Hmm. And to think that yesterday I was complaining that Jung didn’t mention “love” in any of the 30 quotes that came up to write about because, well… he hadn’t. And I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this time he’s talking about LOVE in the sense of commitment, the bond, the relationship, the vulnerability of LOVE, but …
Welcome to Day 25 of “30 Days of Jung,” my series, wherein (soon, I will start repeating myself, like now) I take a famous quote of Carl G. Jung‘s and try to make sense or refute or invert or disembowel it or where I turn into a heaping pile of mush because of it in 1,000 words or less.
If you don’t know who Jung is, he formulated the theories of introverted and extroverted personalities, the stages of individuation, the basis of the “Meyers-Briggs” personality (INFJ / ESFJ, etc.) tests. He’s the “father” of modern-day psychoanalysis. In short, he’s a badass. But he’s dead, so he can’t be with us today.
“Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.”
‘Shadow’?? What did this dude’s mother do to him?
End the count at 1300.
I’m going out on another limb here and I’m gonna say this: it doesn’t matter. I’m going to try to break this down in a way that I can handle:
“When love rules, no one needs to execute power over another. When power rules, love (as aforementioned) can not survive. They are mutually exclusive.”
And this applies to platonic love too.
Ok. I can move forward now.
This is very true. I’ve seen abusive relationships — they’re all about power and domination and control; it’s never about “love” or not having needs met or unreasonable demands.
Sometimes the control is not overt: sometimes it’s a matter of trust which becomes corroded over time. For example, say a couple is married, they have a couple kids. One spouse has serial affairs on the marriage (not just on the other spouse, because I believe these affairs are violations of the family). One of the spouses clearly thinks s/he has domination over the other, why else would s/he stray? The abused partner ends up wondering what s/he has done wrong to create this climate of infidelity? Surely it must be his/her fault because no reasonable person would stay faithful to such a cretin. And so now we introduce other germs into the petri dishfunction.
As a child, I couldn’t fix my mom. I felt it was my fault. She never asked me to fix her, but the directive was there and I failed miserably. I felt it was my fault or that I was the reason for her condition. It’s taken me oh… 37 years to figure out that I wasn’t the cause, or the cure, and another eight years to actually believe it without rage.
There are other “reasons” in an abuser’s mind, for sure. Those “reasons” don’t matter. The action is what matters here. Jung said it before, “you are what you do, not what you say you’ll do” (Day 5).
I couldn’t care less if someone is feeling “unloved” or “disconnected” from their marriage partner. Grow the hell up and learn to talk about it. Own your stuff. I have said this time and again: if you’re gonna stray, get a divorce first. But that’s too expensive. Then DON’T STRAY.
I digress. Love does this to me.
If you have love, you don’t want to hurt the other person because when they hurt, you hurt. And I don’t suggest not hurting because you’re pain averse about yourself, but because you’re pain averse for the other person. It’s not codependence, it’s maturity and compassion that suggests that “not hurting the other person” is the way to go.
You don’t need to control the other person with betrayal, control, lies or abuse. There is no need for those games because love and trust fill the voids and give voice and confidence to the wounded — we have to learn to talk to each other again.
Texting doesn’t count.
Facebook doesn’t count.
YouTube doesn’t count.
Email doesn’t count.
Voicemail doesn’t count.
A phone call is a start.
A face-to-face is the best.
There is no shame in feeling wounded. There is no shame in needing comfort or expressing vulnerability. There is no shame in saying, “I feel left out and I don’t know what to do…”
There is shame in taking off, cheating, lying, continuing, hurting and not stopping and acting as if everything is all hunky-dory. There is shame in blaming your inability to keep your relationship (friendship, brother/sister, cousin…) solvent on the other partner. As for the legal stuff: good lord, last time I checked two consenting adults make a marriage. Or a common law marriage, or a dedication to one another.
TALK ABOUT IT, PEOPLE.
Jung is right. He is dead and he is right. This might be the easiest quote to have whateverized. I don’t feel like a lump of mush, I feel like shouting from the rooftops,
“Love is love: vulnerable, real, allowing, soft, kind, forgiving, bumbling, bashful, infinite and tender. Control is abuse, constriction, restriction, domination, fearful, paranoid, hurtful, finite and mean!”
The two simply can not ever be confused.
The moment you have to ask, “When she tells me I look like crap in that shirt and asks me why I always look like I ate out of a toilet” you know it’s not love she’s conveying to you.
The moment you have to wonder if, “When he tells me the house looks like crap and the food I make reminds him of a garbage can” it’s not love.
The times when you might wonder where s/he’s been, why s/he doesn’t come home, why s/he doesn’t return a call (keeping in mind that you’re being reasonable in your needs), “will this ever get better?” it’s time to look at things and possibly yourself.
