Finding our unclaimed qualities in others is a tricky path of self-discovery. It takes a level of consciousness that most of us struggle to maintain.
How much of what I don’t like about you is also in me?
On the other hand, are those tantalizing traits in you, actually untapped gifts within me? Seeing parts of ourselves “out there” gives us emotional distance. We can sniff around them and poke at them before we accept them as our own.
The next time you look at someone and think how perfect they are, ask yourself this: Is what I see a reflection of my highest self? Robert A. Johnson says in his book, Inner Gold, “When we awaken to a new possibility in our lives, we often see it first in another person.”
In infancy, we lock eyes with caregivers. What passes between us in those early moments begins to shape our sense of self. This process, of looking out to discover who we are, continues throughout life.
Negative traits, things we don’t like about ourselves, irritate us when we find them in others. Until we incorporate these “dark shadows” they annoy us whenever we encounter them.
Golden shadows are positive qualities that we haven’t embodied. When we project them on to others that person appears as a glistening perfected being.
Mentors, teachers, therapists, friends and Don have carried a spark of my soul until I could find it in myself. Sometimes I’ve taken back what was mine and we were both happy with the outcome. On more than one occasion I have had to do battle to regain what I projected on to someone else.
If we are fortunate, we’ll have a relationship with someone, a teacher, aunt, therapist, friend, parent or grandparent, who will temporally tend the gold of who we are. These “holders” need to have a strong sense of self. While they hold our gold we do not see who they are but an idealized image of them.
When we take our gold back, they appear in a truer light. They are not glistening perfected beings, but human beings with flaws. This is usually a painful process. Failing from god-like to human is a long fall. And for us, it means owning up to the hard work it takes to manifest our gifts.
There is a line between admiration and adoration. We need to know the difference. Admiration is appreciation and respect for the work and personal qualities of another. Adoration is worship of a perfected being.
Maybe we cannot embrace the fullness of who we are all at once. We have to sip small quantities so we don’t scare ourselves to death. Maryanne Williamson says it this way, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” Seeing our light out there first is a way to sneak up on our power.
When we stop projecting our gold and claim our gifts two important things happen.
• We stop seeing others as magical.
• We’re begin to create, manifest and maintain our own dreams.
An important adult task is to claim what we pretend is not ours. If you have a “glowing someone” in your life, your soul is signaling that it is time to claim some gold.