Every one is born with the potential to become something magnificent. And the thing is, it really doesn’t matter what that is. I’ve met amazing people who work simple jobs. I’ve met lame people who are “at the top of their game” research scientists. To me, magnificence is about owning yourself and just being who you truly are. Unfortunately, due to various life circumstances, not everyone realizes their true potential. I think this is very sad. Imagine if someone like Michelangelo grew up in a bad home and never even realized that he could paint or sculpt. I wonder how many people live their lives not knowing what they could achieve.
The Extraordinary Power in a Seed
Have you ever really considered the utter magnificence of a tiny seed? Everything that the seed will become – a beautiful flower, a flowing vine, or a glorious oak tree – is contained in that little thing you can hold in the palm of your hand! How successful the seed is, of course, depends on its environment. What is the soil like? Will it get enough sunlight and water? Once it sprouts, will it be strong enough to withstand a sudden change in the environment without shriveling or breaking? Whether or not it survives depends on the strength of its internal structure.
I know this sounds cheesy, but you too are like that seed with all of the potential to become something magnificent. You just need to discover, or rediscover, that thing that drives you. It’s typically not what your ego thinks it is. For example, so many people are chasing that “next best thing”. They want to be where the money or the power is. But the problem is where the money and power are changes. You have to find that place in yourself where it doesn’t matter what’s in fashion.
What is it you would do regardless of money or power? What if you lost everything you think is important: family, money, job? Who would you be and what would carry you forward in life?
Whether or not you survive also depends on the strength of your internal structure. What you will become is a matter of what you choose to cultivate in yourself. Don’t let that be fear-driven.
In the counseling work I do, I’d say that fear is the number one driving force in people. Sometimes it’s hidden, cloaked in feigned self-confidence, anger, or bitterness. Fear holds you back and it causes you to make bad decisions.
One thing is certain: if you are deeply connected in your innermost Self, you will be able to withstand any sudden or unexpected change in your environment – internal or external. Your ability to withstand sudden and unexpected changes in life is essential to your success in life.
In order to develop this connection to the Self, a fairly dramatic shift in perspective is necessary. This kind of shift in perspective requires that you assume full responsibility for whatever happens in your life. By this I mean that you are responsible for how you respond to whatever happens in your life. Ultimately, this is the work you do in Jungian Analysis and Dream Interpretation: try to remove the weeds that hinder your development and cultivate the areas of potential growth.
True Potential: What Will You Become?
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.C.G. Jung
For many assuming responsibility for their own lives is very difficult. We often have a tendency to unconsciously cling to the crutch of blaming others for where we are: our parents for not raising us properly; our siblings for picking on us; the people around us for not understanding us. Now this one is tricky – this unconscious clinging thing. And this what dreams get at. You may say to yourself, “I’m not clinging to anything.” But a dream will show you that something in you is clinging.
We give ourselves excuses for not consciously working with life exactly as it unfolds. Suppose a tree was to just give up every time it hit an obstacle in the soil?
So, ask yourself what potential in you needs to be fulfilled. It’s totally fine if you don’t yet have an answer. Watch your dreams and see if they give you any guidance. Most of all, pay attention to your deepest desires. Don’t shut them out.
From your personal experience and what you’ve seen with analysands, would you say that being authentic is a road opener? Say, if instead of making choices with my intellect alone, I try to integrate other factors, my emotions, my intuitions and even sensations. Do you expect that this would create more favorable external situations? For instance, more opportunities?
Analysis is about wholeness (not happiness), something which hopefully places you in a better position to accept life as it is. That never means you don’t work for change or opportunities. “Creating favorable external situations” … that’s not at all what this work is about. I can say from my experience and from what I have seen with analysands, that the external world seems to organize itself around the work we do in analysis. For example, if you get yourself right with the inner masculine or inner feminine, then you will tend to draw new people into your life. Problematic personalities fade out of your life, or at least they fade out of the inner circle. But “creating more opportunities” just sounds like sublimated will to power.