What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate. (Carl Jung)
The symptoms we bring to therapy – stuckness, sadness, a general dissatisfaction with ourselves or our relationships — are not random. They have meaning, specific to who we are and what has happened to us in our life.
What many of us have learned to label “fate” is often a decision we have made that is outside our awareness. We have little choice over our actions and reactions when we don’t understand their origins and what function they serve.
Therapy can be a helpful resource in being able to focus on the parts of ourselves that we learned to manage by avoiding or denying, that are no longer part of our conscious selves. The shamed parts: Big boys/girls don’t behave like that! The frightened parts: I’ll give you something to complain about! The lost or abandoned parts: Don’t come out of your room until you can behave!
In protecting ourselves from knowing just how hurt, scared or abandoned those parts of us really feel, we may develop ways of thinking about ourselves that become our “reality,” a reality we eventually need to move on from if we are going to have rich, fulfilling lives.
It is tempting, for example, when we feel hopeless or helpless, to say “that’s just the way things are.” If we can find a way to reconnect with the vulnerable feelings that lie underneath “the way things are,” we may be able to get to the many resources and choices we have now as adults that we didn’t have as children.
Consciousness is the route to escaping “fate” by daring to find out who we really are in the present, behind the mask we may have created to please the people who influenced us the most.