Whenever energies grow particularly potent, the Universe sends out another batch of “golden tickets,” à la “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Intense desire to better one’s life summons unusual circumstances governed by “chance” or “fate,” synchronizing into the opportunity of a lifetime. As Carl Jung noted: “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves.” Golden tickets can reveal truly golden characters, or they can arrange for circumstances to destroy lives as a result of rotten characters made visible.
This past month, and especially the last couple weeks, offered golden tickets galore to both private individuals and those on very public stages. I’ve seen this with clients, friends, former clients and others I’ve helped in secret behind the scenes, but even cursory glances at headlines reveal opportunities for more famous people to make a clean, definitive break with “the way things were” and truly embrace new realities, relief, and freedom. Golden tickets do not erase the past; however, they do bring with them “enough rope to save yourself or hang yourself.” In fact, golden tickets push inner indecision to the forefront, forcing people to take some kind of decisive action with that rope.
As with characters in any good story, we each hold within us both light and shadow, along with the potential for both courage and cowardice. Some people’s Shadows are darker and murkier than others, and some people’s courage hides itself more thoroughly than others. When a golden ticket arrives, even people with very dark Shadows and self sabotage programs who never managed to summon enough courage to break away from old patterns before — these people in possession of a shiny golden ticket suddenly find themselves with a chocolate factory full of highly visible opportunities to demonstrate their character.
Of course, we hope that everyone will be a Charlie Bucket, but we find plenty of Violet Beauregarde’s and Veruca Salts. Sometimes, we find a real Arthur Slugsworth. More often, we find people for whom we really do want to root, but we’re just not sure what they’ll do with this golden ticket. Such people might even have a great deal of charisma and somehow manage to beat the odds and summon multiple golden tickets throughout their lives, but maybe we’ve already seen them squander two golden tickets. Maybe we sense the ticket they now hold has attached itself to a more decisive rope. Will they save themselves or hang themselves? Will they win the chocolate factory or definitively reveal themselves as bad eggs or cowards?
Golden tickets force the truth forward in the form of enough rope. Unless we engage in vindictive Shadenfreude, we generally hope people use that rope to save themselves, envisioning how they could then use that same rope to inspire and lend a helping tug to others. But what happens when they don’t? What happens when someone’s responses to his or her golden ticket reveal the worst and weakest, rather than the best of inner character? What happens when someone with a golden ticket doubles down on that response?
In a golden ticket situation, the differences between someone we know and/or love saving themselves and hanging themselves become so apparent as to shine light in even the deepest corners of cognitive dissonance, hopium and our desire to believe that anyone can change. Depending on our relationship with the person squandering the golden ticket, we reach our own decisive point of trying to shake some sense into the person, walking away, and/or removing our entanglements and any enabling behaviors. Turning our backs on someone who has squandered a golden ticket can feel like a lonely, disillusioned, and sorrowful time, but it also offers a vicarious opportunity to make a decisive change in our own lives.
As revelations, extreme life challenges and health crises often summon golden tickets, we will continue to witness (and sometimes even experience) the corresponding length of rope. As individuals, and as a society. Western culture is itself in an extensive golden ticket moment. What will we, as participants, decide to do with our opportunity? What will we, as individuals, choose to do in our own lives to honor courage and truth? Not pseudo-courage that hides behind ideologies or other people … and not slippery truth whose words promise all manner of contradictory things in an effort to pass the rope.
As I’ve mentioned before, I find fiction a useful medium for exploring consciousness and a variety of what if’s. I’ve recommended Starhawk’s novels as both prophetic and highly useful tools for navigating our now, but many novels or films with well developed characters can help us gain clarity on the miasma of light and shadow, courage and cowardice, truth and lies. Some interesting viewing for our times includes: “The Big Short,” “Revolutionary Road,” and on a more mythological level, “The Neverending Story,” as well as Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. This is our story, too. How we respond matters. As in, creates matter. Form. Reality.
People struggling with suspected narccisistic abuse might want to check out M. Scott Peck’s classic, “People of the Lie,” along with the resources on http://narcissismfree.com. Those who suspect they might be dealing with someone exhibiting borderline personality disorder might also appreciate Mason and Kreger’s book, “Stop Walking on Eggshells.” Those who just want to make sure they don’t squander their own golden ticket might want to read T. Thorn Coyle’s “Make Magic of Your Life.” Trust your gut on this one. The heart and mind get all sorts of entanglements, but your body knows when you need to remove yourself from a situation or person.
These are not easy times, but remember, “Whenever energies grow particularly potent, the Universe sends out another batch of ‘golden tickets,’ à la ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.'” Huge potentials exist for those who step into courage, love and boundless imagination:
Willy Wonka: Oh, And Charlie? Do not forget about the guy who got everything he wanted!
Charlie Bucket: Oh, What happened to him?
Willy Wonka: Well, he lived happily ever after.
Big blessings, love and support along your journey…