Return of the Repressed
We don’t hear too much about Sigmund Freud these days, but he popped into my mind when I looked at the charts for this weekend. He would no doubt have appreciated the irony of his current return to my consciousness because the charts speak powerfully now about what he termed the ‘return of the repressed’.
They point to the likelihood of old, disowned energies and imprints, memories, emotions and impressions, bubbling to the surface once more. And to be clear, we’re not talking here about that anxiety provoking conversation we need to have with someone that we’ve been putting off, or even that seething anger we’ve been trying to ignore for the past who knows how long. This stuff goes way deeper than that, taking us beyond articulation into a place of sensation and impression which may feel disorienting and unsettling at first.
When we disconnect from something within our consciousness so completely that it can no longer register and is denied access to conscious expression or articulation in any form, it has been repressed. We’ve all done it, but, by its very nature, we didn’t realise it at the time. Most of it happens in childhood when the world can be a very scary place in which we are extremely vulnerable. Yes, childhood is often depicted as that time of freedom, creativity and happiness when we had not a care in the world, but the truth is often very different and far darker.
We are never more dependent or more vulnerable than when we are children, and childhood is only a time of freedom and happiness for those in an environment which mitigates that vulnerability and assures them a reasonable amount of safety and love. And sadly this is often not the case.
So what does a very tiny person in a huge and scary world do with the experience of terror and helplessness, confusion and fear? They repress it. We repress it. Out of consciousness, so deeply that we don’t have to deal with it, revisit it, experience it again, because to do so would unleash that very same terror, the very thing that our whole being is mobilised to avoid. And who in their right mind would want to do that?
Well… right mind or not, some of it is on the way back up now, not to taunt and break us but to provide the chance to reassemble ourselves, our history, our legacy into a coherent whole which will enable us to move forward with greater strength and deeper faith. The repressed returns in many forms: sometimes through dreams or hypnogogic visions; sometimes it is the physical body which speaks of rejected feelings and fears; sometimes a nameless anxiety or free-floating fear takes a hold and leads us into places within our own psyche we resist visiting. But visit them we must if we are to do the work of the coming Blue Moon on 20th/21st August, which acts as both a powerful purgative and a profoundly healing force.
It may feel like a challenging and traumatic process, but the more willing we are to embrace it, the more power lies at its heart as we unleash the energy bound up for so long in keeping hidden that which was too much to bear in days gone by. The fact is, we survived those days, those feelings, those threats. No matter how deep the terror or how painful the experience, we’re still here, we’re still breathing, we’re still growing in wisdom, insight and love. We don’t have to fear these feelings, the confusion and vulnerability. We’re strong enough to feel them now, to comfort them. To reassure the tiny person who felt them initially that it’s okay – they survived and they’re safe now.
The repressed always returns for a reason and it’s never to hurt and wound, only to be heard and healed, experienced and acknowledged. These coming days it rises up from its murky depths asking to be bathed in the light of the coming Blue Moon, knowing it is this light which can heal it once and for all, if we will but let it in to the darkest places within us, which we’ve avoided for so long.
Here’s wishing deep healing and liberation for us all.