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Thomas Maples

Inspiration Vlog

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

Walt Whitman

Our Guiding Light

Do you have a guiding light? Does an inner voice call upon you to engage some yet-to-be-realized passion? We all have these inner yearnings, would you agree?

Psychological angst seems prevalent these days. When people seek help for this inner angst, they often present with symptoms that can be measured as a syndrome. However, treating the syndrome represents only a fraction of the work. Instead, what I have noticed as a precarious clinical phenomenon is that the very signs that catalyze one seeking help also tap into the ontological nature of the abovementioned questions: our collective need to make sense of the life we create.

This is not to put the excellent science that underlies the human need to understand pathology from a more comprehensive model. However, I aim to explore the more rounded nature of how a symptom creates movement toward inner resilience through the development of understanding created when one begins to go within and discover what lies under the surface.

We have all seen the picture of the iceberg, with the beautiful white tip surfaced on the water, but the true behemoth of a mountain that lays underneath the surface. This is the nature of the unconscious, those depths that may exist outside of the sun’s guiding light. Depth psychology explores these inner depths. But it is also easy to get lost in the Pan’s Labyrinth as one goes deep into the recesses of the material beneath the surface.

Just as the nature of light casts a shadow when it is blocked by some material force, we need to understand both the direction we are moving and the shadow our directive aim leaves behind. Carl Jung knew the power of the shadow as a force for growing change, and this is one that ultimately builds the character needed to find one’s guiding light. Integrating shadow and light, we ground ourselves in the character traits present that will assist us in hitting the aim of our target.

With every reality, a shadow construct exists. However, it is always human nature to polarize the constructs as an exercise of consciousness. This tendency has far-reaching consequences. Keeping our face towards the sun allows us to find consolidation with the life-giving force of our solar system. Yet, there is beauty in the shadow our body casts that absorbs the light present as we move toward this growing force. As we absorb light, we cast away the dark, maybe not as a byproduct but as a remnant of our journey.

What is your guiding light? May the blessings of light find you on your journey to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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