I want to be safe. I am hurting, and I want that to stop. The ways I have tried- rationality, finding out the rules and following them, always being perfect- have not worked, and still there is the terrified child.
Will speaking from the heart achieve what I want? I don’t know, but the child’s judgment is quick and angry, especially when I am feeling hurt. I should not take it too seriously. It latches onto any idea it can use to beat me up. So, “I am addicted to drama”. No, I am not. I want quiet, though I also want people’s attention. If I do not seek it in the way best calculated to give me lasting happiness, I seek it as best I may.
So, as I cannot now write my own clear psychophysiology of ego, heart, soul, inner child and the rest and their precise relationships, here are some quotes.
Carl Jung: “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” I got that from facebook, and have not found the context. I created a deeply unhealthy ego and was repressed behind a shell. Then it cracked, and I stopped functioning. I am going inward, but a healthy ego would be nice.
For Freud, under the ego is the Id, a monster of emotions which needs to be firmly held down. For Jung, and Richard Rohr commenting on him, under the ego is your real purpose, identity, true self or soul. It is the Quakers’ “that of God”. James Baldwin has quotes to join with Freud: “We cannot ask, What do we really feel? Such a question merely opens the gates on chaos”.
And, “The man does not remember the hand that struck him, the darkness that frightened him, as a child; nevertheless, the hand and the darkness remain with him, indivisible from himself forever, part of the passion that drives him wherever he thinks to take flight.” Baldwin was a young man, writing about the anger and fear leading white America to oppress Black people. We are always our conditioning, always old feelings about situations that ended long ago constraining our choices, little more than the sum of our triggers.
That shows the problem of taking quotes. This is the same man who wrote of the existentialist challenge to create onesself. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere between these extremes.
More Jung, then, from the CG Jung Foundation’s twitter:
“The difference between the ‘natural’ individuation process, which runs its course unconsciously, and the one that is consciously realized is tremendous. In the first case, consciousness nowhere intervenes… the end remains as dark as the beginning. In the second case, so much darkness comes to light that the personality is permeated with light and consciousness necessarily gains in scope and insight.”
The inner critic/terrified child always finds the worst possible interpretation. It thinks me weak, useless, and deluded. It suggests I never individuated. The shell was made for me by my mother from her own expectations. Finding the inner light is a project for after teenage: first I need to find my own ego. However I have more life experience than most teenagers. I am analysing though rationality is insufficient for this task, but I am also feeling it, and trying to put it into words.
In ministry, someone paraphrased Isaac Penington: Adam and Eve made a mistake: they chose knowledge of Good and Evil over direct communion with God. They saw that they were naked, and we know it is good to be clothed. Well, I do not want my inner light to tell me I should be naked. Old people sometimes become disinhibited: I read behaviour sheets when I should merely have scanned them. Aged resident says to long-suffering careworker, “I am so hard for you right now”. Then the notes record laboriously what the consequences were.
I am a sexual being, having felt asexual most of this century.
What do I feel, now? I am “upset”- this is not a feeling, but a state where various feelings produce discomfort. I am sad and frustrated. There was a chance to connect, and then there wasn’t. I oscillate between “It’s all my fault” and “It’s all their fault,” avoiding the pain of unknowing. Long past hurt mingles with recent hurt until I cannot differentiate them. As I always do when hurt, I get angry with myself.
Sadness was an inadmissible emotion. Don’t cry. Don’t be sad. I feel angry with myself, because I am sad. I suppress my sadness and it curdles into unconscious misery. My anger at myself because of that sadness hurts. I want the sadness to stop. I want the anger to stop. Anger outwards and angry behaviour is less noticeable to me, because I am more concerned with the sadness and inwardly directed anger. The anger is a blockage, suppressing the underlying sadness from consciousness, preventing it being processed. I will feel my sadness.