Archives for posts with tag: Jungian Analysis

REFLECTIONS

I’ve had a week to ponder why I was drawn to an exploration of  the unified field theory of the world versus particle theory. Until now, I have found it somewhat comforting to embrace particle theory because it accounted for the physical phenomena in my environment. Objects are solid and inert, immobile and  stable and change only if something is done directly to them. No mystery here. Logical! If A=B and B=C then A=C  This works with numbers so I extrapolated this logic to the rest of my life. This is what particle theory has told me… everything can be explained. ..everything that happens is a result of direct, observable, analyzable, cause and effect.

Particle theory remains, not because it is accurate, but because I, like most, prefer theories that match my reality. If, as quantum physicists maintain, the world is one massive energy field, unifying absolutely everything and not a series of discrete parts, well, I can’t see, touch, count, weigh or measure that, no one can, so believing such a preposterous idea, would take a leap of faith. Maybe this is akin to the resistance the average person had, to the spherical world theory. Pythagoras postulated the earth as round in 570BC, but it took 20 centuries and a reality check (thanks Columbus) before the non-scientific community  would embrace a round world. Scientists today know Newton’s Theory is simplistic and incomplete (it can’t explain electricity or nuclear reaction), but the shift to believing the theory of Quantum Mechanics is slow for the rest of us.

I was going to send Alex Paterson a note of gratitude for his elucidation of the complex scientific theories of Newtonian vs Quantum Physics, but he deserves the full orchestration.

Embodying The Other Woman via PARTICLE THEORY

If I want to embody The Other Woman, I must first  identify her attributes and then, I must create a list of appropriate actions to achieve these attributes, and then I must execute these actions. BINGO!! I will be The Other Woman! Simply put, through the principle of cause and effect, I will transform.

So I began.

In July, when I launched The Other Woman Blog, I asked my delightful friend Suzanne for her help. We attended a Writers Workshop, abuzz with women. Independent of each other we tried to spot this alluring creature, The Other Woman. After some woman gazing and a discussion, we realized that Other Woman-ness was not easily quantifiable. Such a woman would possess an essence that we felt we would recognize when we saw it but she defied simple description. Intriguing to men and women alike, The Other Woman is so much more than a simple inventory of desirable traits.

So began my problem with Particle Theory. I needed specific attributes so that I could create my action plan. Would The Other Woman be thin, full-figured, or muscular? Different action plan for each of these. Would The Other Woman exude sexuality, sensuality or androgyny? Very different looks, very different action plans. Would she be high spirited or contemplative? Would she literally have to be someone’s mistress to possess The Other Woman energy? I felt deeply frustrated in my inability to quantify her characteristics. Without a list of qualities, I could not have a clear action plan, which meant defeat before I even started. This defeat forced me out of my comfortable world of the known, into the mystery of the elusive. Who exemplifies this enigmatic woman?

Embodying The Other Woman via Quantum Mechanics Theory

Does the image of Mona Lisa epitomize The Other Woman? She is often described as enigmatic or mystical, her image eliciting conversation 500 years after its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci. Her silent communication with her observer seems to welcome him/her into a place of unfathomable depth. Might a journey with Mona Lisa take one to places yet discovered? Just as the painting’s roads, river and mountain pass, have no clear end, neither can the journey of one’s life nor the journey with another. So I’ve begun to accept that The Other Woman is not a simple list of quantifiable characteristics. She has an unfathomable mystique, unique to each woman and discoverable through exploration of the mystery within oneself and the rest of the world.

Mona Lisa

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 10 OF 52

CHANGING FROM MEMOIR TO BLOGMOIR

Two years ago I met a lovely woman named Deb Dewar. She intrigues me because, without fail, I feel better about myself after being with her. The other day, she asked me what the impetus was for writing my Blog. I vacillated on what I would say, but finally decided on the truth.

Marital betrayal started my obsession with ‘the other women’. Years of anger, rage and feelings of unworthiness filled my life. These very negative emotions became the reality through which I saw the world, while my pride compelled me to project the persona of a happy, fulfilled woman. Denial is really much more than a river in Egypt! My obsession and my rage consumed me, resulting in me becoming extremely ill.

To release some of this pent up emotion, I wrote pages and pages in journals, with accompanying art work. After some years of Jungian analysis and more years with my Herbalist, Annette, I underwent a physical transformation. The debilitating arthritis that had crippled my body and made me blind subsided to a great degree. During my 5-6 year physical transformation, I was frustrated by the lack of memoirs detailing recovery from crippling arthritis. Books on cancer abound, but in reading these accounts, I found I didn’t relate. So I promised myself that I would write a memoir describing my path to the restoration of my life.

Although I have always wanted to be a writer, I have never written much other than To-Do lists and journal rants. Until 2 years ago,that is, when my husband, in a loving gesture of support, bought me $200.00 worth of  Elizabeth J. Andrew’s time. She is a Spiritual Memoirist. She is also that rare combination of intelligence, heart and beauty, and has gently guided me to myself in my writing.

