"Plum-Picking with Niamh Clune."
The Feeling Function is one of life’s greatest teachers.
Engaging and developing the feeling function to get to know our issues is a life-skill that I wish was taught in schools. We all have issues. We all act and react out of issues. Most of the time, we do not know what our issues are. Neither do we realise how much damage our unconscious issues can do when projected onto situations, our children or our relationships. We even bring our issues into the work-place.
When consciously related to, our issues can stimulate personal development, inspire us to find creative solutions and generally, be the stuff that makes us wise, kind, generous, compassionate and sensitive to the plights of those less fortunate than ourselves. Or our issues can make us mean-spirited, fearful, angry, jealous, suspicious and up-tight. I could go on. The list is endless.
Take loneliness, for example. Do we have a loneliness issue? Do we realise how a deep-seated fear of loneliness might affect most of the ways in which we react to the world about us? The fear of loneliness may colour many of our life-decisions. It might affect the way in which we enter into relationships with others. It might affect whether we stay in a relationship which, we might otherwise leave if we weren’t so dependent, needy and desperate. To a degree, fear of being alone is present in all of us. But what if loneliness plays its part within our unconscious and is actually the cause of itself? Loneliness causes loneliness.
A Loneliness issue may have been born in childhood. Fear of abandonment partners loneliness in a dance of inner need. The one is companion to the other. Not great companions, as both push the outer world away. In the end, all they have is each other. Fear feeds on fear. Fear is not creative, but self-defeating. Fear of abandonment does not allow intimacy…for fear of…just in case of…you will get close and find me wanting.., so “**** OFF,” in advance…just in case.
So how do we manage an issue such as loneliness? How do we work with a fear of loneliness so as to keep it in perspective? How do we prevent issues such as loneliness from ruining our lives?
I am not talking of loss and subsequent loneliness. I am talking about issues and how we do, at least, have some power, some choice as to how we manage them.
We manage them by befriending them, getting to know them consciously. We learn how to indwellthem so that they lose their power over us. They never go away. Issues are life-companions. But, at least, we can be in the driving seat rather than being driven unconsciously into a never ending cycle of action and reaction, emotional misinterpretation and assumption.
Now wouldn’t that be something worth learning? Wouldn’t that be a skill to pass on to our children?