Precarious Living

Precarious Living

Photography and Text by Jules Hovee Steffen

The bird's nest is carefully created in such a way that fosters safety for these little beings. This long-armed branch extends far from shore, over thinly-iced waters where humans cannot wander, enhancing safety for these nested babes.  And the smaller vertical twig-like branches that rise up around the nest, may offer additional protection from winged prey who seek to invade.  Arduous care and intentional planning are imperative when one's safety is in the balance.  Yet, some may perceive the positioning of this home to be quite precarious, delicately suspended above the fragile icy waters. The above depiction begs one to consider the following: that within the realm of human wounding,  there are those who have a sense that they may have lived a frail existence from their precarious positioning in their home environment, where they have felt vulnerable and unsafe, spanning from the time of their early existence.

For those who experience a sense of familiarity with what may have been precarious positioning in their home experience, a sense of safety is one major ingredient that was out of their reach.   Walking on egg shells, waiting for the next shoe to drop, living in such a way as to have no apparent needs or wants, for fear that they will not be met, listening with one's ear to the ground so as to not miss a slight variation of emotion, gesture, inuendo, mixed message, or tone, and many more experiences of what may seem like frail living, likely descriptors of one's experience and deep knowing.   A sense of safety may feel remote, unavailable, and far from reality.

There may be diligence and hypersensitivity in response to one's environment during the prenatal time.  Incredible consciousness is available to a prenate during this time.   The prenate comprehends and absorbs all of the messages and energy (both positive and negative) that permeate the womb, thus entering into the prenate's system.  The prenate internalizes and identifies with these messages/energy, and makes it mean everything about "self" given that the prenate lacks boundaries, armed with only very primitive prenatal defenses.  Some of the archaic scripts about "self" include  I'm unwanted, I don't matter, I'm stupid, I'm bad, it's all my fault, I'm wrong, I shouldn't be here, I'll die, I want to die, etc. The degree to which the negative messages permeate the prenate is reflected in the lives of those with whom I support in their therapy.  What permeated the prenate inutero, continues to permeate one's life in childhood, adolescence and adulthood until consciously confronted, and new, healthy, and accurate scripts, are formed.  See my blogpost, Our Running Scripts, dated December 15, 2010 for more elaboration.

Our bodies reflect what is happening for us on multiple levels, whether it be physical, emotional, energetic, and/or spiritual.  The arm-like branch that extends outward to hold what may be a home for winged babies hovering over the thinly-iced waters (depicted above), or for our purpose here, may reflect the wounded qualities of the human home we may have experienced in some way, have far-reaching ramifications within one's life.

Many combinations of these themes may present themselves during regressive sessions in one's therapy:  the theme of reaching may be closely aligned to the image above of the elongated branch that hovers over dangerous waters; the branch extension may resemble how distant one feels from connecting with one's parent(s) who serve as one of the first relationships in life;  the branch and fragile home may symbolize the degree of connection (or lack thereof) with self and others; the longing to reach for one's spiritual connection may prompt the perception that this connection is remote and unavailable, and may stem from one's experience when leaving Spirit prior to Embodiment (i.e. taking on a body after being conceived by one's parents); reaching for a new job/career may be laced with past challenges of reaching for someone/something that felt quite distant or absent; while reaching for a something on a shelf, one may encounter a physical pain in one's body, the origins of which resonate from time's past when reaching out to make contact with a parent or caregiver, an experience that may be laden with emotional pain.   There is no limit to the connections we may experience with this theme of reaching and the themes that are created in life.  The act of reaching may prompt us to remember or feel into the ways in which we perceive we have been abandoned in some way.

The embodied physical pain, mentioned above, while reaching for the item on a shelf, speaks loudly to the degree of emotional and/or spiritual pain that resides deep within.  I am in pain = I am the pain.  If as a prenate, the mother was in pain in some way (not wanting the pregnancy, in pain because of the pregnancy, believing the pregnancy pains her life, etc.), the prenate may internalize these messages/energy and make it mean everything about "self," feeling responsible for the mother's pain, thus concluding I'm the pain.  As the prenate develops, experiences birth, and continues in life, this person may likely continue to attract situations and experiences where this belief is mirrored and perpetuated, where pain is present in life.  These mirrored happenings may include experiences that are physical, emotional, energetic, and/or spiritual in nature.  They are threaded together by the very early prenatal experiences that leave deep imprints within the prenate's system and dig deep into one's system, such that they negatively impact life experiences.

When we begin to consciously connect with the themes that run deep inside of us, and grab onto the ways in which they repeat over and over in our lives, we have entered into the Middle Ground: Where Sages Dwell.  It's here where we begin to know the wisdom that lies deep within our being, that has orchestrated the weaving of these themes together in an effort to protect ourselves in some way from the dangers that lurked over us at times when we were little, young, and defenseless.




Jules Steffen, LMHC

Middle Ground: Where Sages Dwell

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