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January 18, 2013

Digging for Gold

Jenna's 'Golden Child' Collage
I awoke one day last week with old family issues pushing all my negative emotional buttons. I couldn’t remember a dream that might have precipitated the whiny snippets as they played out in my head, one after the other, “Why did so-and-so say that to me?” and “I am not feeling a connection with that person lately. Is it something I’ve said or done?” And “She could care less about me or she wouldn’t have treated me that way.” You might know the drill: the poor little orphan that nobody cares about scenario that goes round and round in your brain. Such thoughts, while thankfully rare and fleeting these days, go back a long way into my past. Normally, when this happens, I try to reason with myself that the feelings have nothing to do with the reality I live today. However, this particular morning I decide, instead, to fully explore their origins and get to the bottom of my recurring feelings of abandonment.

I begin by dialoguing with that part of me that cries out for healing and connection to the beloved child I once was, before family dynamics spiraled out of control and set me on a course over time of doubting the bright, balanced, vibrant side of Self. As I embark on this inner work, I hold at bay the impulse to tell myself how silly it is to even entertain thoughts of abandonment at this stage of my life when I have a beautiful family of my own—four creative, fun, and talented grown children, their spouses, and five beautiful granddaughters, all whom I love dearly and have close relationships with. No, it is time for my heart to catch up to what my head already knows. Until then, I will continue to feel like the abandoned child in spite of evidence to the contrary.

I am aware that the work will be difficult at times. And, that it will be worth the effort in proportion to how willing I am to make the descent into Shadow lands of psyche to excavate and bring back lost parts of me that are valuable and needed for wholeness and connection to spirit. I start the journey inward by paying attention to what comes up in meditation, dreams, and visions, as well as in events of meaningful coincidence that show up in my life.

That night I have a Big Dream. In the dream, a large and ancient tree picks me up in its branches and takes me for a ride. I am frightened at first, but soon find the ride exhilarating. The dream is long and subject for another blog post. I will say here that its numinous content lent me much support to connect to my own Living Tree.

The next day I find myself on Sheila Foster’s website. I didn’t know how or why I wind up there  (I was researching something a few days ago, but have forgotten what!) until I notice an essay Foster has written titled “The Golden Child” about her own inner work that is similar to my mine. In the essay Foster suggests certain things I can focus on to facilitate my own process, especially the positive memories of when I, too, was a Golden Child:

We all have a Golden Child within us, a core of being that has remained utterly pure and untouched by any trauma. So often, we become identified with the trauma child, the one who suffered greatly, that the Golden Child falls into the shadow. You may have a memory of a single moment, or times with a grandparent, an animal, in nature, or alone as a child when this Golden Child was present and you felt pure joy, fully present, untouched by anything painful that has happened.

She suggests finding a picture, making art, poetry, or a collage that exemplifies this Golden aspect of Self. I decide to create a collage that includes a picture of me at four-years old—a happy, much loved little girl, nestled between her two older sisters. The picture brings back a time of happiness and unity before divorce, chaos, and rootlessness becomes the norm in my family of origin. The other pictures in the collage ‘speak’ to me of healing, protection, vitality, and inner growth.

A few days later, I am perusing dream websites and come across an artistic rendition of a dream and quote by Alissa Goldring that also advises me further in on how to proceed:

The Hidden Child by Alissa Goldring
Dream of the Hidden Child
“I see a child hidden behind a mask, her tiny hands reaching out form under heavy robes weighing her down as she feebly seeks help.
The image reminded me of a Noh play where stylized characters gesture in infinitesimally slow motion and a gong echoes an eternity of timeless silence.
When I painted this dream, I understood that this was a baby part of myself long buried under layers of roles, expectations and fears, feebly seeking help. The dream was a cry to myself to shake off oppressive conditioning and be free.
As you picture this dream in your mind's eye you may sense that you too were once such a child whom you still carry within yourself in ways unique to you…
” ~ Alissa Goldring

I am beginning to get the message that the universe supports me in my quest to connect with the healthy, enlivened parts of my young self that will help me heal from unwanted bouts of abandonment feelings in adulthood.

