Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Archaeology of the Mind and the Ancient You


Eighteenth and nineteenth century composers, for example Mozart and Beethoven, used sonatas as a form of music that would introduce in the early part of their symphonies their later themes. In the same way our earliest relationships tend to set the pattern regarding how we construct and see all our future relationships:
“One might think of one’s first relationships as the themes of one’s interpersonal life and all subsequent relationships as the development and recapitulation of those themes.”  
~Michael Kahn (inspired by Sigmund Freud)
But it doesn’t need to end like this.
Not many of us want to be hemmed-in to relating with our worlds the way it was for us in our early development. We want more choice than that. Besides, learning about how we interact with people now—the positive and negative outcomes—is a great way of reconnecting with our subconscious selves—the Ancient You.
Power For Tomorrow
If we can see our dysfunctional patterns for what they are, and all of us have them, we are able to rethink those patterns and create new ones—custom-designed to our need.
This is power for tomorrow; our way out of the relational ruts we may find ourselves in. Even our interpretations of our relationships may have a pattern about them. When we recognise this pattern we can challenge it against the truth.
The truth sets us free (John 8:32).
Digging into our pasts, as if we’re intrigued archaeologists, and able to see our early lives unemotionally, we begin an inquiry that can lift vital intelligence out of the ancient dramas that played themselves out; us as the first-billed actors. All our formative relationships lay open for inspection through reruns.
For many at least, this may cause pain. But even delving into painful experiences can provide much respite for our futures, especially when we instruct ourselves that our pasts, especially the hurtful bits, are not our fault. Our formative pasts very much happened to us.
Consolidating Our Identities
What would we be without our identities?
All of our lives are about consolidating our identities, and any major loss or adjustment process shakes us to our core. Not many people go through life without having to rebuild their identity at least once.
If we can excavate into our pasts, digging up the precious historical dirt to reveal the artefacts that formed us, we can, as a process of understanding our base identity, consolidate the present identity and redirect it if necessary.
***
Better relationships occur when we have a good understanding of how and why we interact, and the way we do, with people in those relationships. Understanding how we think has a great bearing over how we see people. Being fair to others is first about understanding ourselves.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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