Happiness & Satisfaction
The Golden Shadow: hiding your best from the world
November 24, 2022
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November 24, 2022
When you engage in personal growth work, there are numerous occasions where you will come face-to-face with your shadow. The shadow is a term from the field of analytical psychology that describes aspects of our personality that we have deemed undesirable and resist, or project externally. Most often, this happens unconsciously.
C.G. Jung wrote extensively on the shadow. He specifically stated that everybody possesses a shadow and that the less conscious one is about it, the blacker and denser it becomes.
Keep in mind though that our shadow aspects are not “bad” per se. Left unchecked, they have the potential to wreak havoc in our lives. However, they also contain the seeds for our personal freedom and deeper liberation we so often long for when things are not working out for us.
When talking about the shadow, usually we speak only to the negative aspects of ourselves, such as patterns of blame, shame, criticism, guilt or unworthiness - anything we deem too challenging for the world to witness openly.
But there is another form of our shadow we get to tend to if we want to progress on our growth journey, namely our “golden shadow”.
The golden shadow holds all our best, exceptional, powerful and unusual aspects that we hide from our environment for concerns of not being accepted, abandoned, standing out too much, losing support, being ridiculed or for fear of rejection. And just as we engage in putting our negative aspects away, we also do this for our positive aspects. That is what the golden shadow consists of.
"Stay small!”, "Don't get above yourself!” or "Don't blow your own trumpet!” are all examples of messaging that we have learned along the way. It’s often the criticisms of people we look up to, such as parents, teachers, older siblings, or people we ascribe authority to that teaches us unconsciously to disown our greatness and push down our creative impulses.
Creativity itself, in its many forms, is often included in one’s golden shadow. By its very nature, creative endeavors are unconventional, make you stand out from the crowd and set you apart, allows for out-of-the-box expression, is free, can be messy, yet it is also intensely imaginative and innovative, and contains the potential to upset the status quo.
When we become aware and work through this from of our shadow, life tends to become a lot easier, increases in richness, is expressed in greater harmony and eases our struggles significantly. We move less from heaviness and struggle but a lot more from inspiration, meaning and joy. We get to voice who we are and access more of our innate wholeness. We can live more authentically and create deeper bonds and relationships with ourselves as well as the people around us.
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