So, as we’ve civilised ourselves, or as we’ve been civilised by our parents. families and culture, we have decided to live out part of ourselves, and refused other parts. We’ve divided ourselves into our acceptable selves, and our shadow selves. Different cultures in the world demand that we put particular parts of ourselves into shadow, and that we live out certain other parts. Some cultures ask us to live out our individuality, while others demand that we are selfless. Similarly different families and different childhood experiences will necessitate the putting away of different aspects of ourselves in order to survive.
Surprisingly our shadow does not only consist of ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ parts of ourself. We may also put parts of ourselves into our unconscious that are glowing and good. We may put away our beautiful shining characteristics, such as our leadership, or our power, or our spiritual connection. Some families and cultures may not accept spontaneity or exuberance or people with aspirations or high ideals, so we take on the message that we must not be too much, or too great. Some parents are threatened or uncomfortable when their children display positive characteristics that they themselves have never had the opportunity to live out. So we may put our pure golden attributes into shadow. We may put our joys and passions in to shadow, our life’s mission, or our strong wish for connection.
It is often even harder to dig out these golden parts of ourselves than it is to dig out our despised parts. To acknowledge our gold can be terrifying, we have always put it in to shadow for good reasons that at the time were a matter of survival for us. To own our gold brings the responsibility of living it, and we have been given no model for what that might look like. Yet to ignore our gold is just as damaging as ignoring our dark side. It leaves parts of our being un lived and we run the risk of them coming out in our lives in shadowy destructive ways.
If you are interested in discovering the golden parts of yourself that are un lived you may want to have a look at Shadow Work.