Then some really intriguing information comes to me today in the form of a picture of a woman with a golden heart and a quote by Elizabeth Peru that a friend shares on Facebook:

IMPORTANT 24HRS COMING UP: How are you feeling? There is so much mental activity right now. Earth is currently being buffeted by a solar stream (with the chance of big flares from the sun today, Tuesday, January 16) and we are being taken back to our younger years, REFLECTING on who we used to be (and still are). We are being prodded in a BIG WAY to give up the old wounds. You don't need to take them forward in your life. Just accept what you have kept hidden about yourself and ALLOW it room to come back out and show you just how much stronger you are when you stop denying your strengths. You know what I mean. So use this influence to propel you out of your FUNK. OK? The universe helps you strongly right now. Take the help, it's there for you. ~ Elizabeth Peru

That post couldn’t be more explicitly about my own inner process even if it had my name written on it! I think that my decision to do the work of retrieving and releasing is all my idea, and come to find out there are currently Galactic influences at work in my own and other people’s lives. Which means that this blog post is probably relevant to some of what you, dear reader, are going through as well.  If, like me, you have been in a ‘funk’ and are feeling the inclination to go digging into that treasure chest of the unconscious to retrieve the Gold of Self that has been buried or lost over time, know that you are being supported 100 percent by a loving and responsive universe. The time is Now.

Happy digging ~



  1. You are right, Jenna, I find your blog post has some relevance as to what I'm currently going through, as well. I have been working with my therapist, through Imagery, to connect with my inner child. I've had a negative self-image for so long, and I don't know when it began. I only know or remember events that have fed it. I have found imagery to be so fascinating. Connecting with and "speaking to" my "little girl" inside is, well, undescribeable. She is so real and pure, beautiful and innocent. She is amazingly wise through her young innocence and is teaching me so much. (She is the one who taught me that when I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, that's dad reminding me he is always with me. I can't share this with people, the part that my inner child told me this, because it sounds crazy, but it's true.) Through the process, I haven't gotten to the age yet where I become aware of self and self-worth. Maybe I'm/she's not allowing it. It's something we continue to work on. Thank you for your posts. Peace to you.

  2. Betty, Your comment made me cry...not sad, just that it's so beautiful and real. I have used Active Imagination to talk to parts of myself, and I believe that your inner child certainly did give you that information about your dad. I trust that as you keep working with your imagery, you will begin to see what a beautiful and pure adult woman you are as well...that part of you is alive and well! I can see it, and I know others can, too. I look forward to our visit this summer in Michigan. Love, Jenna

  3. Post Script: Here is a poem by Rumi that my friend Tamara shared on FB at the same time I was posting my blog on FB. She had not read the blog post "Digging for Gold" when she posted it:

    "Every midwife knows
    that not until a mother’s womb
    softens from the pain of labour
    will a way unfold
    and the infant find that opening to be born.

    "Oh friend!
    There is treasure in your heart,
    it is heavy with child.


    "All the awakened ones,
    like trusted midwives are saying,
    'welcome this pain.'

    "It opens the dark passage of Grace."



  4. Soul retrieval, needed... a child lost ! :)

  5. Sounds like it's not your child whose lost, though, Angelino! That little guy has been having fun with you the past few days! Love your FB profile picture! :))

  6. Awesome and so healing Jenna! Thank you for this lovely and deep, multi-vocal piece of writing and the images. I was just reflecting this past week on the idea that existentially we seem to hold two basic responses to relationship - overwhelm or abandonment... Your vital piece on digging here and the firm decision to 'go into it' is inspiring me today as I continue the spiraling evolution of my own personal archeo-mythic-psycho-spiritual dig! Many Blessings True Friend, and thx for checking out my writing and music as well! :)

  7. "archo-mythic-psycho-spiritual dig" I like that! Thanks for being here and adding your true voice to the mix, Travis. Your presence is always welcomed and valued. J

  8. Synchronicity is a most beautiful gift of Oneness, indeed. I followed your gravatar here and was instantly drawn to the "Digging for Gold" title. Not two days ago, I had considered writing a post I might entitle "Gold Is Worth Digging For." As you can imagine, the synchronicity was too much to ignore. So, I read your post. Fascinated by the breadth of your insight and delighted by your beautiful writing style, I am now hooked! Thank you for making the initial connection! Namaste, Sloan

  9. Dear Sloan, Thank you for your lovely comments here. I'm pleased, as you can well imagine, by the fact that we were brought together by a synchronicity, and checked out your blog. Nice! I'm 'hooked,' too. It's always wonderful to find a kindred spirit. I look forward to your "Gold is Worth Digging For"post. Blessings All Ways, Jenna