Flourishing – Life’s Natural Throb of Ongoing Reconstitution | Leslie Zimmermann | Accredited Jungian Analyst | Johannesburg

Sylvia’s journey

Her best and her worst, her life anchor and her desires are actually different facets of the same diamond. Turn it around – gaze upon each polished shimmering surface as it becomes the foreground – and you’ll see her story.

Looking at her first facet, we see the story of her best talents and strengths, of being able to see the parts of a whole with its relationships and connections, even those, which are seemingly distant. This is what she does in her every-day life. This enables her to see the wholeness, the seeming solidness of people and things so that the myriad deep, layered and rich inner and outer environment comes into view. It is a spectacular sight of hopes, desires, yearnings, joys, deep losses, pain and strengths. This done, she can partner with the innate living power and reach of the other so that inner flourishing can be restored. In this way, she is something like an orchid, but also recognizes this in others.  She sees herself, and all things living as beautiful, enduring and serene – like an orchid. Not fragile – but solid and well-formed in their structure and in their ongoing reflowering – each time new, yet, recognizably the same. This is her anchor. Like her orchids, her only vulnerability is found in not attending to her unique needs for living life and flourishing, whereupon she then slowly withers and dies. But she doesn’t give up. With ongoing constancy, she works and toils, always moving herself onwards and forwards and all the while, she creates a milieu of beauty, aesthetics, peace and serenity in her life.

As we turn towards a second facet, we see her deep scars – the tearing, the rips that take her apart, shredding and scattering her into countless shards of pain, of anger, of shock. This is no longer the creative act of awakening, of analyzing, of opening up – much as a bud opens to reveal its intricate inner self. This is rough, irregular stripping – the wordless decent into a void. Into darkness so deep it is “the unnameable.” It becomes fragmentation so unbearable that all consciousness of it must urgently be removed and eliminated so that peace can be restored once more. It is self-destructive. It is the driving need to remove mind, all thoughts, all the terrifying emotions that are lacerating her body and mind until finally, her body becomes still once more. But wait, we can see that a window has opened. She has seen a glimpse of her suffering self that has been hidden all this while. All these years. She begins to see a chink of light in this blackness. She feels hope and deep love for her wounded self as at last, she sits quietly in this faint dawn that is breaking through.

One more facet reveals her need to be free – a way of being in the world that is not rule bound, but a healthy form of moving beyond the bounds. Just as being able to see the parts of a whole with its relationships and connections, which open up the rules of wholeness, she has also lived its opposite of tearing apart, always… until now… a juxtaposition with her slumbering, but living violent, terrifying moments of dark fragmentation.

With the beginning of some light revealing her inner and outer story, yet another facet illuminates some understanding about her shock and distress when logic in others disappears and their insanity enters. She realizes that it begins to touch the deep gloomy, black cavern of her own early experiences that led to losses and the shock of being met with such insanity– a lack of reason – by others – awakening a brooding in her depths. No need to fear what has now been seen. Gently coax her suffering self into the light. Bring words to a terrified self who needs her care. Who always has.

And then, the final facet in this quarter of her diamond brings all of it together. Both the beauty and the pain of coming apart. It opens the door for some kind of reconstitution as these two emotions are twinned in life. Pain, disappointments and difficulties when seen and understood in differentiated form, can move her towards finding solidness, peace and serenity. So that, like her orchids, she can provide herself with what she wants and doesn’t want and what she likes and doesn’t like – so that she can return again and again to flourishing – to life’s natural throb of ongoing reconstitution instead of silently withering and fading away. This is also her way of life – the rules that foster living, woven into the freedom to live it her way.

Bring some magic into your life! Ideas developed by Leslie Zimmermann.

MA in Research Psychology, Cum Laude (Witwatersrand University, South Africa)
Post-graduate Diplomate, Accredited Analytical Psychologist (Switzerland)
Member: SAPC (South African Psychoanalytic Confederation)
Member: IAAP (International Association for Analytical Psychology
Member: SAAJA South Africa

About Leslie

Leslie Zimmermann is an accredited  Jungian Analyst trained in the philosophy and psychology of C.G. Jung in Zürich and is based in Johannesburg. She offers a range of services, which she integrates, to meet the needs and aspirations of people. In a word, her work is in the service of wholeness. Wholeness includes both our vulnerabilities and our strengths, becoming conscious of our own unique mix of these, honoring our own unique way of functioning and with this knowledge and confidence, contributing as only we each can in our own way, to this evolving world we find ourselves to be a part of.

Besides having a Diplomate qualification in Analytical psychology, which qualifies me to write about the theory and practice of dream interpretation, I also have an Honours degree in Applied Psychology and a Masters degree in Research psychology, which qualify me to write about theories of human development, personality, abnormal psychology, social psychology, neuropsychology, sociology and ethics. Also, theories and knowledge pertaining to sleep and dreams from a symbolic perspective including neuropsychological and biological systems.

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