Journeying Toward Wholeness

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The Psychotherapist & Self Acceptance: A CG Jung Quote

August 23rd, 2012 · psychotherapist, Self, self acceptance

Self acceptance has become a buzz word, a part of the stock in trade of the psychotherapist, but, in this quotation, C.G. Jung invites us to take things deeper.

psychotherapist

To really look at what a depth psychotherapist means, and needs to mean, when he or she utters those two little words — self acceptance

The Offence of the Shadow

The self that we need to accept includes that part of the Self that Jung called the Shadow.  This is the part of the Self that Jung tells us contains all that we would rather not acknowledge as ourselves, and would, in fact, rather not be.

It does not take long, if we’re honest in our introspection, to get to the starting point of shadow work.  If we can honestly look upon the most embarrassing and shame-filled moments in our life, or the time we have done the most morally reprehensible thing we have ever done — there it is.  It truly does offend.  How can we ever be reconciled with that?

Hungry Me

To confront that part of ourselves is to confront the hurt, wounded and impoverished parts of myself and  my soul.  The parts that feel so needy, which are filled with yearning and desire so deep we can only call it hunger.  Sometimes, it can be barely tolerable to acknowledge, and accept, how truly needy we are.

Aspects of Me — That Insult Me

People who can bear to be honest about it are often tormented by certain aspects of their personality that just seem unbearable to themselves, their egos, their images of who they are.  To somehow come to terms with “this person”, this me, this insulting beggar, this impudent offender — often is no small piece of psychological work.

Love and Forgiveness — and Me

The depth psychotherapist works with the client to help him or her see and accept who and what he or she is.  The essence of the work is to help the individual gradually to find the alms of their own kindness — real self acceptance — to give to themselves.  I know no more profound expression of such self-acceptance than the great Leonard Cohen‘s powerful song “Hallelujah”:

The work of the psychotherapist in helping the individual discover and accept all of themselves can often be a profoundly changing life experience, and a key part of journeying towards wholeness.

 

PHOTO:  Attribution   Some rights reserved by außerirdische sind gesund  MUSIC CREDIT: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, from the album Essential Leonard Cohen ©  Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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The Individual Psychotherapist & the Mystery of the Self

August 17th, 2012 · psychotherapist, Self, The Self

The right attitude of the individual psychotherapist to the mystery of the Self is expressed in the quote below from C. G. Jung:

individual psychotherapist

The individual person is a unique phenomenon.  And that unique person forms a unified whole, although with component parts that are more varied and complex than most people realize.  To really understand the individual requires getting beyond statistics, theories and labels to the very nature and story of that particular person.

This might seem like a truism, but it isn’t at all apparent in the way many approaches to psychotherapy actually work.

Beyond Scientific Generalization

While psychological science is essential to understanding the background of the issues that a given individual experiences, it’s never enough on its own.  A great deal of the effort of the individual psychotherapist has to go to understanding the specific person and his/her situation — the ways in which it is an exception to the general rule.  Jungian therapy has always emphasized the specific uniqueness of a person’s case, and, in my opinion, that is one of its greatest strengths.

Without Theory

The psychotherapist needs theory as a way to stay oriented in dealing with a client.  However, before we get to the point where we can use it, we have to really, truly see who it is who is sitting in front of us.  Individual psychotherapy has to really take in the unique person right where they are, without filtering out things that might not fit with preconceptions.

Without Prejudice

One of the toughest parts of being a psychotherapist: to get beyond what “everybody knows” and “what everybody sees”.  The mystery of the undiscovered Self does not fit these categories.  “Everybody knows” that “Jack” is a tough, hard-driving litigation lawyer, who loves what he does…  until the day he collapses on the floor sobbing, because he just can’t do it anymore.  “Everybody knows” that “Jeanne” is a great, dependable accountant whose brain is a ledger sheet– but they don’t know that she goes home and writes passionate poetry in a gilt edged leather book.

Openness to the New

On both the part of the individual psychotherapist, and the part of the client, there needs to be a readiness to see things that are surprising, things that have never been seen before.  These little, often subtle beginnings contain the germs of new life.  There are things within each of us that we are not expecting.  They are part of the Self in its wholeness.  Can we be open to them?

