Tag Archives: self-improvement

30 Days of Jung — Day 25: #Love #Control #Domination #Submission #Abuse #Power #Corruption

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This one.

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.

Here is today’s:

“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.

Ok. ‘Will to power.’ Meaning there is no drive, no deliberation as in “thy will be done” -will? Or … please, bear with me as I’m a word freak:
well? which will will it be?

well? which will will it be?

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.”

Thank you.

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!

30 Days of Jung — Day 24: #Self-Acceptance #Esteem #Value #Worth

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This makes me laugh. Yesterday’s quote was about our inability to change something until we accept it. Today’s is about the terror one feels when accepting oneself completely. Knowing me, I’m going to try to tie it all together and make fun of Jung at the same time. ‘Cause he’s dead and he can’t fight back. 

Welcome to Day 24 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.

Here is today’s:

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
― C.G. Jung

Ya wanna know something really hilarious? I screwed this up royally when I read the quote the first time. I mentally replaced “accept” with “love” and I was off to the races quoting Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, and going all wedding “love is patient, love is kind” on us all and about 3/4 through I was stuck. I got to writing about my mom, how she’s aging and how it’s been hard; I felt she never really loved herself and then I wrote about unconditional love and I got sick of it all and so I looked at the quote again and saw accept and I picked up my laptop and hurled it across my backyard, pulled a shotgun from my sleeve and made like I was skeet shooting. I blew my MacBook Pro to “smithereenies” as Yosemite Sam would say.

Then I reached into my silk pajama pockets, pulled out another laptop and started this post. Just like they do on Looney Toons. Y’know how time flies on Looney Toons (I’ve written about this before) when Bugs Bunny orders something and puts the order envelope in the mailbox and a second or two later a truck from Acme Earmuffs screeches up and the driver yells, “Daaah, package for Bugs Bunny!”? That’s how it is with me and my laptops.

So I’m back on my laptop. Let’s stop the count at 1400. I’ve taken up enough of your time.

“Accept.”

I’m 45 now. I’m nothing like I used to be about myself even five years ago. I was relentless on myself, physically demanding and constantly self-critical. That’s what kept me feeling alive; that’s what kept the engines running chaos flowing. I admit, that my kinder, gentler opinion of myself is easier on the knees and lower back, but I believe for me anyhow that the most terrifying thing would be for me to be completely complacent with myself and never want to be fitter, healthier, smarter, kinder, gentler again. I just don’t think I’m genetically engineered that way. I always see room for improvement, but I don’t mean that in a critical way, I mean it as a term of growth, of wholeheartedness.

I realize that there are thresholds, that we have age categories now for athletic events: masters, seniors… dead. But, I really think that for me, to be completely accepting of myself would be a mistake; it’s not terrifying to me to consider it. It just feels too close to giving up.

I do accept myself: I’m slower than I used to be; my hair is finer and grayer than ever; I still have time until my boobs resemble the “golf ball in the tube sock” as a good friend once described her own years ago and she made me almost pee from laughter; my skin is more loose than I’d prefer, my up-close eyesight is going; parts of me jiggle without me moving; sometimes I don’t sleep well at all anymore; all of these things are happening and I accept them. I don’t adore them, but this is part of my acceptance that I’m human. Maybe that’s what he’s talking about — our humanity, our mortality, our universality and connection with one another… that in order for me to accept me, it would follow that I accept you … all of you, even the Osama bin Ladens out there… I know that would be hard, to let evil continue with acceptance. That my fight against evil is finite, as finite as my heartbeat. That’s terrifying, I suppose, that when it comes to putting up a good fight that I might be inert. That I can’t protect my brood from evil and harm. That terrifies me.

I see myself in the mirror and sometimes I look like a headline: “45-year-old Virginia Woman Wakes Up” but what can I do? I will continue to stay fit, push my cardio threshold for a few seconds longer, eat well and care about my health, but I get it: I am on the downhill slope now; only one of my relatives has made it past 90. And the one who’s still here, she’s a firecracker, but in my family, she’s an anomaly.

