Through a Jungian Lens

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One Boy, One Girl Two Hearts Beating Wildly

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Two leaves from the same plant.  though they are joined, they are giving every indication of growing apart.  I initially took the photo because of the contrast of colours between the leaves, a splash of colour in an almost dreary green-blue sea drenched in rain and darkened by the forest and the clouds.  I noted how the red-brown leaf looked so healthy while the green leaf tinged with brown looks unhealthy.  That said, I know that beneath the colours, both are struggling.  I have the feeling that the green one will be falling off before the brown one.  Somehow, no matter how linked both are together, the partnership can’t hold together.  Sometimes there are problems with togetherness.

Togetherness.  “One heart and one soul.”  That is the typical fantasy-thinking during courtship, and it can last even longer than the honeymoon.  But as time goes on, it becomes clear that life is not always what we want it to be. (Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book Two, 2008, pp 93-94)

Now, having put in a lot of years together, united in the task of parenting and building careers, social position, and a home; there is an expectation that one is owed for the work.  And one looks to the other for payment.  What is that payment?  To somehow become once again that person they originally married; to do less is a betrayal. Both remember the “real person” they married and the “feelings” that were born.  Here is a song by Tim McGraw that still is played frequently on the radio.  In a way, this song mirrors my story.

At a crowded restaurant way cross town, he waited impatiently
When she walked in, their eyes met,
And they both stared
Right there and then,
Everyone else disappeared, but

One boy, one girl,
Two hearts beating wildly,
To put it mildly, it was love at first sight.
He smiled, she smiled, and they knew right away
This was the day they’d been waiting for all their lives.
For a moment the whole world
Revolved around one boy, and one girl

In no time at all, they were standing there in the front of a little church
Among their friends and family, repeating those sacred words.
The preacher said “son, kiss your bride”
And he raised her veil
Like the night they met,
Time just stood still, for

He was holding her hand when the doctor looked up and grinned,
“Congratulations, twins”

One boy, one girl
Two hearts beating wildly
To put it mildly, it was love at first sight.
He smiled, she smiled, and they knew right away
This was the day they’d been waiting for all their lives,
And for a moment the whole world,
Revolved around one boy, and one girl

Yet, now both have changed. both have matured, both have had time clear some of the projected magic from their eyes.  Little did they know that now that the children have grown up and have moved on to make homes of their own, that they would have to “work” to build something new in terms of relationship.  Yesterday’s post left me with a question or two about the container and the contained, how both somehow became the other, and with the question of one being complicated and one being simple.  I guess it goes back to the projections where the opposite nature becomes the hook.  So, I turn again to Jung for more:

Since the more complicated has perhaps a greater need of being contained that the other, he feels himself outside the marriage and accordingly always plays the problematical role.  The more the contained clings, the more the container feels shut out of the relationship.  The contained pushes into it by her clinging, and the more she pushes, the less the container is able to respond.  He therefore tends to spy out the window, no doubt unconsciously at first, but with the onset of middle age their awakens in him a more insistent longing for that unity and undividedness which is especially necessary to him on account of his dissociated nature.  At this juncture things are apt to occur that bring the conflict to a head. (Jung, CW 17, par 333)

The container needs to be contained.  The contained must learn to become a container.  Both must become whole, conscious of their nature, conscious of their need and to be willing to allow life to be lived differently in their relationship.  I am a container and need to be contained.  And, I am contained.

Sitting here at the keyboard, I am reminded of the words of a villa neighbour, an American single male in midlife, one of many such men here in Costa Rica who has one central goal remaining, to find a good woman to spend the rest of his life with, to find a good woman to take care of him, to be his container.

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