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

Oakville, Burlington & Mississauga Ontario 1-905-337-3946

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PHOTO:  Attribution   Some rights reserved by saintbob

 

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Jungian Counselling & Self Awareness on the Holidays

December 27th, 2011 · counselling, Jungian, Jungian counselling, Self, self awareness, The Holidays

Jungian counselling

Yule Log with Snow by Midge Frazel

My Jungian counselling experience has shown me that, once the lead-up to the Holidays is over, there is often a quieter period in which people often come to new kinds of self awareness.  This can often lead to new paths on a personal journey towards wholeness, if individuals are willing to walk them.

From a Jungian counselling perspective, there are at least four striking opportunities for self awareness that people might encounter during the Holidays

  • A Break From the Regular Pattern of Life

The Holidays often offer the opportunity to get outside of the patterns of life that we all find so consuming, just for a while.  As we take things at a more leisurely pace, perhaps we begin to examine aspects of our lives, and to ask some really basic questions.  The frenetic pace of work, kids’ activities, sports involvements, and so on gives way to a time when we can look at the pattern of our lives, and just be aware.

  • Connecting with My Earlier Selves

The Holidays can further self-awareness by putting us in mind of our selves at earlier points in our journey.  Childhood Christmases, full perhaps of great joy, or, in some cases, great pain and disappointment.  Adult Christmases with a new love.  “White knuckle Christmases” on your own, perhaps in a strange new city, or possibly after a divorce.  All are versions of myself: what do they show me about who I am, right here and right now?

  • Connecting with Where I am Now

And Jungian counselling is certainly concerned with where I am right at this present, and what the issues are that are coming up for me.  What is it right now about myself that is hard for me to look at about myself?  What does this have to do with my values, goals, morality, spirituality — yearnings?

  • The New Year is Coming

The New Year is many things, psychologically, but one of the key dimensions, from a Jungian counselling perspective, is as an opportunity for renewal.  Life extends on the other side of the gate to the New Year.  Whatever has gone by this year, we have the opportunity in the coming year to live in deeper self awareness, and in our own inner truth, on the singular road of our own journey towards wholeness.


With very best wishes for the holidays, and the coming New Year,

PHOTO: © Some rights reserved by midgefrazel
VIDEO: “The Road Less Travelled”, by 
© 2011 Brian Collinson 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, ON (near Mississauga)

 

 

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Therapy, Personal Growth & Self Knowledge …Really?

August 8th, 2011 · growth, personal growth, Self, self-knowledge, therapy

personal growth

Many speak about therapy and/or psychotherapy as a route to personal growth and self knowledge, but can it really deliver? That depends a lot on the kind of therapy, the attitude of the person undertaking it, and the knowledge and attitude of the therapist.

The famous passage quoted below illustrates this very well.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost … I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

from Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk , © Portia Nelson 1993

The good outcome in this story is due to three things.

1) Reflection

The author of the poem has the courage to look at what is going on in her life.  Not at first, because panic and confusion are in the driver’s seat.  But eventually, she faces the questions: “What is going on?’, “What caused this?”  And, actually, at an even more basic level, she’s able to admit that “I’m in a hole!”

2) Willingness to Honestly Look at Oneself

Gradually, the poem’s author is able to put down her knee-jerk self defense, and to clearly see her role in creating this situation.  She is able to do this with compassionate self acceptance.

3) Willingness to Put Insights Into Action

Once she has these insights, she acts on them and experiences personal growth.

Very often, these three steps need the fertile ground, compassion and support of the right therapy to best come into being.

 Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst | Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Ontario

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PHOTO: © All rights reserved by mfriel81
© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

 

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Psychotherapy, Self Acceptance, & Dealing with Shame

July 10th, 2011 · dealing with shame, Psychotherapy, Self, self acceptance, shame

dealing with shame

This is really Part 2 of the post, “Jungian Psychotherapy, Individuation and Self Acceptance“, and deals with an important barrier to self acceptance, namely dealing with shame.

A lot could be said about our shame and how it thwarts self acceptance.

  • Shame is Deep: Maybe as Deep as it Gets

There is a power in this feeling, sometimes greater than in any other emotion.  We confront this power when our dignity is lost, when we have gone beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable or tolerable, when we are profoundly alienated from other humans because of who or what we are.

