“[T]he woman of your choice represents your own task you did not understand…”

10435979_946529865387071_546207751560709670_nI bet you are wondering how this statement has anything to do with depression or mental health issues.  Well, if you dont know, my assertion is that almost all mental health issues are really emotional health issues.  Emotional health is about my ability to transcend the conflicts, those unresolved deep seated emotional conflicts, that persist below the level of my consciousness, that can at times strongly influence my conscious life.  The unconscious, since I am not aware of it, can’t be resolved, in my opinion, by thinking.   We may be able to arrest in some form the impulses sufficient enough to where we dont need to escape through addiction or other forms of “escape,” but unless those emotional conflicts I have are are resolved 1620374_10152242355289140_1541697308_nthen it will just be a matter of time before I am facing that same internal struggle of that illogical response to an unknown angst or anxiety that I can find overwhelming.

Carl Jung, in the letter where the quote above came from, was writing to a man who was trying to understand why he chose the women he did to be in his life.  Jung talked about how we carry the energy of our anima(an aspect of our psyche) and our choices in women were incarnations of our anima.   Jung quoted something from the middle ages that said “Each 396406_467135589984307_1965700798_nman carries his woman with him.”  He also said that, “In practice it means that the woman of your choice represents your own task you did not understand.”

I was talking with a friend yesterday and we were talking about our choices in spouses/girlfriends in our lives.  We talked 10349157_10204471369565137_6707722759914875666_nabout how we would always choose to assign the responsibility for the end of those relationships to them.  But what I am learning is that we are really trying to deal with that energy that we carry inside of us and which we view the world from in our minds.  The problem is that the feminine energy to me is pure, but the deep seated, unresolved emotional conflicts I carry can, and I repeat can, filter the feminine energy in such a way that it becomes a demon, a pain, fear, or anger.

So what is the resolution and how  can it be attained.  Jung writes, “[T]he creative man has to create and make visible in spite of the fact that he cannot do it properly….Never mind the imperfections of technique; the contents wanting to come to light are the thing that matters….How psychic energy can 522512_10151359665698142_1692570750_ntransform itself into physically sound phenomena is a problem in itself. I don’t know how it is done. We only know that it is done.”  What I get out of that is do something with my hands and brain and not try to work it out in my mind.

I am about to set out on an endeavor in a week or so of doing some serious building with my hands again. It has been almost 6 years since I have done it.  I will report back soon.  I think how Jung said it is better than I can at this time.

p181600_2a_400[T]he earth always wants children-houses, trees, flowers-to grow out of her and celebrate the marriage of the human psyche with the Great Mother, the best counter-magic against rootless extraversion!”

Quotes from Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 321-322


The picture below is the best image I have ever seen of what depression can do to a person


8 thoughts on ““[T]he woman of your choice represents your own task you did not understand…”

  1. i have no doubt this image is an excellent example of what depression can do to someone, and there is more. take a look at the smile on the face of the other person(you). to me, that speaks to how the right person, the right support can make all the difference in the world. the challenge to me is to find that person and/or support that will help re-find my smile.

  2. We simply have to overcome our undefined fears to everything unknown and we have to stop being scared of failures. The current psychological climate is an artificial one and, thanks to the globalization, normal people start to assume themselves as not normal, because they are often facing unexplained panic attacks or moments of deep frustration leading to conflict with themselves. Life was always a struggle, it always will be, and that sort of boosts our mental immunity against meaningless issues. Many people have two faces and they live according to their roles they have assumed are making them better suited for this life. It is worth to detach oneself from the general grading scale of success and failure in life and categorization of what’s supposed to be mentally ill and what’s supposed to be mentally fine. At the present moment we cannot efficiently change the interaction between our brain chemicals, the communication speeds of brain neurons, brain structure and our own genetic predisposition. When we add to this the epigenetic effects, we get a scene which we might not always like, but within which we have to live.

    • I would think that if it was just as easy as “to overcome our undefined fears to everything unknown,” we would. The point of the article was that there are energies inside of us that curtail our lives as much as all of those outside forces. I do not disagree that there is a lot of unwarranted fear that I carry, but there are also times in my life when I act and do things that if you asked me a half hour before that if I would do that, I would have said no. But I did it. I always appreciate your thoughts and really appreciate looking at your blog, but I dont think it is as easy as it sounds.

  3. “feminine energy to me is pure, but the deep seated, unresolved emotional conflicts I carry can, and I repeat can, filter the feminine energy in such a way that it becomes a demon, a pain, fear, or anger.”

    I sure would like to understand that. Because I sure see it a lot both with MRAs (men’s rights activists who are extremely angry at women), some of the blog comments I receive (but rarely post), and you see it in mythology when patriarchy takes over. The oldest deity was a goddess and with patriarchy, In some traditions, she is utterly destroyed. So much anger is directed at her. I’m wondering why that is. Do you have any insight at all into why this happens?

