembered the severe eye infections that I got as a small child at the age of about three years old and how I would awake in the morning hopeless, scared and trapped in darkness.
I remember that period at age three as a dark time, not in a memory of abuse but as a particular heavy feeling tone reflective of my own family history of mental illness and depression. Perhaps the adults in my life were going through some heavy inner pain at the time and I was picking up feelings of hopelessness. Perhaps I was absorbing my ancestral pain body. Perhaps I sensed that the people around me where not living to their highest potential and therefore I did not feel I could express the fullness of my own spirit. So often not expressing our Golden Soul qualities is a case of "No one else is doing it. Why should I?"
We do not need to access exact literal or concrete memories as we look into our Golden Shadow Selves but we need to sense into an awareness of what we were feeling at the times in our life where we chose to fracture away from Soul and Spirit. This is how our human ego and defense system is formed. The ego splits away from our soul connection to God. I for example remember changing myself at about three into a child who previously was stubborn about my truth, expressive and overt, into a child that was withdrawn, shy and barely shared anything. I remember how the honest, expressive part of myself went into my Golden Shadow.
Your Magnificent Gifts
Usually the Golden Shadow is a unique inner soul quality that is helpful to our particular life story and to the family we live in. For myself my Golden Shadow was my honesty, my self-expression and my full engagement with life. Most often our family will refuse our Golden qualities and in our need to stay connected to our family we refuse the light inside of ourselves as well. We repress the positive and healing aspects of our souls that the family ego and pain body does not want and instead move into sacrifice and diminishment.
On deeper levels we as children make early decisions to not step up in our light that does deep into our subconscious mind. As children we easily and understandably make the decision to diminish ourselves. We mistakenly believe that our greatness and our light does not matter. In our littleness we believe that will never change anything for the better and so we give up. We choose the darkness around us instead of the light within us. We see that everyone else is choosing ego and pain and so we join the club.
Reclaiming your light can bring up anxiety and a fear of not fitting into the ego club. To find your light you will need to go back to the places in your life where you experienced trauma or felt pain and find the inner gifts that you could have brought to the situation. For example, by closing down my self-expression as a young child I likely protected the egos of the adults who cared for me by becoming passive so that they would not have to change in ways that felt uncomfortable for them.
I did not speak out to challenge the things the things that I knew in my gut were out of integrity and dishonest in other people. This quality of self-protection and the protection of others carried far into my future when I no longer needed it to survive and fit in. And it became destructive. In my twenties it led me to ignore and wash over the dishonesty in myself and in others. By not speaking out the truths that could have healed my life, I allowed myself and others to stay in their safe ego defense systems.
Psychologist Chuck Spezzano talks about the Golden Shadow so eloquently. I will paraphrase it for you here:
"If you have a problem, there is something you could give that would resolve the situation. Any time we experienced trauma, there were soul level gifts that we could have given to prevent it. The trauma was a mistaken choice that led us down the path of the ego...Most people are frightened of the gift that could have given because it was so magnificent. The gift was big enough to change a family pattern, or significantly help a family member, but it seemed too big. It was so glorious that it would have caused them to stand out too much, and they wouldn't have been able to hide. They thought people would expect them to lead or accomplish other great things."
Building the Strength of Your Light
The truth is that there is nothing we need to become one day in the future to reclaim our Golden Shadow. Our strong choices begin now. And moment to moment we can build the strength of our light. We do not have to become other than what we are at the core of ourselves, to change and beautify our corner of the world. But we do need to allow Creator to express through the uniqueness that is our soul. We do need to move through our weaknesses and refuse to indulge them. We do need to live into the specific greatness of who we really are in our daily lives - in our families, in our workplaces and in our world.
We need to allow ourselves to be the beauty of what we are in every situation we encounter even if it seems like we might upset people's egos with the truth of our light. People invested in their own darkness will either be helped by our connection to Soul and Spirit or they will choose to go away and remain in their own darkness. This is the hard part. As adults we need to risk the loss of relationship and the fear of loneliness in order to be true to ourselves.
As a child you shut your light down to fit in and be taken care of. As an adult it takes great courage to live into your light and into the truth of your own core life questions that live underneath all of your weaknesses. Bringing your Golden Shadow to light sometimes brings difficult but needed changes. But more often, living in your brightest light heals and deepens your existing relationships and it helps you to feel more connected and in love with where you already are.