  • Shame and Fear of Total Loss of the Self

Deep shame can devastate.  It can be so intense as to obliterate any good feeling we have about who or what we are, and force us behind an ironclad mask.  Shame can be so intense we feel like we’re losing ourselves.

  • In Our Inner Dialogue, We Can Often Shame Ourselves

We powerfully internalize shaming that we have received.  I’ve noted this in psychotherapy for men, but it’s true for everyone.  Through the emotion in complexes, we can easily internalize shaming messages received from others.  This emotionally charged material can torment us.

  • Yet, We Can Find Our Humanity in our Shame

A strange thing  to say…  Yet, true if we can have the courage to explore those places where we are most vulnerable.

A good friend and co-worker died young from cancer.  I was asked to be a pallbearer.  Back then, I had strong unconscious inhibitions against males showing strong emotion, ground into me early in life.  Yet, bearing the coffin, I broke into uncontrollable tears.  I was filled with shame, but I couldn’t help it…I loved my friend, and tragically, he was gone.  Later, to make it worse, my boss (my friend’s friend and former boss) berated me for my “weakness”.  I felt like a selfish little baby.

It took psychotherapy and years of living with that humiliation to accept my vulnerable grief for my friend.  “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery” sings Bob Marley.  It was in the very heart of this shame that I found something vital to my humanity.

Is getting free from shame is a major issue for peoples’ lives today?  I’d welcome your comments.

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst | Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Ontario

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PHOTO: Auguste Rodin, Eve After the Fall, Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

 

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Jungian Psychotherapy, Individuation and Self Acceptance

July 5th, 2011 · Individuation, Jungian, Jungian psychotherapy, Psychotherapy, Self, self acceptance

self acceptance

For many of us, self acceptance is the great challenge.  For Jungian psychotherapy, it basically is the individuation process.  Some Jungians will disagree, but really, all aspects of individuation, the heart of Jungian psychotherapy, are different aspects of this one great thing.

I find this quote from Jung so striking that I’ve sent it around Twitter a couple of times:

The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.

Also the most liberating, but to even get close to that place, there’s a lot we have to confront.

  • Accepting Ourselves Entails Knowing Who We Are

Oh, boy — not so simple!  We readily think that we know, and therefore accept, ourselves, but it’s not so clear when we truly look behind the mask that we present to the world.  To honestly look in that mirror — and the mirror that others hold up to reflect us — can take real courage.

  • Self Acceptance Means Dropping Self-Protecting Pretence

It’s not just seeing ourselves: it ‘s getting past the rationalizations we give ourselves about why we are as we are.  We also have to stop protecting ourselves from what the unconscious reveals about the self, in dreams, in psychosomatic and other forms, and stop intellectualizing it away.  We have to be willing to hear the cry of our deepest being, even when that cry might be something we’d rather not hear.

  • The Great Enemy: Shame

When we do honestly see ourselves, we can easily succumb to shame, seeing only faults, weaknesses and inadequacies, with no appreciation of our true worth.  I powerfully experienced this when I was a pallbearer at a friend’s funeral, as I’ll recount in Part 2 of this post.

  • It Takes Real Courage to Let Ourselves Be Enough

A  recent  Huffington Post article stresses the importance of being present to our lives here and now — letting what we possess be enough, and savouring it.  But it’s even more important to let what we are be enough.  No other being in the universe is going to be you.  To savour your life, recognizing with compassion and celebration your uniqueness, takes genuine bravery.

No one will ever have this moment you are having right now; it is uniquely yours.  Can you let yourself be sufficient?  Jung was right: it can be utterly terrifying — but it opens the way to a journey of incredible freedom.

Have you had experiences of freedom in self-acceptance?  I’d welcome your comments.

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst | Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Ontario

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PHOTO: AttributionNo Derivative WorksSome rights reserved by kimderby
© 2011 Brian Collinson
2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

 

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Psychotherapy and Renewal: Persephone’s Big Comeback

April 5th, 2011 · depth psychology, Jungian analysis, life passages, mythology, personal myth, personal story, psychological crisis, Psychology and Suburban Life, psychotherapist, Psychotherapy, renewal, Self, soul, therapist, therapy, unconscious

Frederic Leighton – The Return of Persephone (1891).