I see it as a good thing that I’m on the descent now — not so much that my best years are behind me, but that my most stressed years about my appearance, about my competitiveness, about my rightful place in the sun… those concerns are still there, but they don’t matter so much anymore. It’s about health now, not super-awesome fitness and trying to look good in Lycra.

My heart is softer, my emotional reactivity is slower, I’m less prone to raise my voice, but my wit is sharper than ever I think and that’s probably because I have less bandwidth taken up with worries such as “Do these jeans make my butt look big?” and “Is Helga VonSchmidt going to be at that party? She’s so nasty…” I’ve confronted enough Helgas to not care anymore. 

I am secure with who I am; now if I can just be secure with where I am; but I think that’s good: the book, the yoga certification, the writing, the rowing club stuff, the parenting — heck, that’ll never go away.

Good God, there will always be something else to do, and I’m so grateful for it. What I’m waiting for is the time when I can go to Ireland because it’s there; when I can let the laundry go and no one will yell that they’re out of socks; and when I can eat my Cap’n Crunch in peace. I will miss my kids when they grow up and move out, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen; they’ve all told me and their father that we’re too cool and they don’t ever want to leave us. I knew we shouldn’t have gotten the hot tub…

NOW WHAT?!

Yesterday Jung said we can not change things unless we accept them; now he is telling us that accepting ourselves is terrifying. Why? I don’t know if these quotes are from the same book; I provide the name of the source material whenever it’s provided to me. If we were to follow these quotes in a quasi-logical order (just go with me here for a second) it would be that Jung is supposing that we’d be able to change ourselves once we’d accepted ourselves, but that accepting ourselves is terrifying and hence, change would be unlikely. 

I want a new wagon. Skippy stole my rainbow crayon. Can you drive cars on Jupiter? Pad Thai smells like peanut carrots.

Jung… stick with the program. Don’t make me go all posthumous on your ass.

I think people are better about accepting themselves these days; no. Strike that. We have more anxiety, depression, addiction, suicides, divorces, unwed births, wars, people in nursing homes, sadness, self-mutilation, abuse, murder and isolation and people on this planet than ever before. Plenty of people are terrified of accepting themselves. I just wish I could help.

What a bummer this one turned out to be. Yes, he’s right. People are terrified of self-acceptance, because maybe what they’d see –their impotence, their fragility, their connection– they’d want to change. This feels like mortality to me. Or maybe the contrast of how much we’ve changed from our beginning of being made of light and energy; that once left to our own devices, this is how we’ve turned out. But that assumes that everyone’s miserable.

Is everyone miserable? 

This one’s tough. What do you think? 

Thank you.

 

30 Days of Jung — Day 23: #Change #Growth #Stubborn #Goal #Achievement #Acceptance #Action

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I’m in a mood today. No reason in particular; I just am. So this quote today, which I set up last night (when I was in a good mood) today feels appropriate.

Quick comment: if you’ve been following this series, do check out the comments, they add to the experience and the richness of the concepts. One of my favorite commenters, Wayne, is also a pretty neat guy with a much more robust understanding of psychology than I have. I will write more about the fantastic comments in a post when all of this has wrapped up, but I didn’t want to go another day without reaching out and thanking Wayne, No More Bellyaching, It’s a Dome Life and Razor Blade Brain. Awesome peeps whose comments make me blush with gratitude. Thanks, friends.

Welcome to Day 23 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.

Here is today’s:

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”
― C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

I think I lied when I said I wasn’t aware of the reason for my mood today. No, I know I did. I’m feeling blue, frankly, about my lack of initiative and about taking charge of my life. It’s not because I’m a mother, or because I’m married, or because I’m starting involvement in things that while good for me in a personal development sense, just aren’t part of the path (seemingly) that I want to follow. This mood is a very likely direct consequence of my suppression of dealing with Jung’s quote of yesterday about parents not living their lives and the awesome comments I got from the people I mentioned above who helped me see the brighter, smarter, more mature side of the quote.

