I’m reading a book these days called “Your name and other heresies” by a Romanian writer, Ilinca Bernea. At some point in the beginning she talks about what makes a woman ugly:
“What is ugliness? It is something that happens to you. You are told: you are a smart girl, since you are small you are conditioned, like a lab rat, to be a prizewinning pupil and to despise all the airs and frills of a woman. For once. It is the way others see you by dint of what you were programed to convey. It is the way you come to see yourself through the self education you got from the outside. It is a blend of shyness, inhibition and shame of your own image and physical identity.” […] “To resume: ugliness is taming”
And I was wondering how many women feel like that? How many of us have been told in childhood or early adolescence that we are not beautiful, but we are kind, or smart or whatever. Bottom line, we are not beautiful. There is no sense in pursuing Continue reading “Free from the box”
Djuna Barnes said: “A man is whole only when he takes into account his shadow” and C. G. Jung said: “I’d rather be whole then good.” He is also the one to talk about the shadow, a term Jung introduced in psychology to designate the unconscious aspect of the personality, “the thing a person has no wish to be”. To put it plain and simple, while we might hate things like being greedy, lazy, aggressive, seductive, manipulating, toad-eating etc, we are most likely to have those very things lurking around inside of us, but we keep them very well guarded and don’t allow them to manifest. Or so we think.
For a very long time I loathed manipulation and thought I did my best to avoid doing it. I hated lies and thought of myself to be one of the most honest people I know. I played the role of the savior for victims and thought I hated the aggressor. These are just a few of the things that come to my mind regarding how I saw myself and the image I had about myself. Then I went into therapy, and in the past 2 years and a half I have discovered what Jung would call the shadow. Further more, I have discovered I cannot be whole, I can not be really myself until I come to recognize and accept all these things as a part of myself. Yes I do lie sometimes and I do cut corners; yes, I do manipulate – less now that I am conscious of doing it – and yes I am just as bad as the aggressor when I jump to the rescue of a victim, because I place her in a position of inferiority, acting as if I know better for her, therefor annulling the person that is the victim.
You know the pink elephant in the room? Well, it’s there whether we like it or not. As long as we are going to ignore Continue reading “As whole as we can”
At one point in my life there was this elsewhere that started sounding so promising. Elsewhere was a place where I could find my dream. It was the place where I could do whatever needed to be done to fulfill my dream. Elsewhere was a place where I would feel useful. Or a place where I could start over, a place where no one knows me giving me the chance to be who I really am. Or the place I could go to just be someone else. Elsewhere was always this magical place that is not here where I felt stuck. Here where I felt like I was hitting a wall no matter where I turned, here where there was nothing new to do, no one new to meet.
I tried running to this elsewhere. Whether it was a different town or a whole different country. It was all good because of the novelty of the place, but it kept me hooked on the outside, so what I needed to find about myself, or become, or change within me, I could not do it. I felt just as stuck. Maybe even more. The walls transformed into language barrier, culture barrier, not knowing the place, not knowing where to start anything that I would have wanted to do. It was all very beautiful, exciting and very alien.
But there was something else that all these “eslewheres” gave me. I didn’t find myself, I din’t find my dream and did not suddenly transform into a whole new person. But instead I learned Continue reading “The magical place of Elsewhere”