Ghost of the Past

Have you ever felt compromised, maybe even lured away from your true self?

“You meet me in the dark alleyways when I am lost.  Twisting and turning, you seduce me when I am low and can’t find my way.  You lure me with false promises of hope and fantasy.  When I give in to you, you control me.  When I hand over my power to you, you have won me over.  You bind me with a thousand layers of crystallized dust until the point that I am so blind I have no choice but to see…but only what you want me to see.

You are not there when I am riding the top of the wave, strong in my authentic voice and feminine self-confidence.  Instead you lurk in the shadows, drawing me out and coaxing me to come near, just so you can have the thrill of manipulating me further.  You capture my loyalty and my trust, too easily surrendered when I am vulnerable.

You lead me astray when I can’t see straight, and are shockingly cruel when you take over my thoughts.  You take me to the point of surrender, where in that moment you become my lifeline.  Then just as you have what you want you betray me by abandoning me…pulling further away into the darkness.  Beckoning me to chase you as if that were my own idea not yours.

I follow you no more.  I am on to you.  No longer your victim, I pull myself away and take myself back into my own hands.  The angels and saints are on my side and they help me reclaim my wise feminine voice.  I imagine you as the devil’s minion.  In this role you are against me.  Though you would persuade me with your gaze I decline, as I wish to know myself inside and out.  Turning away from you I pursue myself.  As I pursue myself there is a chorus of cherubim waiting to assist me.  I let them help as I work my way back to myself.

Coming back to myself is really coming home.  You see I love myself more than I think I love you.”  (A fictitious woman speaking to her animus)

I wrote the above to illustrate how a woman might feel about what Jungians would call her shadow side, or even her unconscious masculine, a.k.a. her animus. Other psychotherapists might describe it as how a woman feels when she is caught up in an addiction (to alcohol, food, sex or drugs), or love obsessed behaviors, in a relationship with a narcissist, experiencing anxiety, depression or anything else that feels toxic and self-defeating.  The identifying pattern here is that something unconscious or seemingly negative takes over and holds the “Self “ captive while the woman behaves in self-destructive ways.

Writing from a Jungian perspective, sometimes we are led down a path that to others appears toxic but in truth has the power to set us free…if we are able to extricate ourselves and learn from it.  Just like in homeopathy, sometimes the poison in the symptom is actually what heals us.

If you are a woman reading this and you can relate to the above passage in purple, chances are you are feeling stuck, hopeless, overwhelmed or exhausted in your life.  If that is true for you, I am writing to offer you a sense of hope from what I know to be true.  Often, working with your dreams and journaling can help you understand the negative patterns that are holding you hostage in a place you don’t like.  When you are held hostage you often feel like you have no influence over your situation, but in truth you have much more sway than you realize.

Think of things this way:  you are the one who made the choices (albeit unconsciously) that took you down this path in the first place.  Which means that you are also the one who can make new/different choices to remove yourself from this path.  I mean this in the most compassionate way:  no shame, blame, or criticism here.  This truth means that through the power of your own decision, you can take a stand, pivot and course correct.  And that is good news because it means that you have the power to free your own self.

I am not promising that this process will be easy or comfortable, in fact it most likely will not be.  What I can promise is that it will be worth it to take your power back and come home to who you were born to be, with full use of all your talents and inner wisdom to guide you down the path.

I have been helping guide women through this process for fifteen years.  Though there are patterns/similarities I find that each person’s way of finding her way home is individual and unique. Most women report that they feel more hopeful, energized and empowered as a result of our work together.

 If you would like my assistance to reconnect with your true self, please contact me.