Live the Questions

I recently came across the following in a book called “The Middle Passage” by James Hollis:

“What the frightened individual wishes above all is the restoration of the sense of self which once worked. What the therapist knows is that the symptoms are helpful clues to the place of injury or neglect, pointing the way to subsequent healing… As Jung asserted, ‘The outbreak of neurosis is not just a matter of chance. As a rule it is most critical. It is usually the moment when a new psychological adjustment, a new adaptation is demanded.’ This implies that our own psyche has organized this crisis, produced this suffering, precisely because injury as been done and change must occur.” pp. 36-7

You can see the philosophy from which I hail, yes? James Hollis is a Jungian analyst who writes from the depth psychological tradition, a field of psychology developed by Carl Jung … Click here to continue reading...

You Have to Love

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

― Louise ErdrichThe Painted Drum

We’re wired to love. We are social animals and we need loving relationships around us in order to feel secure and seen in the world. We also know now from attachment theory that, even as adults, we’re particularly wired to … Click here to continue reading...

Nobody is Perfick

When I was young, one of my favorite books was a collection of four short stories called “Nobody is Perfick“. I liked the first three stories, but it was the fourth one, called Nobody is Perfick, that captivated my attention. It was the story about a perfect boy named Peter Perfect. He always had sharp pencils. He always dressed perfectly. He received perfect scores on all of his tests. He had perfect manners and all of the adults in his life adored him. It’s only on the last page of the book, when a drawing of a boy with a wind-up mechanism in his back is revealed, that we realize that Peter Perfect isn’t real. The last line of the book (which I still remember perfectly to this day) is, “Nobody’s perfect, Peter Perfect.”

I remember feeling simultaneously disappointed and relieved by the moral of this tale. … Click here to continue reading...

The Cycle of Healing

We learn and heal in ebbs and flows, spiraling around the center of ourselves where our true Self dwells. When we’re in a cycle of growth, we burn through layers of ego fears and touch into that core place of wellness where peace and clarity reside. Our hearts are open and alive and we can receive and give love with ease. This is the gold of being human, and how we long to live there always! But alas, inevitably, when the false self senses that we’re growing “too much” or learning “too quickly”, it bucks like a bull at a bronco, and it suddenly feels like we’re back at square one. Then we cycle into the ebb stage, and if we don’t have a context in which to understand the cycle of healing, the fear-mind can easily grab hold of these ebbs as evidence to support our current anxiety story.… Click here to continue reading...

Love is Like Flying

It’s 2:20 am. We’re on a red-eye flight on our way back from a family vacation when the captain announces, in a very calm but urgent voice, that all passengers must fasten their seatbelt. Nearly everyone is asleep anyway. For the past three hours I’ve been nodding in and out of consciousness while sitting upright with a six-year old splayed across my lap. Not exactly the position most conducive to sleep. But now I’m wide awake.

The pilot did sound particularly urgent (or is that just my hyper-vigilant, highly sensitive mind reading into things?). And that’s a strange sound coming from the engines (or are those my highly sensitive ears crossing into fear territory?). And then the turbulence hits. It feels like the plane dropped about ten feet and we’re rocking side to side, like a roller coaster. But this is no roller coaster. We’re 33,000 feet above the ground … Click here to continue reading...