There’s a lot of truth for psychotherapy in the Greek myth of Persephone and it’s all tied up with the yearly renewal of the seasons.  Persephone, a vegetation goddess, and the daughter of the harvest goddess Demeter, was kidnapped and ravished by Hades, the king of the Underworld, and taken to live in his realm.

Demeter, so distraught at her disappearance, refused to let crops or vegetation grow anymore until her daughter was returned.  The gods finally prevailed on Hades, who agreed to let her go.  However the all-wise Fates had decreed that anyone who consumed the food of the underworld was destined to stay there for eternity.  Alas, wiley Hades had persuaded Persephone to eat 3 puny pomegranite seeds.  And so Persephone must spend part of the year in the Underworld, a time of barreness, and vegetation would flourish again only when she was re-united every year with Demeter above ground.

This is quite a myth to explain the origin of the seasons.  Here in Canada, after the long barren winter, we all feel a little like I imagine Persephone would, as she was released from the earth. Released back into life!

The profound truth of the Persephone myth also conveys a deep meaning for our own psychological journey.

The Persephone myth conveys a natural movement in psychological life  For Persephone, it is only as she is detached from her familiar world, and descends to the Underworld that she can bring the blessing and the gift of the seasons, of new green life, and fertility.

My experience is that it is like that in the lives of my clients and in my own life, also.  Sometimes the encounter with life’s circumstances and with the unconscious can seem like a sudden plunge into darkness and descent into the underworld.  But the underworld has its own gifts that it brings.  Only those who can accept those gifts, and “eat the food of the underworld”, can bring the gift of life and fertility back to the “surface world” of their everyday lives.  In the encounter with the depths in ourselves, including our unconscious, we travel Persephone’s way, and return to our everyday life with the green lushness of  renewed outlook and vitality.

In the video below, the great Brazilian jazz stylist Antonio Carlos Jobim sings his wonderful song “The Waters of March” at the 1986 Montreal Jazz Festival.  Lush and full of feeling, this wonderful music captures the enormity of the renewal of Spring that we all sense at this time of year.  May we find that same sense of renewal through the encounter with our own deepest selves.

A stick, a stone, it’s the end of the road

It’s the rest of a stump, it’s a little alone

It’s a sliver of glass, it is life, it’s the sun…

…It’s a beam it’s a void, it’s a hunch, it’s a hope

And the river bank talks of the waters of March

It’s the end of the strain

The joy in your heart

Finding Renewal

Both Persephone’s descent into the underworld and the renewal of spring symbolize aspects of the psychotherapeutic process.  Often for renewal, it is important to enter into the depths, and to encounter the more hidden parts of our own existence, and our own experience of life.   The journey may well be demanding, and it is the role of the depth psychotherapist to guide the individual toward renewal, and the deep rewards of the journey.  There’s no better time to start than now.

As always, I welcome your inquiries and comments.

Wishing you the gifts of renewal on your journey to wholeness,

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

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PHOTO CREDIT:  Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton (1830–1896).  This work is in the public domain.

VIDEO CREDIT  © 1986 Antonio Carlos Jobim and Koch International

© 2011 Brian Collinson

Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Oakville / Mississauga border)

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Saying No: Jungian Psychotherapy, the Self, and Compliance

February 9th, 2011 · ego, Jungian, Self, The Self

In Jungian psychotherapy, the Self is something greater than, and distinct from, the ego, and it is something that plays a very active role in the psychological life of the individual.  I often see it at work when I have the experience of working with individuals who have simply reached the point where they cannot accommodate the inappropriate needs of others any further.  It isn’t that they have “decided not to”.  It’s more elemental: something in them will not allow them to bend themselves any further to the will of other people at the cost of their own needs and identity.

People Who Please

Often these are people who, at earlier points in their life have been extremely accommodating of others and who have experienced great pressure, often early in life, to be compliant.  However, when these people come to see me,  often in an agitated state, they make it very clear that they simply can no longer oblige others by being who that Other expects them to be.  It’s over: they can’t do it.  Or, at least, they can’t do it without paying an extremely heavy price, such as possibly lapsing into some form of serious physical or mental illness.

