Through a Jungian Lens

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Sounds Like Life To Me

with 11 comments

This is quite a change from the photos I’ve been posting in the last three months.  I have to say that I wasn’t prepared for this as I have been watching the weather forecasts for my home area in Canada for a number of weeks, and that weather featured above zero temperatures everyday during that time.  My friends commented that they had even been able to golf a few times the past week.  As always, I’ve come to expect the unexpected.

It would be easy to get upset as though I was owed good weather rather than a mid-winter blizzard for my return home.  But, the truth is, I am owed nothing.  None of us are.  Life is what it is and it is that simple.  To think otherwise is only setting ourselves up for a world of grief.  It is this kind of thinking that has us adopt a world view as a “victim.”

Blizzards are natural phenomena, not some manifestation of some malevolent deity out to punish us for some mysterious broken rule, or simply to torment us for the pleasure of seeing us suffer.

Realizing this helps me to deal with my own inherited, experienced and self-inflicted crap. I didn’t have a good model for a father and had a rough go at it during my childhood and youth.  But on thinking about it,  this isn’t so abnormal in the big picture of the human race.  Sure, it could be better, but it is what it is.  So, what does one do about it?  What does one do with being excessively shamed, or verbally abused, or being ignored to the point of feeling invisible, or bullied, or physically or sexually abused?  In my opinion, it is only when we accept the fact of the abuse, accept the fact that one was a child or youth and that the past cannot be undone.

Accepting the facts, one has to let the woundings become simply yet an experience which has forged the person we have now become.  To expect something to be done or undone is to stay in the place and time of wounding.  One is obviously not in the present, one’s energy is trapped in the past.  Now, if only it was easy enough to say, “suck it up” and have one come unstuck so that one can recapture one’s energy to live in the present.  But, it isn’t that easy though the song by Darryl Worley, Sounds Like Life To Me, would have us believe it is that easy.

Got a call last night from an old friends wife, said, I hate to bother you
But Johnny Ray fell off the wagon, hed been gone all afternoon
Well, I know my buddy, so I drove to Scullys and found him at the bar
Said, Hey Man, whats goin on, He said, I dont know where to start
Sarah’s old car startin to fall apart and the washer quit last week
We had to put Mama in the nursing home and the baby’s cuttin teeth

Sounds Like Life To Me
I didnt get much work this week and I got bills to pay
I said, I know this aint what you wanna hear but its what Im gonna say
Sounds like life to me, it aint no fantasy
It just a common case of everyday reality
Man, I know its tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk youre caught up in some tragedy
It sounds like life to me

Well, his face turned red and he shook his head
He said, you dont understand, three kids and a wife depend on me
And Im just one man, top it off we just found out that Sarahs two months late
I said, Hey, bartender, set us up a round, we gotta celebrate
Sounds like life to me, aint no destiny
Yeah, the only thing for certain is uncertainty
You gotta hold on tight, just enjoy the ride
Get used to all this unpredictability, sounds like life
Man, I know its tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk youre caught up in some tragedy
Sounds like life to me (sounds like life to me)
Sounds like life

The song isn’t all that good as far as music is concerned, but there is a truth in it, that of having the darker stuff as being a normal part of living.  Since the darker stuff comes with being alive, there needs to be a use for it in our journey, a use that is positive.  If anything, it allows us to put the dark stuff that lies within each of us to be held differently.  Rather than lying to ourselves about our own “stuff,” we can own up and acknowledge it and set it safely within our consciousness so that it doesn’t come sneaking out of the darkness of our unconsciousness so that we inadvertently act out and repeat these abusive patterns.

That’s my task, to see the abuser in me and allow myself to consciously choose behaviours and attitudes.  Denying that hidden abuser and I don’t really get to choose as the shadow will act out (unconsciously acted out behaviours) and leave the conscious part of me left holding the bag wondering “what in hell just happened?”

I think that this becomes the key in forgiving those who have  abused us in the past.  We realize that we are not that much different from those who have wounded us.  And then, we can begin to start forgiving ourselves.


11 Responses

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  1. Hi. I really, really enjoyed this post. thanks for sharing. It reasonated on many levels, having come from an abusive background myself I can so identify. For many years I felt like I was a ‘victim@, then I had the chance to let go of old issues and it has changed my life in so many ways.
    That’s life. some of it is good and some of it bad….
    Thanks again.
    p.s. i love the photo 🙂

    Cindy (notjustagranny)

    April 11, 2010 at 9:49 am

    • Thanks for adding to this discussion, Cindy. This is a huge topic. I think I will have to keep it going for a while.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

  2. Tenth paragraph, second line is a typo. You say “chose” and I think you meant to say “choose.”

    What you have expressed here is the essence of my story, though I still beleive bad people must have consequences, if only to set a boundary so that they cannot further abuse. I am hard on my abuser, but I am also hard on myself. I cannot change him, but I can change myself. So, I am hard on myself. Because I want to change. I have determined to never again live inside another’s dream.

    The photo is an excellent representation.

    • Good catch, thanks. 🙂 It is now fixed.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

    • I agree that in forgiving an abuser, the abuser must still face consequences for his or her actions of abuse. Using “distancing” to establish boundaries of safety are vital. Boundaries may be geographical and legal (physical and sexual abuse) or psychological (all forms of abuse). Distancing doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no contact. If anything, a full cutting off of contact results in serious issues in later life. You don’t want to get to the point ten, twenty, thirty or more years later where you say, “if only I had said . . ..”

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

  3. A long time ago, I read an article by a woman whose name I can’t remember. She explained that she had decided to redefine her good, versus bad, days. She saw them as loving or learning days. I adopted that idea and it has made a world of difference.

    I am no longer a victim, or even a former victim. I’m just an individual who chose to learn all of the lessons my life has to offer. All days are the same, they all begin with the letter L. The choice is always and forever in our own hands.



    April 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

    • If one thinks of oneself as a victim, one is still trapped in the past. Thanks for adding your thoughts here, Elizabeth. I appreciate all that you have to add.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 11, 2010 at 11:00 am

  4. I disagree. I believe becoming a victim is the first step in admitting that something is terribly wrong in paradise.
    On the other hand, to remain a victim stunts one’s growth and opportunities for happiness. Love your writing. Thank you for the conversation.

  5. Your conclusion is marvelous – I wish even some of my patients could acheive such insight and wisdom.


    April 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    • Was that for him or me? Just curious. No, actually, checking on my ego here.

    • Thanks for adding your voice here, Michael. I hope that you manage to return more often. Of course I will continue to quote you when and where appropriate.

      Robert G. Longpré

      April 11, 2010 at 7:54 pm

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