“There is enough light for one who wants to see” Imam Ali (AS)
Foundations have been laid now that will aid the exploration and curiosity to the pointers towards inner medicine found within us. The 6 foundation points that I have mentioned will be repeated over and over again through the pointers, and there will be plenty of opportunities to understand them better through the practice of them. The basis of these foundation points is to learn to establish a good relationship with oneself. In fact, they are equally important to establish any kind of relationship, with people and any other breathing and living thing. We are relational beings, hearts do not heal through individualism nor loneliness, they heal and grow through relationships. And yet, it is most of the time due to relationships that people end up in the therapeutic rooms. What a paradox!
“There is no light without shadow, and no psychic wholeness without imperfection” Carl Jung
The importance of learning to listen and witness oneself is precisely in order to establish a good relationship and intimacy with the whole of us which in consequence offers the opportunity to have clear and transparent relationships with others. When we are able to see, witness and accept the whole of ourselves, without repressing, bullying, minimising, invalidating, hiding, covering up, pretending and the list goes on… we are able to do so for others too. When we learn to value ourselves, when we are clear with our needs, when we listen to what is important, when we respect ourselves, when we understand our boundaries we are able to do so for others too.
“Confronting the shadow means to stop blaming others” Edward Edinger
We are all mirrors of each other. Every person we encounter can become an opportunity for us to witness ourselves, to come to know ourselves better. The fact that we don’t see our face unless we hold a mirror is a great metaphor of this. From childhood we learnt to see ourselves through the expression of others. It was then that we learnt to read non verbal cues hidden in the verbal communication process. As children' our parent expressions meant very simply: I am accepted, I am rejected, I am wanted, I am not. Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do you understand me? And many of us gave up from very early years on basic expressions of the self and therefore our fitrah (inner nature and natural disposition) because they were rejected by our growing up environments. In adulthood, many of those needs and wants and expressions come back and mix up in our relational field. Any emotion someone else makes us feel, whether good or bad, are great opportunities to look within, and become curious and learn from ourselves and become more transparent in our relationship with ourselves.
“To confront a person in his own shadow is to show him his own light” Carl Jung
A little note I would like to make is in relation to a capricious lover that we hold within. Actually, sometimes it looks very much like a small child doing a tantrum in the middle of a shopping centre while you are carrying heavy bags. Therapy can be a very difficult but rewarding process if one learns to be resilient. The same happens when we set intentions to do any kind of inner work. In holistic therapies it is very well known the term “Healing Crisis”. The body will usually feel ill before it feels better. Psychological, emotional and energetic/physical clearing movement takes time. When one does more somatic practices, it is well known that one might experience rashes in the skin, or have an odd cold. When learning to listen to oneself, the inner voices become louder, just like the child at the shopping centre. But that process just shows you how much abandonment our Self has felt. The practices I will mention here are very simple and easy to follow, and hopefully they might ignite more curiosity for you to find ways of learning deeper about them as your intuition guides you. Having said that, if it becomes too overwhelming (even if it doesn’t but you would like to go deeper in knowing and understanding yourself), do not hesitate to contact a counsellor or psychotherapist. I have plenty of contacts of wonderful therapists that I can provide for anyone who asks as well as contact of agencies who offer free therapy for those who cannot afford private therapy.