One of Jung’s most famous declarations is “I’d rather be whole than good.” Owning all of ourselves (the good with bad) brings us to a state of wholeness.
So my Ash Wednesday was a day of reflective contemplation. It was in the moment of silence that I learned that loneliness is a gift God gives me to leave open the wound that needed deeper healing. “Hey God, when will this end? Couldn’t you just fix everything and let me get thought was fixed, but it’s been dormant for a while.” Psychologists tell us that the true self (the part of us that is not programmed to perform for acceptance, love and applause) is negotiated and renegotiated throughout our lives. In this I take comfort in my own search for wholeness.
I have found that sometimes healing comes in a form the senses are ready to detect. Most of the time, we are unconscious of our pain so to survive. Wednesday I was ready to deal with loneliness. I was emotionally ready to face the pain of loneliness. I’ve been denying it for so long by escaping to books, books, books, and movies, movies, and more movies. Today is the Day after Ash Wednesday. I have learned that the more we fail to achieve the wholeness that leads to ethical maturity, the more our projections become the hatred, blame, judgments, and criticisms that we put on others. Projections are basically our anxieties, our fears, and our shame that can be too much for us to take so we spit them on others to relieve ourselves. The fact that projections are unconscious and involuntary does not t them benign or caring. They are more dangerous because they are unconscious. They are usually dishonest and dangerous. When tracking projections, the thing to pay attention to is energy. It takes energy to keep some undesirable part of myself out of my consciousness. It is as if I have built a dam around some part of my energy to contain it. Deceit is part of survival. We concealed our true self in order to get our needs met. Over the years our deceit becomes unconscious. This may be what Dostoyevsky meant when he said, “that lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.”
Projections, also known as “Pointing our fingers on others” is the basic root of fanaticism –prejudice, discrimination, and intolerance.
I suppose one can begin to recognize her projections by recognizing his or her fears and anxieties. What makes you nervous? What are you worried about? …are you afraid of death, accident, or insignificance? …your child on drugs, is your teenage daughter pregnant…or your daughter’s marriage on the rocks? The list is long.
Accepting our most disliked, despised, rejected parts is equivalent to loving every part of ourselves. Many people find it hard to accept their most unattractive and despised parts primarily because we have been taught to accept our polarized, righteous “good” self. For example, “I should not be lonely. How can I be lonely? I am beloved child of God and HE will never, never leave me nor forsake me and quote the book, the chapter, and the verse in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. It reminds me of Saint Augustine’s warning: “Woe to them that speak of God.” The truth is I need people. I miss my friends and I miss my daughter and my grandchildren. I want to go see a movie with them, eat popcorn and drink Pepsi cola, laugh or cry together and just be… nothing to prove, nothing to show, nothing to fear, just being together – in each other’s presence even reading our books silently… We don’t have to fill the air with noise to appreciate each other.
It seems lately that here in the land on the sea, death calls togetherness and to bring your offerings – to worship the dead?