At one time, I was advised to read the teachings of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, and his thoughts on relationships. Despite the fact that he was born in the 1870s, the man knows what he’s talking about.
He’s big on projection – that often what we don’t like in others is a direct reflection of what we don’t like in ourselves. He calls this our Shadow – when we over-react emotionally to people who have a quality that we don’t like, we are seeing a part of our own Shadow. Only when two people who trust enough to be vulnerable and are committed to each other, can they help each other see their Shadow – and thus bring about in each other a more cohesive sense of Self.
He also says that “We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. “ It’s about taking responsibility for our lives – our choices, and the circumstances we blame on others. As I watched my family in my new apartment today, tape measures in hand and surveying possible furniture positions, I stood back and was forced to ask myself…“I am 31, moving away from what I know and love, with the most important relationship of my life now ended…How did I get here, at this moment?”
It’s a difficult thing, to change our attitude from blame to responsibility. Especially in such times of overwhelming, drowning sadness. But I know that this end didn’t come from one man’s faults and commitment issues. It came from my volatile reaction to those, and a lot of my own previous insecurities, problems, and projections. Maybe one of these days, I’ll understand it all. But I don’t think I’ll ever understand why he felt we couldn’t help each other see our Shadows. We were so close.