It’s OK to feel disappointment in a relationship, it’s OK to have needs and wonder what’s going on from time to time… but you also have to wonder if your needs are excessive, if your interests aren’t mutual, if your intensity isn’t matched. Could YOU be controlling? I dunno. I’ve caught myself a couple times being the wicked witch of the east, “and she’s worse than the other one…” and that’s on me. My husband is a very reasonable man. I have become reasonable. But I’ve never been possessive and that to me equates with control.
I’ve always had a sort of odd detachment in my relationships, taking it from the standpoint that autonomy is really the only thing I can always rely upon. That doesn’t mean that I’m not a good partner or a vested wife; I am absolutely. It’s just that my outlook has always been (likely due to my relationship with my mother) to not really count on other people too much. To not make a habit of it… sure it’s nice to have a buddy who can help you change a tire in the rain, but chances are… it’s best to learn how to do it yourself too.
There is no control in love. There is no forcing. There are no demands.
In love, there is freedom and security.
In love, there is delight and mirth.
In love, there is discovery and wonder.
In love there is GROWTH.
All this goes for “self love” too! Don’t think for a minute that it requires two people to have value in yourself — in self-love there is no control or domination or power. You have to let yourself, as you would a friend or a lover: fall down, make mistakes, act lost, act goofy, need more, need less, be unpredictable, be sad, be loud, be quiet, be creative, be dry, be happy … just be. Really… just BE.
I wrote a phrase on Facebook the other day, I woke up with it: “Those who belittle will always be little.”
ps – five more days to go. how fast it’s all gone by!!! thank you for sticking it out with me guys!!! what to do next? do you have any requests? i’m game!
I’ll give you the short version of my reaction to this quote. I don’t think that “resting in love” (or “resting in acceptance” is always a good thing. Having grown up in a family where my mother was always loving, usually put the needs of others before herself (former occupation: nurse!) and never argued with or criticized my father who was a cold, narcissistic, controlling person, quite a bit of damage was done to all three children. I really would have liked to see her occasionally “stand on her own two feet” and tell him he was full of crap!! She tried to compensate for his coldness and lack of compassion by spoiling my brother, sister and probably myself! Not a good thing, as now my brother will not acknowledge that he’s done anything wrong. The same general pattern with my sister. I will admit to being a jerk sometimes which I guess is “a good thing” as Martha Stewart would say 😉
It is a good thing; and that’s where I came in about the self-love. What I want to add to all of this, and I should’ve last night, is that it boils down to respect. If you respect yourself, you don’t need to control others. If you don’t respect yourself, you do (need to) control others; the boundaries are hazy.
Once I figured out what was mine and what was his in our marriage, and I do this everyday unconsciously now, things became much kinder and the expectations were either reasonable or met or at least amended. I respected him enough to get my act together and he respected me enough to encourage it. There were tough times; we had some “unmeshing” to do, but we’re stronger for it. No more cycle of guilt and anger from unstated and thus unmet expectations.
Those tenets I mentioned: mirth, discovery, wonder: yes as well. That’s not to say that it has to be (or ever is) all sunshine and roses, but to your point, “resting” there is no growth, no evolution. There is merely cohabitation. That’s not love. That’s a common mailing address.
Boy, I dunno who is the Sage here! Come to think of it, my father must have have a lot of unconscious guilt and shame. He accidentally put out the eye of my Aunt with a bb gun while he was climbing over a fence. He, of course, had a very controlling father who made him do farm labor starting at age 11 or 12. A narcissistic mother who hated being on a remote farm. Was married to a woman who turned out to be a lesbian. Fortunately was smart and went and got his Masters at an Ivy League school. As far as cohabitation, my mother saw him as “a good provider” who would give her security and a nice home. So “honor your father” became her mantra 😉 Do you think this would be a good novel? Maybe a darkly humorous one.
Yes, “everyone loses their little red wagons at one time or another” says my mom. She was raised by a cold OCD mom who was not affectionate; her dad was an angry drunk intellectual. There was little love going around there. His mom was controlling too.
Then my dad’s mom was angry and controlling which made my dad super-driven but aggressive and controlling so when he married loosey-goosey mom, it became a shitstorm (pardon me) of whowhatwhenwherewhy all the time.
We all have these stories, these dimensions… what we need to remember (myself included) is that we really aren’t THREATS to one another; we’re all just trying to figure this stuff out.
I’m one of the weird ones, Wayne: I see wonder almost everywhere. I actually stop and delight in a child’s laugh, or I lend a hand to a harried mother. Not all the time, but I do. There’s a part of me that can’t help it.
Write the book: dark humor is always better than no humor.
This. Yes. I don’t want to punch the dead guy so much today.
i’ll never forget what happened after my father died. We were quiet for awhile. I led a short prayer and then my cousin says “Lets go to Cocos”. We all relieved left my parent’s townhome 😉