Writing is a solitary endeavour and although I can happily spend more time alone than most, I needed a more interactive medium in which to write. I needed an audience!  In the many years of singing and reciting and accordion playing in festivals, the single event I loved participating in, was story telling. The only time the audience didn’t wince in empathy for my discomfort, was when listening to me recount “Bad Mousie” by Martha Ward Dudley! I loved telling this story!

My daughter has been writing her Blog, called dearandersoncooper, for some months. I liked the format, so under her guidance I launched my blog! I thought I’d coined the word Blogmoir, silly me…some young’n was there ages ago!

So for Week 10 of 52, I will write with honesty and remain open to the communiques from my soul and the ephemeral world!  The whole is so much more than a sum of its parts!

Between2Marys

REFLECTIONS

2 months have passed since I began this blog in search of The Other Woman energy within me. I knew this would be a lengthy process fraught with swings and roundabouts, but I hoped that after a year I would feel my femininity to be less contained. Being 1/6 of the way through I thought it time to assess my progress towards this goal.

The dominant energy on the left side of the collage typified my experience as a woman. I had accepted my role as was prescribed in a patriarchal society where women live to visually please and behaviourally serve men. So these past weeks have forced me back into my childhood where these expectations have their roots.

After the past 2 months of work, I know that I am now able to observe, with incredulity, how confining a role this is. When I made the collage I sensed I may be limiting the depth of my feminine experience, but I could not get enough distance from this habituated state of being, to really observe it. I’ve had to peel back this familiar skin, to see inside. I find it much easier to observe in other women what eludes me in myself. But now I have watched myself defer, yield and succumb in the presence of a man. Or, if I feel agitated in this state of acquiescence, I assume the tone of the nagging, disenfranchised woman.

Observing myself  vacillate between being confined and whining about being confined brings me one step closer to experiencing a change…one step closer to being The Other Woman!

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 8 OF 52

CHANGING FROM SUPPRESSION TO COMMUNICATION

“The greatest discovery of any generation

is that human beings can alter their lives

by altering the attitudes of their minds.”

Albert Schweitzer

My left shoulder has been twitching for a couple of months. I notice it held high with tension,  creating a slope in my shoulders.

Like a dog needing bladder relief  or a child needing a hug, my shoulder needs something and has been communicating with me through the only means at its disposal…discomfort.  I’ve been ignoring these subtle communiques, hoping they would just disappear or sort themselves out. This attitude of ‘head in sand’ from a person who has been at death’s door twice because of this tendency to suppress, ignore, inhibit and squelch, surprises me.

Of course now,  my shoulder is doing what any ignored dog would do. ..it’s peeing on my carpet. My left shoulder aches, it’s stiff and it refuses to move.  So today, I surrendered and  am attempting to communicate with it. I will use a technique recommended by the Jungian Analyst, Robert A. Johnson, called Active Imagination.

Sitting in silence, I asked my shoulder what it was upset about. Was there an emotion I didn’t want to feel, a past experience I didn’t want to acknowledge…three images came to my mind; a collection of heart shaped rocks, my father and the cross from my Eastern European Church… this was followed by a stab of pain in my heart.

The Patriarchal Cross of Eastern European Churches

That is me, the bottom sloped board, under the overwhelmingly authoritative patriarchal presence above. One interpretation of the lower, sloped board is that it symbolizes a balance scale. Symbolically, if a person abides the authoritarian Father, they ascend to heaven on Judgement Day, but if they mock His rules, hell awaits. As I allowed feelings and images to emerge, I related to this scenario. My own father expected to be obeyed and he created a living hell when his rules were mocked. I admired my brother who refused to offer our father the smallest gesture of obeisance, but was mortified at the price he paid for this defiance. I wanted to be in my father’s good graces and I did not want to be beaten, but my acquiescence  has had a price. In following his plan, I repressed my own. I contorted my self to be loved.

Learned Helplessness

Above all else I yearned to be loved for the unconventional, whacky child I knew I truly was. But instead I was accepted by my parents because I presented them with a bevy of parent sanctioned personas. According to Jungian terminology, a persona is a coping mechanism used to conceal a person’s true thoughts and feelings; a necessary adaptation to ensure survival.

As a child I played with cut-out-dolls, and liken my persona collection to this.

I cut out and attached to myself one of several parent pleasers:

1.Polly Perfect, a real crowd pleaser. This persona won me awards. Her winning smiles and sensitivity to others’ moods was combined with an ability to listen to endless adult prattle, while looking enthralled.

2.Compliant Constance, a parent favourite. This persona saved me from spankings. Her defining attribute was her willingness to put aside normal childhood defiance( skipping the personality forming Terrible Twos, Defiant Fives and the Turbulent Teens) and instead perform feats of compliance.

3.Timid Temperance, a mealy-mouthed child. This persona was the most burdensome for me to carry. This persona willingly  gave a stamp of approval to all and sundry parental behaviour. When observing deception and meanness, real reactions were stuffed, while a neutral face was presented.

So for Week 8 of 52, I will listen to the communiques from my body.

I will remember that a persona is a coping mechanism that is necessary for a child to survive in their world, but in my efforts to discover The Other Woman inside of me, I will put Polly Perfect, Compliant Constance and Timid Temperance to rest.

%d bloggers like this: