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The golden shadow is the best version of yourself that you have the potential to become and when consciously integrated, your golden shadow will help you to unleash the BIGness of your life's purpose.

According to Wyman, "you can spot small fractions of your golden shadow in moments when you are experiencing a deep admiration for someone you look up to"(Wyman, 2021) because the traits you notice in others are usually the unacknowledged traits you have within yourself.

In today's podcast episode, "Your Life Purpose And The Golden Shadow," we talk about the golden shadow and how doing shadow work leads you to your golden shadow.

Listen to the podcast episode "Your Life Purpose And The Golden Shadow" here 👇:

What Is The Golden Shadow?

The golden shadow is the buried part of your psyche that holds your untapped potential and is key to fulfilling your BIG purpose.

Dr. Carl Jung's work on the shadow notes that there are parts of our identity that we have repressed either because we don't like those parts of ourselves or because we have been led to believe that society wouldn't like the parts of ourselves that we're repressing (Othon, 2023).

As we hide or hold back from expressing the parts of ourselves we dislike or reject, those parts eventually become lost in our unconscious psyches, causing us to lose vital aspects of our identities, our authentic selves.

It is through the formation of our shadows, however, that creates a BIG treasure for us to access if we're willing to do our shadow work.

That BIG treasure is to integrate with the golden shadow.

Jung's theories on the shadow also note that there is a golden shadow within each of us, referring to the positive attributes, talents, and potential that we have disowned or failed to recognize within ourselves.

Just as our shadow harbors qualities we subconsciously think are undesirable, the golden shadow holds qualities that we subconsciously think are unattainable. These qualities may include innate talents, creative abilities, or positive traits we see and admire in others but struggle to acknowledge in ourselves.

Integrating with your golden shadow is going to require you to do your shadow work, look at yourself, and whatever subconscious programs you've been controlled by to access your special gifts and talents.

You'll have to accept and love yourself to reclaim your lost potential, and when you do, you'll be able to live your life purpose to the fullest.

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Integrate Your Golden Shadow To Fulfill Your Life Purpose

Integrating your golden shadow first begins by integrating your shadow, or the lost parts of yourself that you've repressed, either to accept yourself consciously or to be accepted by the outer world.

The lost parts of yourself that you've repressed are still a part of who you are and once integrated, will signal to your subconscious mind that you're whole and complete.

Pawula writes, "as you accept and integrate your shadow elements, new connections will grow in your brain, making it easier and easier to be your true self (Pawula, 2018), which means that you're reconstructing a new personality.

The benefits of doing shadow work to integrate your golden shadow (the best traits of who you are) enable you to rediscover your hidden talents, improve self-awareness, overcome self-limiting beliefs or patterns, and most importantly, fulfill your life's purpose.

Integrating your golden shadow therefore becomes critical to awakening your purpose. By integrating all the good things about yourself that you've suppressed, you'll align yourself to a life path that leads to fulfillment and meaning. Whether it's pursuing a creative passion, making a positive impact in your community, or achieving personal mastery, integrating your golden shadow empowers you to live a purpose-driven life aligned with your deepest values and aspirations.

As Dr. Connie Zweig expresses, shadow work is the process of learning more about ourselves and the value those parts of ourselves have on our mental health (Pugachevsky, 2023).

Integrating your golden shadow is about reclaiming your true essence and fulfilling your highest potential. By embracing the positive qualities of yourself that you've suppressed, you'll awaken to the truth of who you are and will know exactly what you have to do to live your purpose.

woman in white knit cap
Photo by Alexander Grey / Unsplash

Shadow Work Leads To Your Golden Shadow

Shadow work leads to your golden shadow because you're actively engaging your conscious and subconscious mind to look within yourself for self-love and self-acceptance.

To grasp the significance of shadow work, it's important to understand that our shadows are the parts of ourselves that we don't accept or want, which often originate from our childhood experiences, societal conditioning, or traumatic events. These shadows manifest as negative traits, unresolved emotions, or patterns of behavior that sabotage our growth and well-being.

The process of doing shadow work involves shining a light on these hidden aspects, acknowledging them without judgment, and integrating them into our conscious awareness.

The outer world will give us clues about what our shadows are trying to tell us, usually by triggering negative emotions within us.

Oppong states, "our reactions to the behavior and traits of others can reveal deep-seated insecurities, fears, and unresolved issues within ourselves" and that "by paying attention to and reflecting on these reactions, we can gain valuable insights into our psyche and learn to understand our behavior better" (Oppong, 2023).

The triggered reaction we feel then allows us to reflect on its root cause, and usually, memories of past experiences will surface from our subconscious mind to our conscious mind for analysis.

Reflecting on the feelings we have and acknowledging them is important because it allows the emotional charge of the memory to be neutralized.

For example, if you had experienced a trauma that left you angry for the rest of your life, but you could never express that anger, that energy becomes suppressed, and it will stay that way until you energetically release it. So what you must do is visualize and emotionally relive the experience, feel the feelings you currently feel, and express what you feel. When you express what you feel, you can then arrive at a place of neutrality or acceptance.

