Sonia Falaschi-Ray’s article in the March Diary February 21, 2017Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
add a comment
Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst, described how, in the first part of our adult lives, we tend to focus on accumulating. We, hopefully, secure a job of rewarding work, a life partner, a home, children, and career advancement. Around the age of 40 we take stock. What meaning does our life have? What are our core values, and does the life we lead cohere or conflict with them? Are our subconscious desires more or less in line with our outward existence or is there an inner disconnect? This can lead to mental distress, even illness. If we need to focus on the fewer things we have decided are more important to us, what might we have to give up to allow space for them? Jung called this process of coordinating our conscious and sub-conscious minds, individuation.
Within the religious life a period of time each year is set aside for reflecting upon our values and how they may have become overwhelmed by the demands of daily life. This time of Lent, which is in the run-up to Easter, has traditionally been used to reassess our lifestyle, to further develop a healthy balance and to pray for ‘those things which are requisite and necessary as well for the body as the soul’ as the Book of Common Prayer so poetically puts it.
Giving something up for Lent is not really about chocolate or gin. How about giving up that long-standing grudge against a neighbour? As has been said, bearing a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. Maybe giving up the regrets of unfulfillable might-have-beens? Perhaps giving up prejudices which harm us more than the people we disparage? Each of us will have our own energy-sapping gripes.
Then we may become more integrated as a person, with fewer inner conflicts and may experience the peace of God which passes all understanding.
Sonia 07747 844265