Through a Jungian Lens

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Presence in “Outer” Space

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Being grounded in life means being engaged with the earth as well as with others.

Being grounded in life means being engaged with the earth as well as with others.

Lately I have been much more active with those things in life that are more about being present than being in one’s head. I have always done what has needed to be done, but almost always because someone else has brought my attention to what needed doing. It wasn’t that I was resisting these tasks; I just didn’t see them or think of them. I was busy somewhere in inner-space, too preoccupied to be aware of outer-space.

One area that has benefited from my becoming more present in the outer world, is in terms of relationships with family and friends. There is no doubt that in the past few years my children and my wife have not pressed me for too much presence. They knew my struggles and they didn’t want to add to them. However, lately, even though I am an introvert and it demands a drain on my energy systems, I willingly stepped forward into the action, the give and take of being with others in a real way.

Faith in myself, in others and in life has been a major factor in this transformation. It is faith, a spiritual aspect that has its roots in the inner spaces of the human psyche, that retaught me about the sacredness of family and the world within which one’s family is held. It is synchronistic that Moore’s words read last night, highlight this truth.

As a parent I find that I need yet another dimension of faith. I have to trust that the children will make it through life without my overprotective interference. I have to trust that my own neuroses will not cripple them for life. I have to trust my judgments day after day as the family inches its way forward. I have to be a person full of faith because I don’t know how best to be a parent.

I think of this faith, which keeps me up some nights, as inseparable from religious faith. Family life has its own inherent spirituality, irrespective of any tradition or belief system. It has its traditions, its rituals, and its mysteries. In a real sense parents are the priest and priestess of a family spirituality. If I can be faithful as a parent, I have added a piece to my religious faith. If parents have no faith in their children and in the family process, their religious faith is to that extent weakened, and children don’t learn to trust.” [Moore, The Soul’s Religion, p. 46]

These are powerful words, words I needed to hear, words that let me know that my instinct and intuition that has led me to become more present in life, is well founded. And as I read these words, I thought – “this goes two ways.” Now that my children are parents in their own right, they can and do return to their parents the same trust, the same faith in which they were raised. They trusted that I would find my way back into the world, back into full presence in their lives. They had faith in me, they trusted me. In my opinion, our family is much stronger and healthier because of that faith and trust.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

August 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

2 Responses

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  1. powerful words, indeed.


    August 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm

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