Saturday, February 27, 2016
"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." – Carl Jung
I experienced a tremendous shift in my own growth in the last few months. I shifted the focus of my exploration. I no longer spend any time in therapy speaking about my feelings about the people from my family of origin. I was consumed with that about two years ago. Instead I am looking inside myself and exploring how I feel about myself. And I clearly see that I can be very hard on myself.
As I shifted my gaze I began to feel mortified by what I was discovering. I began feeling that my own behavior in regards to my family of origin resembled that of a battered spouse who repeatedly goes back to an abusive partner - and then experiences yet another dose of abuse and horror. I found myself understanding that my own behavior for so long had resembled such a cycle of ongoing harm.
I felt really horrible as it dawned on me how much my desire to be loved and cared for was prompting me to tolerate the inappropriate, unkind and abusive behavior of people from my family of origin.
For far too long I have lived a life with a very coarse voice inside my own head. I feel I see an aspect of the imbalance in my own earliest years of life very clearly now. My upbringing led me to internalize a much too stern, authoritarian voice inside my head. I developed a capacity to be extremely critical and harsh. Though I did experience some genuine nurturing in my childhood that influence was relatively weak. And so I have come to realize that I need more...gentleness.
A therapist I once worked with articulated the following wisdom to me: We often treat our bodies in a manner quite identical to how our family of origin treated us. People who treat themselves in harsh and abusive ways thus tend to have grown up in harsh and abusive environments. It's quite sobering to ponder really. This wisdom suggests that early life conditioning is indeed a very powerful influence on who we later become.
I feel fortunate to have developed the insight I have developed over these last few years. As I continue to transform my life I feel more and more optimistic that I can create a good future for myself.