Helgaís Heartlines: A Journal
Saturday, May 19th, 2001
animus n [[ L, soul, mind, disposition, passion, akin to anima ]] 1 An animating force or underlying purpose; intention 2 in jungian psychology, the masculine component of the unconscious of a woman, specif. when apprehended as a male figure by the psyche: cf. ANIMA 3 a feeling of strong ill will or hatred; animosity
~ WEBSTER's NEW WORLD DICTIONARY ~ THIRD COLLEGE EDITION ~
Here I go again with another í60s slogan. On second thought, thatís okay; thatís My Generation. While I canít speak for it you may identify me with it. I speak especially but not exclusively to You.
I am currently engaged in the gargantuan struggle for self-mastery, self-integration, self-actualization and self-love through which I might fully comprehend and express Other Love. What a task I have set for myself! The closer I try to move toward it the harder it smacks me in the face! Iím assaulted by the Reality of that which I seek. My Dark Side doesnít like me Ė or - is that because I donít like it? For heavensí sake, what else should I expect? If it were not my Shadow, naturally I would identify with and love it. So, how do we reconcile and come together? How do I become whole?
They say, in order to love others successfully you must first love yourself. I have found this to be true - Not that I mean to suggest I am not loved. I am. But real reciprocal love in relationship and genuine self-expression in society, by and large, have eluded me. My male/female pattern has been mostly of the see-saw sort Ė unrequited Ė either I am the one obsessed or someone is with me Ė alas, without synchronicity. Except when circumstance imposes itself to prevent complete satisfaction. In my personal circle it seems every one I know wants a piece of me Ė but they want me the way THEY want me Ė though well-intentioned, in a deep sense, at my expense.
What about me? What about what I want? I am frozen in feeling for almost everything except that which I canít have or havenít been able to realize. I am stuck in my circumstance, my situational straight-jacket and lack of fulfillment, which I can, perhaps must, escape, though I fear, not painlessly.
A few years ago I wrote 'Today is the First Day', and 'Babyboomer: What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?' Thus did I confess my fears, failings and hopes for the future. Except for the writing of them, Iím still stuck! Meanwhile, my nearest and dearest point out what a success I am: What is it I want? Well, I want to express myself - the real me - and make it work for me. I want it to be purposeful and helpful for others and satisfying and sustaining for myself. This from one who is normally too shy and reticent in public to speak! Do I possess some unique bit of talent or creativity? I try to plumb the depths of my being, conscious and unconscious, and tap into that elusive property and pull it out. Whether there or not, the clarion call of former Themestream author, Gabrielle Smith, invariably compels me: I HAVE To WRITE!
But, I have to have something worthwhile and inspiring to say, because thatís my view of life and what I want to share. Iím passionate about Life and all that is good and true and joyful and beautiful therein. My fellow Baby Boomers, I want you to see and know you havenít missed out as yet - the glass is indeed half full. Maybe the second half counts as much, more than the first. I want to make it so, for me. And if for me, why not you, too?
In the personal sphere I seek greater fulfillment in my relationships. In order for that to happen, however, I need to recognize, own and embrace my disowned self. A tall order! A seemingly impossible task! I need to take back my projections; those parts of me I dislike or envy or even admire, but believe donít belong to me. Perhaps then I wonít reject or be rejected by those Others whom I have and seek. Perhaps then Iíll find completion or a complementary fit.
Cyberspace has proven to be a uniquely suitable, yet haphazard and hazardous testing ground for Shadow Boxing with my psyche. Of course, the very nature of the medium makes this the essential level of communication. Here, individual identities hide behind USERIDs and appear and disappear. They seek me out, appraise, applaud, or criticize, then just as suddenly vanish. Sometimes, thanks to them my spirits soar; other times Iím left momentarily but not mortally wounded - devastated, deflated.
Shadow Boxing is exactly that. I have gotten psychically stronger, mentally tougher. My essence, my essential self remains intact. I am learning how to operate with etiquette, elan and integrity in this largely untried and untested realm, this new frontier, this truly New Wild West. Through Internet Chat and associated Clubs Iíve clearly seen the (un)hidden thus uninhibited Animus at work. Where debate turns into hate, where One is accused of that which the Other demonstrates clearly (s)he possesses, but projects onto the Other(s) and disowns.
Iíve been astounded to discover the depth of animosity and lack of love for Others, other than Oneís own, there really is out there! It is not so obvious in 'normal' society aka the Real World. From my perspective itís a good thing to know, though definitely not good news to know about this awful fact of life. Maybe now I/we can deal with it, just like those hidden, not nice parts of our selves. By being aware, I try to be more sensitive to it. Itís all about sensitivity Ė how we treat each other. Iíve found the most unkind are often the most sensitive of all! So, Iím learning to tread carefully but firmly through this tender, uncharted territory.
In the Real World, of which I fondly speak and for which I have great affection, Iím learning - albeit late - to let myself get angry when appropriate; to show this 'not nice' emotion in a timely manner instead of harboring, thus building resentment upon resentment until Iím forced to explode. A professed 'people-pleaser' itís been a hard road for me to learn when to simply say no. Hence there is much residual anger brewing about within, directed mostly at myself, for letting ME burden and hamper me.
For this reason war stories have been a tremendous outlet for my long-latent energies. Iíve immersed myself for some years now in that terrible tragedy, the American Civil War. Iíve lived it from both sides and both respective political and military perspectives, as attested by my several writings on the subject. Not only do I write from the familiar confines of my comfortable desk and den but from my cathartic experience of those bitter battlefields.
I/We. Me/My Animus. Slowly but surely it is/we are all coming together, and so, I trust, am I....
~ Helga Marion Ross ~