I do this to myself. I’ve heard it cleverly referred to as “self sabotage” and while I agree with the use of those words in the sequence they are applied (how’s that for detachment — or is it more likely denial) the things I’m taking on instead of moving forward with My Dream aren’t “bad” things. One of them is definitely a one-night stand that simply won’t get off my couch: The Pampered Chef stuff. In November after a sultry membership meeting at my son’s sports organization, I ran into my old consultant. She’s a great gal: pretty, witty, charming, clever and fun. I’d dabbled with the idea over the years of being a PC consultant because well, I love their stuff and I love to socialize. The thing I hate the most: selling. I have to have a show (sell minimum $150) every other month in order to stay “active” and to keep my “career” sales of nearly $8k from “zeroing out” (I’m not sorry: but do you suddenly zero out Michael Phelps’ golds if he takes a year off? What about Pete Rose? Never mind that, sports trivia is not a specialty).

The point is: “career sales” shouldn’t ever “zero out” — that’s a revisionist history tactic and it frankly irritates the HELL out of me. So, there are plenty of suckers out there who are willing to spend the moolah to get the fancy apron and schlep the (truly excellent) cooking gear around in their minivans. I never did this to win a trip to Cabo (with my kids — are you high?!). I just did it to earn a very meager amount of fun money; but the $2 they take out of my account each month for “insurance” and the mandates to farkoyfn (I have a new favorite yiddish word and it’s not dirty!) their stuff chaps me.

I set out this year (and it’s July now) to do three things: get / begin yoga teacher training certification: in process; run a 5k (with other people around me doing the same thing): I’ve done it several dozens of times alone but I’ll do it in November with the high school crew; and … honestly: it escapes me. Hang on.

I can’t find it. But I’m pretty sure it had something to do with my book. Probably publishing it. I know why I haven’t done anything with it: I’m afraid. Clear and simple. I tell other people all the time, “Go for it! Do it!” but I’m not the best model of … modeling.

So instead, I became a Pampered Chef consultant and secretly hate it; I signed up to be the president of a sports organization that despite its benefit on my personal development and management experience, will likely end up being a bust (I’ll do fine, but … read this): because my son has told me unequivocally, repeatedly and adamantly that he does not intend to return to rowing (which is fine); that his worst most recent day of soccer: trying out in the cold rain for an elite travel team and being told that day as the sweat and steady downpour mixed into rivulets saturating his hair, face, cotton jersey, white mesh Adidas shorts and black polyester socks that he would not be invited back for further tryouts was better than his best day on the water placing first against a top-seeded boat in his class to win that class on a state level. You know what that little bastard had the gall to say to me when I asked him about the tryouts versus that state regatta? “You can’t win if you don’t play, Mom; you taught me that…” That little grabitzfrakin’ quatinakit used MY motto on me. MINE. Shudder.

I have a problem: I’m not a quitter. I think I’m not a quitter. I need a new spin on the “quitter” part. We are all quitters of one thing or another, right? There is no way I’m leaving the rowing group, at least for the first year, unless the situation becomes untenable with torchy and pitchforky parents. But I will bail on the Pampered Chef; it’s like a giant “LOOOOOOSSSSERRRR” sign hanging over my head. If Pampered Chef were blogging, I’d be a ninja. Wait, they’re supposedly invisible right? Maybe I already am…

So yes, back to Jung. “We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”

I accept that I have fear about the book thing.

My fear is that it will suck. That my book will suck. That it will be low; worse than sophomoric, and amateurish; that it will be the literary equivalent to the yucky bile that a feral cat needing dialysis would ack up and leave for a stray dog to eat because there is nothing left in the rusty, perforated, chipped lead-based paint garbage dumpster outside the vine-covered and ash-hazed suburban Detroit Domino’s pizza store of my apocalyptic future. Not even a bag of Cap’n Crunch flakes will be there.

That’s pretty low.

So how do I change that? Hang on.

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I just do. I must change. All the therapy, all the Jung, all the reading other change influences, all the dreaming, all the talking, all the rationalizing, all the fear-facing, fear-announcing, fear-accepting isn’t going to do dick for me unless I actually do something, actually change my … my … attitude.

