I am Napoleon Blown-apart ~ on trying and failing to maintain psychic cohesion

I am Napoleon Blown-apart ~ on trying and failing to maintain psychic cohesion

On Thursday morning we came down to a certain amount of devastation. High winds had wreaked havoc all over Britain but for once, we had not escaped unscathed. A number of panes of glass had blown in or blown out in our small conservatory and it and the garden were covered in shards of glass. Other panes, including the door, were cracked and much of the day was spent sorting out the problems. Now, everything shored up and awaiting proper repairs in due course, I’ve got a moment to process some of my reactions.

Seeing empty space where glass was, feeling wind and rain blowing in where none should be, and touching the gaping empty holes where none should be reminded me of how I feel emotionally a frightening amount of time. Those esoterically trained will surely be shaking their heads at my naivety and are ready to offer me a whole host of advice about maintaining my psychic boundaries, strengthening my energy field and shoring up my aura. And indeed, I have a short shelf full of books on such things. I could probably write a book on psychic self defence and related matters, and I don’t deny that some of it works. You might (if you are of a more sceptical bent) decide that the placebo effect is at work here: you feel safer, therefore you act safer, therefore you are safer.

I don’t know any more really. Despite having a vast horde of techniques and tricks, not to mention enough crystals to run a shop in Glastonbury for a week or two, nothing really works that well for me. Or at all. Staring at my wrecked conservatory today, I began to wonder why and the skeleton of the building made me think. It’s about a cohesive framework, perhaps, or a body to hang skin from. My conservatory is made with all angles and straight lines, with a few defined curves, and the panes of glass sit neatly in their places. It’s stood up to high winds before, and never lost a pane. The design works because while all the frame and all the panes are in place, they support each other. One pane going out meant the whole thing was at risk; flying debris may well have started it.

But I am so far from wholeness that there are gaps in my framework, there are missing pieces that mean that much of my self defence is a matter of cling-film gaffer-taped over cracks and gaps. It might last for a few days, as long as it isn’t subject to anything too demanding but it is a temporary fix. I’ve been doing this sort of repair as long as I can remember. No wonder then that harsh words and losing friends and the usual buffeting life  hurls at us shreds my defences and leaves me raw and naked to the elements.

I’m faced with a choice, really. Using the conservatory as a rough metaphor, I can board over all the gaps, thereby excluding light and sunshine and shutting myself off from the outside world. Each time a piece goes, I can hammer into place great slabs of wood to block out the world. I can leave the temporary fixes till they too fail. Or I can let myself fall into ruins, let the entire outside world, rain, hate, wind and chaos flood into my soul.

There is one final choice: somehow find a way to rebuild my defences so that I allow the optimum balance between protection and sensitivity and involvement in the outside world. For this I need to take time to see what my real shape is. I may have been trying to maintain a form that is not my true form, using straight lines when I needed to use curves, and using a framework that is not the real me.

So: back to the drawing board. Back to trying to fathom who I really am, and trying somehow to nurture that person rather than punish her.   

12 thoughts on “I am Napoleon Blown-apart ~ on trying and failing to maintain psychic cohesion

  1. Oh, dear Viv,

    As always, I am so moved by your raw honesty and exquisitely apt imagery. And I can so relate to your content. I, too, took many paths in the 80’s and 90’s in search of ways to heal the separations in myself. From my perspective it seems you have reached a very wise conclusion: finding your true basic framework and working with its realities instead of settling for temporary band-aid solutions.

    As long as we are seeking self-acceptance and self-knowledge and not running from it, I believe there is no one “correct” way; different tools and strategies work for different personalities. The two techniques that were most effective for me were writing and conducting an intentional and persistent exploration of my dreams….I mean the kind I have when I’m asleep! Like a tiny window pane that lets in just a bit more light, each dream provided invaluable clues to my underlying framework. This is still happening, by the way. There’s as much to learn about to the inner universe than we expect!

    I’m looking forward to reading your post of January 6, 2013, to find out what worked best for you! You have so much to offer the world.

    I just started to write “HappyNew Year, my new friend,” and somehow wrote “Happy Birthday,” instead! Perhaps it wasn’t really a mistake so I’ll go with it….

    May this day mark the birth of your true, beautiful soul into a world that has tried so hard to cover it up!!



  2. You know how it is when you hear something that rings ‘true’ without knowing much at all about the details? I sense that here in your analogy of what happened to your conservatory Thursday morning and in what has happened to you over the years and, importantly, what you write of in your conclusion — on getting to better know your true self.

    It sounds good, Viv — if I were your spiritual director, I might say something like, “You’re doing good work here, VIv.”

    Of course, the ‘how of it’ is not so easy, I think, at least in my world. And I’m not sure we ever arrive at full knowledge here, in the vein of how St. Paul writes of how we look in the mirror dimly…. but the journey is worthwhile, nevertheless. And once we begin, it seems like landmarks to direct our steps appear everywhere — in the least unlikely places. Why I even found a few landmarks in Susan Howatch’s novel, The High Flyer. Which of course, I read, because of you.



  3. I found this a wonderful piece and very much related to how you describe yourself and your search for pyschic cohesion/intengration. I have been going through an immensely challenging period myself, which is very much as you describe: ‘trying to maintain a form which is not the real me, trying to maintain straight lines when I should have used curves, using a form that was not the real me’. It such a tough journey, and sometimes it seems that those who try to follow the jungean path of Self integration/wholeness suffer many hardships and perhaps have to fragment perfore they can ever achieve that true and balanced ultimate/destined whole. For sensitive and spiritual people it is particularly hard. Like you, I kind of feel at the fragments stage, sometimes overwhelmed by the storm and winds (I dreamt of huge storms and lots of broken umbrellas scattered around), but we must remain hopeful and believe in that ultimate destiny wholeness and happiness which is our true source. I am a fellow traveller with you (and many people actually) and none of us are alone in this journey. I do find your blog a source of interest, inspiration and hope too. I am particularly interested in shamanism which I have studies extensively!
    PS I must re-start my own much neglected blog soon too!


    • Its good to see you here, Liz, just sorry I am not able to reply as fully as I’d like. We must meet one day and have a good long talk over many coffees!


  4. A lot of masters say it isn’t a question of defending but allowing things to go through you without affecting you… Easier said than done I know (I really know) but as I read I kept thinking, “Maybe more defenses aren’t the answer.”


  5. Wood blocks out the light and stops people seeing you.
    What you need are Star Trek style force fields! Then you can set them to the intensity level you need at the push of a (mental) button.


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