Life through a Lens
A Family Is Like a Garden, a family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.
We are all born into a family whether that be a one parent, two parents, same sex parents, siblings, no sibling extended family, grandparents, adopted or fostered. We all start our journey with some sort of family who take care of us; for better or worse!
Human babies need to be kept safe and secure for at least the first 18 years of life (although a teenager will tell you different) cared for, loved and nurtured by our care givers and perhaps still need support beyond as we become a young adult. If we are nurtured and treated with loving care then we grow up into balanced, emotionally intelligent adults.
Along with nurturing our bodies our mind is guided, as a child we all need to be taught what emotions are when we experience them, how to regulate our emotions, that emotions are neither good or bad but useful to us as a human being. Not only for survival but for wonder, awe, joy and love, to protect us from harm. To help us understand what it is to be a complete, unique and individual human being! Meeting all our own needs or having them met!
As a child I can't remember anyone, my care givers, teachers or Vicars, neighbour or country men or woman talking about emotions; let alone teaching me how to regulate or use them for mine or others benefit. Children were seen not heard and told what to do! We weren't taught how to think, evaluate or question what was, just expected to do, locked into the adults way of life. I'd never heard of words such as emotional IQ, autonomy, choice, value-judgment!
Daniel Goleman made the term 'emotional intelligence' popular in his book "Emotional Intelligence and why it matters more than IQ". His voyage was to guide us all on what emotions are for and to use them to our benefit.
When psychologists speak of emotions and Emotional Intelligence they mean – “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey & Mayer 1990).
It is apparent to me now as an adult emotions are very important to us and if we are not focused upon them in a beneficial way they can and do cause chaoes for us in our inner world and how we live our life outwardly. Emotional intelligence is just that intelligent and separate from our intellect in my experience; our emotional intelligence is equally as beneficial to us as our intellect is to living in the world!
Some of the most profound words I've read over the years were said by Erik Erikson a psychologist
"Babies control and bring up their families as much as they are controlled by them; in fact ... the family brings up baby by being brought up by him". Erik H. Erikson (1993). “Childhood and Society”, p.69, W. W. Norton & Company
That's a sobering thought isn't it - we are all brought up by the babies in our live! Many psychologists including Erikson, Freud, Bowlby, Jung, Winnicott, Ainsworth and a whole host of others believe our psychological and emotional patterns are set by the time we are around eight years old, if we never explore or challenge our emotions from that time on we live out our emotional patterns, throughout our living.
With that philosophy - We are all being driven by our inner child …. imagine that!
We can only pass on what we know, how we see the world we live in, painful emotions weigh us down, make us miserable and stunt our curious adventure through life. When we don't heal from the negative happenings as we travel then the negative accumulates and we become unhealthy in mind, body and soul. As such are we really being our true self? The self that is? Or the self that was? We numb and mask our real and authentic self and live a life of pretence, busy our mind with detriment, it can't switch off, resulting in sleepless nights, travelling at ninety miles an hour but going nowhere, only covering over, layering upon layers and sugar coating real needs with addictions, unhealthy coping patterns, anxieties and defensiveness. It really is OK to have wants, needs, wishes, dreams and desires it's human nature, yet with all that busyness, harmonious relationships aren't abound, especially the relationship with our self!
What still resonates with me here and now as it did at the beginning of my maiden voyage are the words of Carl Jung
"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
For those wanting to understand more of Carl Jung' works read Memories, Dreams and Reflections, The Essential Jung or Modern Man in Search of a Soul.
One of the books that changed my unhealthy life and had a profound effect on my journey
Jung to Live By ... Eugene Pascal
who explains Jung's work in easy to understand text!
This has been my quest from that time forwards; since fate is restricting, defensive and barren; after a great deal of explorations, reflection, pain and untangling confusion my emotional world is connected, enriched, balanced and flows with the way I choose to live - The journey was turbulent and at times I felt like giving up but it was emotionally and mentally healthy in the long run to transcend that which was and create a Self that has deep meaning, awareness and connection. A sense of self, transparent belongs to me an internal locus of evaluation not external, as the explorations are known in humanistic terms; no longer held behind my fortress walls.
Transcended all I was, as A.A. Milne' Winnie the Pooh said "Life is a journey to be experienced not a problem to be solved" the answer to the question piglet asked was very simply profound ….." Pooh, how do you spell 'love'?, well "you don't …. you feel it" said Pooh..... a very wise and aware bear!
Feelings enrich our life, if we let them, but us human's have a tendency to hone in on the negative. The experience of living is complicated by us, as an individual we can be our own worst enemy in my experience and experiencing. We actually make our own lives more complicated than they need be, if we enlist our emotions with a different perspective our horizon can become so much more, life becomes so much more simple, balanced and peaceful!
We all started out in relationship to others, it stands to reason that relationships offers us the most challenges in our living whether that be a relationship with another person, in relation to objects, a situation, a desire or wish or within the relationship we have with our Self.
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change."
Said Carl Rogers, this might for many of us be a difficult concept to think since if we don't accept ourselves how we are at any given time …. what could it mean to us as an individual?
We live our life through our own lens, we create meaning, beliefs, so the way we live our life runs smooth, sometimes living goes all awry and we find ourselves at the bottom of a pit at worst or off balance, stuck, defensive or on a cake walk being shook back and forth or stunted still not moving at all. I believe we can all learn, we can teach an old dog new tricks if s/he wants, makes that choice for self.
I've learnt as I go through my life, the journey to finding peace and contentment, was and is as much about unlearning what I've learnt, disconnecting, letting go before learning and connecting to my inner self at the deepest levels. Becoming aware of the why and how others and I do things, how we behave, think and what feelings I can name and claim what are, named and claimed, and letting go of the outdated and no longer working for the person I've become. I made the healing bigger than the problems, before rejuvenating, grew down to grow up, levelled out for a while before developing and going forwards. Stopped the erratic swing of my pendulum to and fro the opposites, integrating all that I am, not as a be all and end all since life is an on-going adventure; always something new to learn, experience and perceive afresh. But creating equilibrium, balance the forces within and create an enriched way of being who walks from a base of peace and contentment.
The one thing in life which is constant is change and change is inevitable, we either go with the flow, stay stagnant or struggle against it, we are conscious beings who have authentic power to create our own meaning and belief systems. Change takes time and effort but is very possible one step at a time, start from where you are in the here and now once we're on that roll its hard to stop because the benefits are profound and healthy addictive.
All that is in the world is energy and the human is no different we are energetic systems which flow, get blocked or stay stuck; if we choose to undertake the Individuation process we learn to become all that which we can become; we also learn how to self-regulate our psyche energies, tame the furious unknown, the unhealthy patterns on automatic pilot, the energy sappers and reveal to our self all that we are capable of being. Once this has been achieved you'll be surprised at how much more energy and spare emotional capacity you have available to enjoy your life and living in the here and now.
The only real true equalizer in life is the bell toils for us all; after we are born there is nothing so sure that one day we will all die, we don't know that day, hour or minute; it would be a missed adventure if we don't all live before we breath our last. Don't just live in your comfort zone break out once in a while!
Life isn't a rehearsal; as an individual make your life count and enjoy it all. If you look inwards and don't like what you find then as a conscious being you have a choice to change, transcend and reach for and achieve your individual fullest potential - and who wouldn't want that!
Love your life
This has been life through my lens looking out at my vista
What do you see? What's on your horizon?
If you need healing lets make your healing
bigger than the problem!
Contact me today to explore your life, integrate, past into present and put your sights firmly on your horizon!