You might continue to feel anger, but by becoming aware of the anger and accepting that you're angry, you're no longer holding back.

You're being honest with yourself.

If you continue to do the shadow work and acknowledge all the things about yourself you don't like, eventually you'll reach a point where you'll conjure from your subconscious mind parts of yourself that you like: your golden shadow.

While it may feel uncomfortable to confront your shadows, doing so can lead to profound personal transformation and the discovery of your golden shadow, allowing you to become your true and most authentic self.

It is commonly noted that the majority of an iceberg is hidden underneath the water.

a large iceberg floating in the middle of a body of water
Photo by SIMON LEE / Unsplash

Much like an iceberg, a majority of our experiences and memories are hidden within our subconscious mind.

Shadow work leads to your golden shadow because you're actively engaging and allowing what needs to be expressed from the subconscious mind consciously. This is believed to lead us to the golden shadow within us, the best of who we truly are.

Psychologist Robert Johnson describes the golden shadow as the "positive attributes and qualities that we admire in others but have not cultivated in ourselves." These may include talents, strengths, and passions that have remained dormant or unacknowledged.

Through the process of shadow work, we can gradually unearth and embrace our golden shadow. By confronting and integrating our fears, insecurities, and limitations, we create space for our hidden talents and abilities to emerge.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” -Carl Jung

Doing 'The Work' And Living Your Life Purpose Is A Choice

On your journey to living your life's purpose, one of the most profound realizations is understanding that doing 'the work' and embracing your purpose is ultimately a conscious choice. This choice is not just acknowledgment of your shadows, but an active decision to take control of your thoughts, words, and actions and do something more with your life.

The choice lies at the core of our ability to transform negative experiences into sources of strength and resilience. To continue being run by our shadows or owning ourselves is a conscious decision we must all make at some point in our lives. By taking ownership of ourselves, we rewrite our future because every decision, no matter how small, contributes to the trajectory of our lives.

Consider the individual who, faced with setbacks and challenges, chooses to view them as opportunities for growth. Through this lens, obstacles become stepping stones, and failures become valuable lessons. This mindset shift is not easy, but it's transformative. It's the difference between feeling like a victim of circumstances and realizing one's inherent power to create change.

Throughout history, countless individuals have demonstrated the power of choice in shaping their destinies. From Oprah Winfrey's journey from poverty and abuse to becoming a media mogul and philanthropist to J.K. Rowling's rise from welfare recipient to bestselling author, these stories exemplify the resilience that stems from choosing empowerment over victimhood.

Our childhood experiences and parental influences often shape our self-perception and identity. Negative projections from caregivers or peers can leave lasting imprints on our psyche, influencing how we see ourselves and interact with the world. This is why it is so important to look at ourselves honestly and authentically because from looking at ourselves, we can decide what is our truth or someone else's.

We can accept ourselves for who we are, regardless of how others perceive us because how others perceive us is a reflection of an unacknowledged shadow within them.

Doing shadow work ('the work'), much like living your life's purpose is a conscious choice. You decide whether or not you'll become the BIG ONE you were destined to be or continue letting the shadows control you.

Your Life Purpose And The Golden Shadow

Integrating your golden shadow is the pathway to awakening your life's purpose.

By recognizing and embracing the positive attributes within yourself, you'll unleash your potential because you'll be creatively expressing yourself, making yourself completely authentic and original.

This journey, however, begins with shadow work, where you confront and integrate the hidden aspects of your psyche, which can lead you to discover your golden shadow.

Through this process, you reclaim lost talents, strengths, and passions, aligning yourself with a purpose-driven life rooted in authenticity.

Ultimately, living your life's purpose and doing 'the work' is a conscious choice—one that empowers you to be your most authentic self: you.

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Oppong, Thomas. “Everything That Irritates You About Others Is The Secret to Self-Awareness.” Medium, Medium, 14 Mar. 2023, https://medium.com/personal-growth/carl-jung-everything-that-irritates-you-about-others-can-create-immediate-self-awareness-58e2e8631110.

Othon, Jack E. “Carl Jung and the Shadow: The Ultimate Guide to the Human Dark Side.” HighExistence, HighExistence | Explore Life’s Deepest Questions, 11 Jan. 2023, https://www.highexistence.com/carl-jung-shadow-guide-unconscious/.

Pawula, Sandra. “How to Embrace Your Shadow & Release Your Personal Power.” Always Well Within, Always Well Within, 5 July 2018, https://www.alwayswellwithin.com/blog/2014/07/06/embrace-your-shadow-side

Pugachevsky, Julia. “‘Shadow Work’ Can Help You Uncover Repressed Desires, but a Psychologist Says It’s Risky to Do Alone.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 3 Oct. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-shadow-work-journal-2023-10.

Johnson, Robert A. (1993). Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche. HarperOne.

Wyman, Sierra. “Let’s Talk About the Golden Shadow.” Harness Magazine, 26 Apr. 2021, https://www.harnessmagazine.com/lets-talk-about-the-golden-shadow/.
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