The End of a Certain Road

Often this experience comes at the end of a very long period in an individual’s life of suppressing his or her own wants and needs in favour of others’ demands.  In many cases, the individual may be suddenly confronted with one or more new and extreme self-denying demands, often with the difference this time that the individual is simply incapable of assenting to the wishes of others.

Astounding Self Revelation

Such people are often astounded at their own reactions.  They possibly find themselves feeling great anger or resentment, or overcome with a malaise or apathy not at all characteristic of their usual “sunny disposition” social selves.  They might find themselves in states of intense fear, or even despair.  What it all comes down to though, is this:

I have jumped through the hoops of others’ expectations so many times in the past.  I realize now the incredible price that I have paid in myself for doing it.  I can’t do it any more.  I can’t go back to that…NO!!!”

The “No” That Contains a “Yes”

That NO the individual gives to the demands for compliance contains within it a huge YES to the individual’s selfhood, and to their own real life.  At this point a new adventure begins.

I’ve had experiences like this myself, at several key points in my life.  At one point, in a time of genuine crisis, I made a decisive choice to move my life in a different direction.  Not because I had a choice about it, but because I didn’t — not if I wanted to continue to be myself, rather than a burnt-out remnant.  In the words of Robert Frost, “and that has made all the difference”.

Have you ever had an experience of this type?  Would you recognize it if you yourself were to come to this place?

Is Your Own Deepest Self Saying “No”?

I have no doubt that, among those reading this, there are some of you who have had the type of experience that I describe.  I suspect that there may be others among my readers who are undergoing this type of experience right now.  If you are, please remember that the support of a skilled therapist can be invaluable at times like this.  I know that it was for me.

Have you ever faced a situation in your life, where something within you just said “No” in an absolute way?  What kind of situation was it?  Did it relate to your work life?  Your personal or domestic life?   I would welcome any of your comments or reflections.

Wishing you and your potent, living self every good thing as you find your personal journey to wholeness,

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

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PHOTO CREDIT:     Creative Commons  Some rights reserved by  TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³

© 2011 Brian Collinson

Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Oakville / Mississauga border)

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Shadow Identity: Inside You Someone Waits to Emerge

February 4th, 2011 · analytical psychology, Jungian analysis, Self, self-knowledge, Shadow

The shadow is the unacknowledged part of ourselves.  Inside you, that shadow someone has been waiting to emerge for a very long time, like a butterfly from a cocoon.  You may well encounter that someone, or aspects of her or him, in your dreams.  That person may be an elusive stranger, or someone who urgently cries out to you to open your doors to her…or him.  The shadow can be many things.

The shadow someone who waits to emerge may contain elements of you which have been forgotten or even repressed since childhood.  Or, that “someone” may appear with elements that have never before been in your conscious mind.  He or she may represent something new in you, a reality about you held in the depths of your unconscious, waiting until now to emerge and encounter you in your conscious identity.  You may well find that you are not always entirely comfortable with this one who wishes to emerge!

Depth Psychology and Emergence of the Shadow

The calling of the depth psychotherapist is to assist in the encounter of the one who wishes to emerge with the already established identity of the person who starts to hear the call of their inner self, in whatever form that call takes.  The depth psychotherapist recognizes that these are elements of one and the same person. and that,  for a person to love, accept and acknowledge him or herself, the known self and the undiscovered or emerging self must embrace each other. Then the person will live in the awareness of his or her true self, and her or his own real life.

Yearning for Transformation

Something inside of us yearns for this. Something in us may also be aware that such a transformation takes effort, and is only acheived if we devote ourselves to the goal, and move past that part of ourselves that would tell us that everything is OK the way it is, and there is no need for us to change or grow.  The part of us that is caught up with inertia, that would tell us that even though things don’t seem the best, and that life is less than satisfying— or even less real — than we had hoped, it is better to let sleeping dogs lie…or sleeping aspects of the self.

Awakening

Depth psychotherapy, especially Jungian analysis, is all about the process of awakening sleeping shadow aspects of the self.  It is opening gates within you, and allowing exiled aspects of your being to walk through those gates.

