LISTEN FEEL FOLLOW FIND
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you’. Maya Angelou
By Frederick Buechner
From Lecture To A Book of The Month Club
Maybe it’s all unutterably meaningful.
If you want to know which,
pay attention to
what it means to be truly human
in a world that half the time
we’re in love with
and half the time
scares the hell out of us…
The good dream.
The strange coincidence.
The moment that brings tears to your eyes.
The person who brings life to your life.
The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell
‘We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the centre of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world’.
Therapy is first and foremost a journey towards becoming more whole, which means truly sitting with ourselves and all aspects of our experience.
Within a supportive relationship, we have the chance to be curious about our fears, concerns, doubts, worries, hopes and dreams with someone independent of and unconnected to the pressures of our day to day lives.
Through our explorations we give ourselves the opportunity to discover what may be preventing us from living a more fulfilling and nourishing life, thereby freeing ourselves to pursue what truly matters. This means, that like the diver going into the depths of the sea, it can be worth investigating our own interior worlds to discover what really motivates us. When C G Jung says we do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious, he is referring to the need to expand our awareness to include that which we have learnt should not be seen. Instead of a wilful effort to conquer our fear or pain by moving away from these states, we may find that if we allow a gentle opening towards them, our fear of the feeling can dissolve, we can discover something new and restore trust in our inherent resilience.
Therapy offers an interpersonal relationship to support us to explore and understand our problems in living, and to aid us in realising our full potential. It is a process whereby our struggles, uncomfortable sensations and feelings may all be understood as unopened letters to ourselves, as messages asking for understanding and then integration or change.
When we deny certain aspects of ourselves and push away feelings we are afraid of, we become increasingly separated from our natural vitality and the feeling of being at home in our bodies.
Through reflection and the focusing of awareness we can understand events, patterns and themes in our lives in such a way as to increase insight, release painful experience and expand our ability to respond rather than react to life’s challenges and opportunities.
When we recognise where we have developed fixed attitudes towards ourselves and others, we can come to realise that such patterns are keeping us imprisoned and are no longer necessary, even though they may once have been a useful way to protect ourselves from pain. We can then move towards living in a more contented and harmonious way, more in accord with ourselves and others.
’Neuroscience research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning to befriend what is going on inside’
As we learn to trust ourselves and realign ourselves to our innermost truth, life becomes, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, a great adventure; a mystery to be lived, rather than a problem to be solved.
For A New Beginning – John O’Donohue
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.