Becoming Aware of Being Alone

The approach of self awareness and self consciousness precipitates another journey where there is a search for meaning, trying to make some sense of one’s existence, a search for being happy to be oneself.

Becoming Aware of Being Alone

As I began yesterday, so I continue today – with relationship.  And as with yesterday, I want to continue with a focus on one’s relationship with one’s self.  As a parent, I watched my children grow from newborns.  I saw them as fully unconscious and saw them begin to meet the world, and themselves.  Perhaps the biggest discovery made is that the self is separate from the rest of the world – separate from the mother and father that on the other side of sight.  I’ve watched as toes and fingers were discovered and then used as tools to discover more of the world.  The learning curve is steep and takes quite a few years before there is some comfort with the fact that self is separate and safe in that separation.

The approach of self awareness and self consciousness precipitates another journey where there is a search for meaning, trying to make some sense of one’s existence, a search for being happy to be oneself.  I may have been one of the slower ones in this regard as this part of my journey didn’t start until I was seventeen years old.  I  admit that flashes of this upcoming journey were felt like speed bumps during my youth, but immersion into this stage of the journey waited until I was in my senior high school years.  Hungry for some answers, I found that teachers and extended family members had no suggestions other than to pay attention in class or to engage in distracting activities.  So I looked elsewhere for some answers – looked to dead philosophers, theologians and psychologists.  I knew that someone else had to have the answers that I needed.  Of course, no one did have the answers about who I was or why I was.

I was in community, in a family, in school with classmates and teachers, in a music group playing with a fierceness that was determined to define myself as an artist, as one of the group.  Yet even in the little band of five, each of us were separated regardless of how many hours we practiced noisily or how many hours we drove around the streets of Ottawa as a way to pass some of the hours, or the hours hanging out in each other’s company between classes at school.

The band broke up, high school classes ended, I got a job and the world that I had come to know disappeared.  Though we promised to keep in touch, the relationships with others came to an end and again I was alone with my self, still a stranger to my self.  I don’t know if any of us ever get over finding that regardless of how many friends or family members, one ends up alone in the crowd, somehow unable to bridge the distance between self and other.  As I looked at these seniors sitting outside a senior residence in XiTang, not too far from the entrance into the restored ancient part of the city, I can’t help but wonder if they are sitting alone with themselves in spite of the others sitting near them.

 

Robert G. Longpré is well known among people interested in Jungian Psychology because of his excellent site, Through a Jungian Lens, parts of which are reproduced here by permission.  He says the following about himself:

"I am wearing a backpack in the photo because that is often how anyone would see me at this point in my life.  I am on a journey of soul, a journey in search of meaning and in search of self.  I am a retired school teacher and school administrator having taught in various schools in Saskatchewan, Canada.  I was a principal for a number of years as well.  Intermingled with my career in education was a second career as a psychotherapist.  Needing to take care of students with issues and later, teachers with issues, I took a number of university and certificate courses to allow me to work more effectively and safely with those whose care I was entrusted.  My counselling focus eventually shifted to include others and to include some “depth” work.  The depth work had a foundation in Jungian psychology.

"Now that I am retired, I am currently in Calgary, Canada working on my writing, my journey through a personal “Dark Night of the Soul” with my wife of forty-one years sharing most of my days and dreams.  Our children and grandchildren have their own homes in both Canada and the U.S.A.  For those interested in these things, I have three children and six grandchildren.

"Since retirement, we have travelled to a number of countries with some becoming places of part-time residence over the past five years. We lived in Changzhou, China for the better parts of four years.  Three months in Costa Rica during one winter, and three months in the Yucatan, Mexico during another winter were other longer stays during this time.  Added to this was a month in Rajasthan, India, a month in Thailand, and a month in IndoChina with most of that time spent in Vietnam.  This past winter break, I spent a a break of ten days in the Philippines.  Of course, if you are a reader here, you are already aware of these things as the selection of photos talk about my response to being in all of these places.  In travelling with a camera, I discover myself through images of both the known and the unknown."

 

April 28th, 2011 at 9:22 am

Posted in Jungian Psychology

Tagged with China, Jungian Psychology, relationship, self awareness, self consciousness, separation, Sony A550 DSLR, XiTang, ZheJiang


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