In my words:
Moving in circles,
Never change their course,
And always change.
Or in Bette Midler's words:
For all, all the times you closed your eyes,
Allowing me to stumble or to be surprised,
By life, with all its twists and turns.
Our moods are friends helping us get a better sense of our needs and fears. A certain mood may lead us to understanding, if we get in touch with the child who experienced that mood while growing up.
A few years ago, I went to see a magnificent production of the opera “The Damnation of Faust.” I was fascinated by the music, the voices, and the advanced technologies used in the production.
At some point – halfway an aria – one of the stage curtains got stuck. (Life happens!) In one area of the stage one could see Faust and Mephistopheles singing to each other, while in another area production people were working with the curtain, pulling it down, trying to make it fall into its place. (It was not supposed to be comedy, and yet, we laughed.) To make things worse, dancers and choir were running from one side to the other as they prepared for the next scene. The magic of theater and opera was lost, not because a curtain got stuck, but because light was shining there where darkness was supposed to help prepare the way for us to enter into a new movement in the story.
We are afraid of the dark. We are lost in the dark.
And yet ... it's darkness what brings us to therapy.
I said ... let the dark come upon you...
As, in a theatre.
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away--
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
- T.S. Eliot
Let darkness - the not knowing, the not understanding, the challenges of the present moment, the broken relationships, the stories of the past, the fears of the future - help you prepare for the next stage in your life.
Today, I found and read some of the letters Sigmund Freud sent to his friend, Eduard Silberstein. They studied together in secondary school and were very close to each other. In one of the letters, Freud writes:
Without hands you cannot grasp
and without a [chest] you cannot [embrace]
and without eyes you cannot see
and without truth you cannot love!
What strikes me is the last line of the quatrain, "and without truth you cannot love!" I could go into the rabbit hole about the term "truth," but my initial association is to "authenticity." Another association is to a statement by Lacan, who I paraphrase: a demand to be heard is a demand to be loved.
As a psychoanalyst, when I listen to my patients, I hear their hope for love, and I am reminded that love cannot be offered unless I am authentic.
Daedalus, the Master Inventor, and his son Icarus were prisoners in an island. In order to escape, Daedalus created wings using feathers and wax. Daedalus advised his son not to fly too close to the sun for the heat would melt the wax. Similarly, Daedalus advised Icarus not to fly too close to the ocean because the humidity would put a weight on the wings and bring him down. Icarus paid no attention to his wise father. Life balance is found in neither flying to high (excessive pride) nor too low (complacency).
Some individuals are trapped in a past with unresolved stories and loss. Many find it difficult to mourn what has been lost, or let go of what cannot be undone or changed. The lingering sadness some people experience in the present may have its roots in that past that will never come back ... except that it - the past - comes back into the present, again and again, as emotional energy is not invested or attached to new relationships and/or new opportunities in life.
Other individuals are trapped in a future that has not happened yet... except that it - the future - is already happening in some corners of their minds, sometimes out of their awareness. Many find it difficult to live in the present moment as they fear something in the future will undo, shatter, destroy what is enjoyed today. These individuals are on guard, preparing, and the lingering anxiety they experience in the present may have its roots in this fear of a story that has not unfolded yet.
The therapeutic process is, in part, about making peace with the past and the future.
We all have fantasies that save us ... save us from loneliness, from fears of being forgotten, from emotional annihilation, from dissolving into the nothingness or falling into the abyss.
"Psychoanalysis seeks to enable the [individual's] emancipation, meaning that the [individual] should be free in [their] thinking, in [their] actions by recognizing and knowing unconscious motives that affect [their] choice of partner, in relationships, in professional life. It enables a certain freedom." - Sabine Schreckenthaler. (Watch the video below; 6:40 sec to 7:20 sec.)
I am a Psychoanalyst with ample experience working with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, and family structures.
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