What will that someone who emerges be like?  The answer to that question will be as unique as you are.  But the encounter with the undiscovered self will ultimately be a homecoming.

Who is Waiting to Appear?

As you read this, there are aspects of who you are of which you’re aware, and aspects that are in the unconscious.  Who is it who is waiting to appear in you?  What is there that is part of your nature that is yearning to reveal itself in you?  What kind of healing would those parts of you bring?

Have you ever had the experience of encountering an aspect of yourself of which you had previously been unaware?  Such experiences can sometimes be profoundly transformative.  If you were willing to share about such an experience either in a comment or vie email, I would love to hear from you.

Wishing you and your emerging self every good thing as you travel on your personal journey to wholeness,

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

If you’d like to receive Vibrant Jung Thing regularly, please subscribe using the RSS feed in the upper right hand corner of this page.

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PHOTO CREDIT:     Creative Commons  Some rights reserved by Teosaurio

© 2011 Brian Collinson

Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Oakville / Mississauga border)

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Psychotherapy, Self and a Snow Day

February 2nd, 2011 · analytical psychology, Anxiety, depression, inner life, life journey, Lifestyle, Meaning, Oakville, Peel Region, personal story, Psychology and Suburban Life, Psychotherapy, reflection, Self, soul, The Self, therapy

Why am I writing about psychotherapy, snow days and the self today?  Because, if Environment Canada and the other weather folks are right, today will shape up to be the most significant “snow day” we’ve experienced in this part of Canada for a number of years.  And even if the weather folks are wrong, there’s a huge number of school and other closures, and people just staying home in anticipation of a huge dump of snow, whether it actually comes or not.  Psychotherapy would say that the snow day is a psychological and social reality, even if it turns out not to be a meteorological one.

So what do psychotherapy, psychology and the self, etc. have to do with a snow day?  I think it’s this.

Normal Expectations — Shut Down!

With a snow day, suddenly all of our normal expectations for the day just get shut down.  Normal routines and expectations of the day are put on hold.  There’s no taking the kids to school, and maybe no commute and time in the office.  Where we had expected an ordinary working day, filled with the usual frenetic busy-ness, we often get a much quieter day.  A day with unexpected elements of “down time” and maybe with significant blocks of empty space.

What do I Notice?

What do I notice in the middle of the unexpected emptiness of a snow day?  Potentially, many things.  One of them may be a lot of anxiety.  The sudden lack of agenda may lead us to feel an unexpected void.  Alternately, we might find ourselves feeling a bit “down”.  For some people, there may have been a feeling of anticipation of the snow day — “Oh, good, no work!” — which is gradually replaced by a feeling of listlessness that seems to creep in as they are confronted with inactivity.  And then, for some folks, there will be a genuine feeling of relief to just have some let up from the pressure of the daily routine in this unexpected way.

Opportunity

Whatever feelings you may confront, they bring an opportunity.  In this open space of time, you have the opportunity to learn something about yourself, about relationship, and about your feelings about your own real life.  This day, seeming empty, may prove to be a doorway, if you take the opportunity it provides to look within.

Three Psychological Questions to Ask Yourself Today

1.  What do I really feel today?  Please note: this is not the same question as “What do I think?” or “What do I think I ought to feel?” It’s a question that I ask myself when I’m trying to be as honest as I can about parts of myself to which I may not usually pay attention.

2. What do I really want today?  Again, this is not the same as, “What do I think I ought to want?”  Without censoring myself, can I be honest about what I’d really like in my life?

3. Is the Life I’m Leading Meeting the Needs of My Inmost Self?  If the answer to this question is “No”, or “I’m not sure”, this might be the moment to seek out the help of an experienced and qualified psychotherapist to do some in-depth self-exploration.

More than just “down time”, the open-ness of a snow day can be an opportunity to move into depth.

Wishing you a meaningful snow day — and a genuine encounter with your own dear self, as you move forward on your personal journey to wholeness,

Brian Collinson, Psychotherapist & Jungian Analyst

If you’d like to receive Vibrant Jung Thing regularly, please subscribe using the RSS feed in the upper right hand corner of this page.

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PHOTO CREDIT:     © Vuk Vukmirovic | Dreamstime.com

© 2011 Brian Collinson

Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Oakville / Mississauga border)

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