    • Dear BB!!
      When I read your reply originally, I was very dissapointed. Not in your reply or it’s content, but because I was traveling and could not sit and create a response that would be appropriate to your question. I am going to try and answer the question(which I dont think I can do) and try to reveal a part of me that I am not used to revealing.
      I will only focus on a period of time (United States approx 1800 forward) which I have some intimate knowledge of and have studied. This is my opinion and my opinion only. The answer will be simplistic and not with any depth at all.
      When this country was started, we were an agrarian society. We were living lives where we worked to create what we needed in our lives mostly by what we created at home. We traded what we produced but we were primarily a family that lived together all the time. The father worked the field and the mother created the home life.
      Patriarchy was the dominant paradigm of the time, but the woman still had significant power in the family functioning. They were the nurturer, but they did not have to create the structure that the boy needed to learn how to be a man. The boy worked with the father in the creation of the sustenance that the agrarian man created for his family. The boy had a role model in learning how to and working through the symbolic transformation that takes place when a boy becomes a man.
      Then the Industrial revolution came along and production of goods became concentrated in urban areas and the system of exchange that took place between members of communities changed. Now the exchange of currency became the way we created the goods we needed to support our families. Methods of production became concentrated when thinks like the cotton gin and other mechanical methods of harvest and production of goods took place.
      Since money was the exchange and mass production(Industrialization) took place the man left the family farm and headed into the city to work to create the money necessary to buy the goods his family needed. No longer did we exchange services locally. We were now a society of mass production and men became the workers in the cities to create the mass produced goods.
      The point of all this is to say the father left the family. This left a void of who was going to teach the boy, primarily by example, of what it meant to become a man. But the boy needed structure and the mother took on the role of modeling behavior for the son to become an adult. I argue that at some level, that task was impossible to do. In particular the little boy did not see his father, did not see him work, did not hear his voice and did not get held by his father since his father had to be in the factory, creating the money he now needed to exist and which he needed to help his family.
      So the son, who needed the father to learn how to become a man, was left with his mother and his mother only. But the mother cannot teach the son how to become a man. You can argue that women can, but mythologically and I would argue historically, a woman cannot help the boy become the man. Yet she was left with the task. This created an unconscious resentment in the boy which he has carried forth into his adult life. The boy is angry and since the one he is angry at, the father, is not present, he projects his anger onto his mother. Once a man is pissed off at his mother, no woman in the man’s future stands a chance of not being the focus of his projection of that anger, his rage, his shadow.
      I think it is made worse by the mother’s realization, whether conscious or not, that she is “failing,” her son even though she is in a position where she CANNOT help her son become a man. Only the mature man, the father primarily, but there are others who can help, can help the boy pass through that passageway from boyhood to manhood.
      Georgia, I am aware that this response brings up more questions than it provides answers and is so primitively simplistic that logically it is indefensible, but that’s what I got. Thanks for asking the tough question. I think your question cuts to the quick of a problem, that unless addressed, will lead us to further destruction.
      I mean it does not get any better than this. The man(mythologically and emotionally still the boy because he did not pass through boyhood into manhood) gets to project his shadow on the mother.(Manifested as his spouse/mate/etc and more than anything else he gets to project it on the big Mother, the earth!)

  4. when I read this post and the responses it creates I am amazed that everyone is responding differently, and mostly to that what resonates within him or her. I tell you what resonated with me: ““[T]he creative man has to create and make visible in spite of the fact that he cannot do it properly….Never mind the imperfections of technique; the contents wanting to come to light are the thing that matters….How psychic energy can transform itself into physically sound phenomena is a problem in itself. I don’t know how it is done. We only know that it is done.”
    The best way to overcome any trauma or to forget issues for a while is to be creative. I know it helps me and I know of people who because what they have been through could have easily become ill. But they didn’t because of their creativity. Creating is a fabulous thing. BTW: thanks for commenting. Your comment kind of brought me back to being creative with words again. 🙂

    • Eva,
      I must say how wonder full you look in your picture! I always love what you have to say as it comes from a depth only experience can give. (We get so caught up in what we think and it is always leaves us with a feeling of incompleteness and a nagging feeling of inadequacy at a level that is not cognitive or intellectual.) We have lost the connection to the land and in that the connection to a primal part of ourselves that has a lot to do with our character, our spirit, I guess our soul.
      I am about to embark on a journey of building my own tiny house(s) I have fallen in love with the idea of living a good life in less than 400 square feet. (As an ignorant American, I dont know off the top of my head what that is in square meters.) My journey has led me to the point where I need to be creative with my hands again(in a former life I was a carpenter/builder for 20 years) and it is time for me to work that way again.
      I am glad that the universe took me to your web site, which looks beautiful by the way, and it got us back in touch.
      Warmly dear Eva,

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