At the age of ten I dreamed my hero, the Lone Ranger, shot me. This big dream was more real than any other I’ve ever had. I was devastated to think he hated me so much he wanted to kill me and I couldn’t understand why. I had practically worshiped him, his beautiful horse Silver, and his trusty partner Tonto; yet he shot me! The injustice of this was intolerable!
In 1997 four other women and I formed an organization we called The Matrix. Our purpose was to discover, define, and address what is valuable in the lives of women. Having experienced many benefits from engaging in personal rituals, it was important to me to find concrete and memorable ways to express our hopes and desires for the Matrix — for example, to devise meaningful programs, to relate honestly, to work in harmony with one another, and to help women create connections with their own deep wells of wisdom — and so I created rituals for each meeting as well as the events we produced.
Today we’re on our way back to the mountains for a cooler, kinder summer. Our car is filled with various essentials, (my clothes mostly!), and carries an equally stuffed “pod” on the roof. But this year the back seat is not occupied by Bear, my best golden retriever friend who snoozed there on our annual treks for many years, or by the hanging rod with my clothes, but, for the first time, by our two granddaughters.
Last week my husband and I took our son Matt and his wife Robyn with us to a Kris Kristofferson concert. The venue, an old movie theater-turned-concert hall, was so intimate that as we were leaving Robyn said, “I feel like I’ve just been hanging out with him in the living room.”
I’m at my desk reading the Goethe quote on my coffee mug: “Nothing is worth more than this day.” I feel the truth of this deeply, but wonder if I really understand it or can express it adequately. I want to try.
To the ego it sometimes feels crucial that we get the facts right, possess the “correct” interpretation — especially the religious one — and reject the “wrong” one. But to the soul, these details are beside the point. To your soul and mine, this story is a celebration of the sacred miracle of life, and all three interpretations are equally true.
Carl Jung said, “Within each one of us there is another whom we do not know. S/He speaks to us in dreams…” This Another is our unconscious, a mixture of unknown inner characters, complexes, untapped interests and disowned emotions. At an early age our ego adapted to the life into which we were born by incorporating the tastiest of these tidbits into our conscious personality and neglecting the rest.
I’ve been trying to understand myself for most of my adult life. I first became aware of this idiosyncracy in college. One day I was in the library browsing through the psychology section and came upon a book about personality types. I was as thrilled as if I had discovered a treasure map. Or the key to the weathered door of a mysterious hidden garden. Or the holy grail!
Last time I described two steps toward healing the masculine and feminine aspects of the soul. In this post I’ll address two more that can transform your inner invalids into empowered Kings and Queens.
In the West we tend to think of a healthy animus as the part of us with the strength, drive, motivation, self-discipline, and courage to peel away the layers hiding the Self’s light, and we recognize him in the temptation to risk letting that light shine through until we are transparent in our uniqueness.