The world isn’t changed by people who think the same thing all the time; by people who fear their own greatness; by people who wish things were different. The world, my world, your world — no matter how small or how great — isn’t different, isn’t changed, isn’t affected just because we accept something it’s because we do something. It goes back to Jung’s quote about “We are what we do, not what we say we will do.”

I hate it when a dead psychologist is right. No matter how dead he is, I want to punch him.

I know what I need to do: I just need to try, no, Do the thing I said I would. I need to get my content together from the fiction I wrote over the spring and sew it all up and freakin’ publish it on Kindle Direct Publishing to begin to get an idea for how this thing goes.

I didn’t so much sever a relationship with a publishing liaison, I just called it out for what it was. A delightful and charming gal for Balboa Publishing (the self-pub arm of Hay House) and I began a relationship. It was lovely and fun and we were witty and trying hard to curry each others’ favor and she said she’d follow my blog and get to know me, and I said I’d look over the packages they were selling and all that and neither of us did what we said we’d do, but she stayed in touch and it began to feel like the old girlfriend in Wayne’s World who wouldn’t leave Wayne alone and I knew it was all built on false pretenses (she wanted commission from my purchasing a package and I wanted her to read my stuff to get a sense of how I write and who I am but she never did even though she said she would and I made no promises about buying a package) and so I wrote a note about a month ago saying essentially, “let’s let this go for a spell until you have time to read my content and I have a moment to put together my book…” and that was that. I think Louise Hay would admire me for my candor and I know it was the right thing to do, but I feel as though I sabotaged myself a bit even though a smaller, but louder part of me insists I didn’t. It was becoming a little too close for me and my gut said, “this is all plastic. this is all fake, let it go…” and I did and I’m better for it.

So I think these are the changes Jung is talking about.

If we want to lose weight or adopt a healthier lifestyle, we have to really accept that the donut isn’t a wise choice and that the cigarette is not an organic part of breathing. Try the breath without the cigarette — that’s part of yoga, the prana or breath.

If we want better, stronger, healthier relationships we need to stop hanging out with people who drain us. We need to accept, truly, that we are not making smart people choices and do something different, change what we are doing.

It’s all mindfulness and acceptance and personal grace and patience.

I will quit the Pampered Chef, kick him off of my couch.

I will get my act together and put Garret (my fiction) on KDP this month before the yoga retreat starts. That’s my deadline. I just will. Come hell or high water, “ya can’t win if ya don’t play.”

Dammit.

I’ve done a TON of really good things for myself over the course of these 45 years, most of them within the last 20; it’s time I allow myself a little pat on the back for that too, huh? My mood is better.

How about you? What do you need to accept in order to change it?

Thank you.

30 Days of Jung — Day 21: #Feeling #Thinking #Wisdom #Psychology #Jung #Chaos #Chaosaholic #Shame

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Hello! Today is day 21, meaning I’ve been at this for a long enough time to be making it a habit. Did you know that? It takes 21 days to create (or break, which is obvi, also creating, just in different form) a habit. Confession: I’ve not written anything for this series for 21 days straight. I ruefully admit that; if I’d not gone on vacation though I would have. The technological restraints made it next-to-impossible.

Rueful. Hmm. That’s a feeling. Let’s get on with it… writing in the moment for the moment.

Welcome to Day 21 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.

Here is today’s:

“Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.”
― C.G. Jung

I said ‘rueful’ above. I know what it means and I meant it. ‘There is no conflict between thinking and feeling.’ Where is the wisdom in my situation right now? Oh, it’s there alright; it’s just being ignored because I sense I’d rather (which I really can’t believe, but yet I can due to my unconscious penchant for chaos) get down on myself for not doing something for 21 days in a row because it was nigh impossible technologically.

