I had a very deep and meaningful conversation last friday with a therapist who has taken into her own hand her evolution process. She approached me while I was talking – to a friend who works in an organic shop – about what I did. We decided to meet and we did last week. Because it was the 1st time we met, I really wanted to know more about her values her path and her point of view that led her to practice the way she did. I really love the gentleness and strength she radiates through her poise. I hope to podcast her (it will be in french) as she has a lot to say on finding one's own truth and living in line with it.

When I told her about my path and how important it was for me to zero in on helping people develop their own autonomy and understand how co-dependency hinder their evolution and self-fulfillment she mentioned Jung's individuation process. I know I should know about it because this is the most essential of his work, but... I didn't.

So I went straight for wikipedia:

In Jungian psychology, also called analytical psychology, individuation is the process where the individual self develops out of an undifferentiated unconscious – seen as a developmental psychic process during which innate elements of personality, the components of the immature psyche, and the experiences of the person's life become, if the process is more or less successful, integrated over time into a well-functioning whole.

So if I understand this well:

This is in effect a state we really hope to realize but for some of us this process of becoming truly whole and autonomous is a very big challenge.

And it isn't a case of “not feeling motivated enough” or “just needing a bit of a push” or “needing some tough love” because in some case, that is exactly what we had. It seems that the issue here is not knowing where the I and the Other begin and end.

In my personal life, I wasn't allowed to express myself outside of the frame settled by my parents. Even though there were plenty of space I could have called my own, I wasn't allowed to have a space just for me.

My bedroom – normally a safe place of retreat and exploration – was a passageway with 2 doors which always has to be open just “in case” (they had to go from an area to another, if something happend to me...). I didn't get to decorate it and if i did, things were put back into place. I had stuff thrown out because it was too old or not to my mum's liking and i knew she was looking into my stuff (journal diary for example). On top of that I was told what to say, how to think, what to wear (for that one I went to wear black in my teenage years), what to eat...

The me as self reference was so reduced that for many years I did not see myself outside of “their” reference points. Cutting all ties (which I did in my forty) has in this particular case been a life saviour for me. As nothing I did before (going abroad 1st in Ireland then in Australia) seemed to stop their violation of my privacy and their relentless demand of submissive behaviour of my being. Even though it did not resolve how I interact with others as co-dependency became my default setting, it definitely helped clarify the process of reclaiming my self.

Because this is ultimately what it is about. The process of becoming whole can happen only if and when individuation takes place.

I'd like to thank Uriell for this beautiful time we had and for the depth of her insights.