Through a Jungian Lens

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Hooks and Projections in Paradise

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Tropical Romance Mayan Style

Tropical Romance Mayan Style

Strolling the beach on the Mayan Riviera reveals so much about the human condition. Yes, there are people of all sizes and shapes wearing all manner of clothing and bathing suits [or none at all]. But, it is the faces that tell the biggest stories, the authentic stories. The Mayan Riviera is one of those romantic get-away locations for many in North America.

Tropical and Sensual - Mayan Style

Tropical and Sensual – Mayan Style

There is an allure that is pregnant with expectation, even for singles who hear the stories of love found, love and lust, and “what goes on in Mexico, stays in Mexico.”  So many, if not most of us, head to the tropics for a few weeks of love, romance and the promise of “Eros.”

Yet, all is not well for many not long into these romantic get-aways. It comes down to expectations. For, as Aldo Carotenuto notes in his book, Eros and Pathos: “When expectations do not coincide with reality one is struck by panic, by a suffering that is almost physical.” 

But I do love you . . .

But I do love you . . .

There is somehow a belief that by changing setting, to immerse oneself into a romantic tropical setting, the problems that have arisen between to, even unspoken problems, will somehow be banished with a renewed commitment to the depths of romantic love. However, when one arrives in paradise, one finds that they have not escaped conscious and unconscious issues that have been nagging in the background. If anything, the expectation of paradise results in so many people walking along the beach with sad and strained faces, even as they walk with their chosen other.

In strained silence . . .

In strained silence . . .

It feels like the ultimate betrayal of love. “How could you not be a better person? I thought that at least here you wouldn’t do [fill in the blank] and embarrass me. If you truly loved me, you would [fill in the blank].” And so it doesn’t take long for paradise to become an emotional hell.

We are so quick to blame the other, to see the other as breaking the promise of love forever after. We don’t realise that it is not the other that has betrayed us, but our own inner image of the magical other that has both ravished and ravaged us. The image found in the face of our beloved is a reflection of our inner self, an image that triggers Eros making us think we have found a soul mate. We are unconscious of the drama and find ourselves on emotional roller coasters in relationship.

Eros - the god of desire, love and romance

Eros – the god of desire, love and romance

Yet, the person chosen as significant other was no accident. For, the person we have unconsciously chosen to hold our projection of soul mate has been unconsciously chosen because of the hooks embedded in their psyche, ready to catch those very projections. It remains the responsibility for each within the couple to become conscious of themselves so that they can consciously appreciate the real gold in the other with whom the fates have drawn together.

The decision to take time with one’s significant other in a different setting can open the portal for both to see each other, completely free of the trappings of work, commitment, community. Stripped naked and facing each other, there is a golden opportunity to finally see the beautiful truth of the other and in their eyes, one’s own beauty. It becomes vital not to take time for things to emerge without being forced. One needs to sit still with one’s sense of brokenness in order to move from narcissism into a fuller sense of love.

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Written by Robert G. Longpré

January 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

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