Homeopathy of Relationships
Most clients seek my help because they are tied up in relationships which both heal and wound. Work, lovers, life partners, parents, siblings, children and friends, the issues are the same. How can I remain true to my passion, and at the same time honor my significant relationships? When we are hanging in the dangle, we need to untangle the threads that support us.
Homeopathy, a system of alternative medicine developed in the 1700’s by Samuel Hahnemann, proposed a revolutionary concept of physical healing based on the "law of similars." Homeopathy assumes that wellness is possible through the application of “like with like” cures. More aggressive in prescribed cure than homeopathy, modern day vaccines follow a parallel principle by administering just enough of the bug to create antibodies in a healthy immune system. Although the traditional medical community doesn't yet embrace the homeopathic concept of healing, the shelves of Whole Foods are filled with herbal remedies which result in cures for health issues of every kind.
What does homeopathy have to do with relationship issues? Over the years as my clients and I have struggled to resolve their conflicts, the word homeopathy has often popped into my head. I only have to ask, “Have you ever experienced a similar conflict with anyone before?” and here it comes; first the frown, and then, “Yes!” Usually there is a whole string of “Yeses,” with knots tied in the last relationship, the last job, the last fight, until we reach the source: “My father, my mother, my family, my church was just like this! They wanted me to do this, be this, think this, feel this. But I felt that....”
“What would happen if you express who you really are?” I ask.
Another frown, “They wouldn’t love me or support me.” Fear of abandonment lies at the root of the unexpressed life. And so we bind ourselves to fit in with the family we were born into, the culture, the religion, the societal ideal, and deny our own longings out of fear of rejection. We don’t speak our truth. We don’t even realize that our voice is valid and can be heard. We’re just out of practice.
I don’t see those rare souls whose psyche perfectly meshed with the goals, ideals and beliefs supported by their family of origin. They are happy little campers, doing their thing, and not going through the angst that unvalidated souls experience. They know who they are, what they are about, where they are headed and can’t understand why everyone else isn’t as sure-footed and certain as they are. A little pain is a good thing. It keeps us humble and develops tolerance, compassion and empathy for the human condition
To live a functioning life, most of us deny our wounds. Children are wise and put laughter between the tears, forgetting the bad times and holding good experiences close to their heart. When we are young, repression is a good thing, allowing us to move forward and create joy no matter the circumstance. We push memory of hurt deep into our soul, and out of our minds, until circumstances in our adult life poke and prod us to re-member. We will, we definitely will.
One day, when we are parents, or not, when we are divorced, or locked into a marriage that feels like prison, when we’ve lost another job, or our investments tank, when we can’t seem to form the loving relationships and situations that nurture us, we will ask “Why is this happening?”
Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It’s all about us, not them. At midlife, it becomes especially important to reflect on who we are, how we got here, and how we want to spend the rest of our days. Stock taking is actually unavoidable, unless we like the idea of a full-blown midlife crisis , and becoming so whacko nobody recognizes us anymore.
Throughout life, we work our way home to our authentic and True Self. Imbedded deep within each human psyche, an energetic steering mechanism - which Dr. Carl Jung names the transcendent function -- guides us toward wholeness and completion (See related article in Reflections/ Dreams).
Scar tissue develops when we are hurt, and gets in the way of allowing us to become all we can be. So this transcendent function instinctively goes about remedying the situation. It operates something like this: “Now let me see.... Who, what, when, where and how can I recreate my original wound in a homeopathic way, so I can finally get over it? Ah Ha! There they are. This person treats me like my family treated me. I’m gonna’ get it right this time. This time they’ll listen to me, tell me I’m smart...love me. I’ll finally fix it.”
I often hear emotionally charged scenarios that sound like this: “My mother was &%^$*! She controlled me so much I did anything I could to show her who was boss. I’m not going to put up with that %*&# from anyone!” Surprise! Through instinctual homeopathic wisdom we administer a controlling life partner or boss. We take on an emotionally unavailable lover or friend. Current life circumstances perfectly recreate our original dilemma in undeniable ways.
The adage rings true, “What does not kill thee heals thee.” Knowing and understanding our wounds, and grasping what our life situations have called us to re-member, psychological homeopathy is exponentially enhanced - allowing us to recreate ourselves and reform our relationships. Self-knowledge mends the break, heals the psyche and cures the soul.