A Guiding Hand episode

In the moment I took this photograph, the Northern Lights appeared to adopt an unusual shape in the sky, not unlike that of a jigsaw piece.  This left me contemplating what if life were a jigsaw? What would be the ‘picture on the box’ and if and how do we piece ourselves together?

Take a little time to consider if your developmental journey has taken the form of a jigsaw:

What do you recognise as your vital pieces?

How does your jigsaw fit together?

And what piece may complete your jigsaw?

These are large questions, so take what time you need to offer your response…

When I look back over my life journey, one of my biggest learnings is deeply paradoxical. My true potential and power were hidden in the one place that I would have never dreamed to look – together with my vulnerability.

Let’s explore this possible realisation a little more…

Firstly, let me ask, what is your understanding of the word vulnerability?

Do you have vulnerabilities?

If so, what are they?

It is common to think of our vulnerabilities as those aspects of ourselves that are limited and imperfect and that we may automatically judge to be unwanted.

You may recall from an earlier conversation, how the self to which we commonly revert when under pressure, is a perfectionist. In that, in seeking to keep us safe, this partial self continually strives to be right, the top of the class and the very best.

To feel safe and in control this aspect thinks it must be right and must have all the right answers.  Such a demanding necessity precludes seeing imperfections positively.  The self to which we revert therefore judges’ vulnerability to be a negative asset and something of which we should rid ourselves.

Consider for a moment what the consequences are of negatively judging your own vulnerability?

What happens to your vulnerability, when judged?

Can you rid yourself of it?

Take what time you need to consider these questions…

If we judge our vulnerability rather than accept, then we reject, pushing our vulnerabilities away to the very edge of our conscious awareness and beyond into the realms of the unconscious.

You might then ask – what happens then?

Though we may seek to rid ourselves of imperfections in the total realms of the psyche there is in fact, nowhere to hide. For when we banish our vulnerabilities to the realms of our unconscious they do not disappear and become powerless – in fact quite the opposite happens – they become what drives our compulsions and reactivity.

What we reject and potentially ultimately even deny ever existed, unconsciously control our lives. For what we push into our unconscious awareness we in turn project out on others. These disowned aspects of ourselves when placed out on others are not essentially lost, again quite the opposite, the chance is potentially offered for us to learn to see what we unconsciously project, and so reclaim those aspects of ourselves once rejected.  Through this remarkable fidelity of the psyche, we are essentially given a second chance to consciously own, take back and restore those aspects of ourselves that we once judged and rejected.  If unseen and unowned, what we push beyond consciousness, compulsively controls our behaviours.

The great jigsaw if it indeed it exists is one where we think we can lose pieces of ourselves and yet ultimately, we are invited to claim them back, to restore the full picture and help complete our wholeness.

Herein is our chance for restoration, and reformation – a chance that we can be ‘made whole’ rather than experiencing the inner conflict of division – of feeling divided and in conflict and at an extreme a growing sense of separation and alienation.

Note how our vulnerabilities when owned are essential to our wholeness and can provide a growing sense of ‘being at home’ in our own skin and therefore feeling more fulfilled.

Consider if and how you might own rather than reject your vulnerabilities?

What does this invite of you?

And what does this offer?

Take what time you need to respond…

This identifies a key theme to which we may frequently return. How an ability to turn towards what we may be tempted to reject is vital to our developmental journey and growing sense of wholeness with access to hidden potential and power.

Imagine, if we were able to face our fears rather than judge?

What would this offer you?

Take time to consider…

This may be what remarkably holds us together – an embracing of what we may be tempted to reject. The glue of humanity.

Imagine how life would be if you were all able to meet with your fears rather than the temptation to automatically judge.

How different would your life be?

And in what ways?

May you have the courage to embrace vulnerability and to face into your fears and anxieties instead of judging, rejecting, and pushing away.

May we foster wholeness instead of inner division and conflict. And aspire to replace judgment and conflict with a growing sense of inner peace, acceptance, and a deepening capacity to relate.

May you be able to be present to those you may judge offering relationship to all without a need to divide or see conflict.




Read more of Andrew’s ‘A Guiding Hand” articles

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