Some, Jung for instance, might even go so far as to suggest that I chose to begin this theme, “30 Days of Jung” with my vacation in the midst of it (truly in the midst now that I think about it) because I knew it would be impossible and that I knew it would cause myself some angst and then I could beat myself up about not actually writing about Jung for 30 days continuously and then I could then challenge myself to do the impossible again which is to write about it during my upcoming yoga teacher training retreat.

A wise chaosaholic, such as myself, would further suggest that I’ve added on that task so that I could create more drama and problems for myself which could then distract me from getting even more proactive things done and effecting healthy behaviors.

I hate that wise chaosaholic. She’s always right. The wisdom in her knows the limitations were there and that despite those limitations, the posts were written or seemingly written daily for anyone who is following them and regardless of whether or not I was writing them every day, they were certainly on my mind, percolating every day.

But then there’s the skeptic (active chaosaholic) in me who says, “That’s just an illusion; you weren’t really writing those every day… sometimes you wrote three in one day… that’s cheating.”

Like any normal person, I turn into the wise recovering chaosaholic in me and say, “Shut the hell up. You’re just beating yourself up. What matters is What Matters, and this little argument doesn’t matter. You prepared for the vacation, you put the quotes on your reading list to access offline, you read the quotes, you thought about them, you ‘whateverized’ them and they showed up. The rest is details. The fact is: you got this done on time and in time on ‘on budget’; don’t listen to the pot-stirrer, little Miss S-disturber. You rocked it. This is beyond ‘good enough’; you’re honoring the commitment you made and you’re doing it. Whether you’re writing every day isn’t the issue; you’re thinking more about deep stuff in 30 days than most people do in a lifetime and that is Work.”

So I win. The wise recovering chaosaholic reigns and the conflict between thinking and feeling is neutralized.

Do you do this to yourself? Do you have loved ones who do it to themselves? This negative self-talk that can take up an entire day or for some an entire lifetime and then we cycle back with guilt and then shame for the guilt and then we do something irrational (meaning unrelated) to move on from it?

On the way back from Canada, we listened to The Little Prince on CD. This year marks the book’s 70th anniversary. It was read by the amazing Viggo Mortensen, who does such an enviable job of getting into the Little Prince’s mind and thoughts and feelings. I remember seeing the book at my aunt’s house as a child and thinking it was for boys, so I never got interested in it. But now, having three boys as a mother, when I saw the copy at the Barnes & Noble (sorry, no indie bookstores near me) I scooped it up.

There’s a part in the book where the little prince visits seven planets and each one was inhabited by at least one man whom he happened to meet. All the men on the planets seemingly represented by the seven deadly sins and the one that kept striking me throughout the story was the “drunkard” (who probably represented gluttony); which “plunged the little prince into a deep depression.”

“What are you doing there?” he asked the drunkard, whom he found sitting in silence before a collection of empty bottles and a collection of full ones.
“Drinking” replied the drunkard, with a gloomy expression.
“Why are you drinking?” the little prince asked.
“To forget,” replied the drunkard.
“To forget what?” inquired the little prince, who was already beginning to feel sorry for him.
“To forget that I’m ashamed,” confessed the drunkard, hanging his head.
“What are you ashamed of?” inquired the little prince, who wanted to help.
“Of drinking!” concluded the drunkard, withdrawing into silence for good. And the little prince went on his way, puzzled.

I think this attracted me so much because I know that shame. I know that feeling of hopelessness and sadness and the need to ‘forget.’ But this quote of Jung’s, about wisdom tells me this: don’t try to forget. Try to learn from what you are ashamed of, try to learn from the feeling of shame and sit with it and honestly ask yourself, as the little prince did, “why are you trying to forget it?” Instead: turn into it, pick it apart and examine all its folds and in those folds we will see things we hadn’t before; we will have a truer understanding of what makes us tick. We will have wisdom.

Thank you.

ps – I was afraid of this quote when I looked at it last night; I was afraid I’d not be able to do it justice. But as usual, it wrote itself today. The vacation was good. I will try to remember this post for awhile. Staying in a place of shame because of the standards we brace ourselves against certainly doesn’t help us forget it. And forgetting does us no good; we can’t learn.