Thursday, February 16, 2017

Zen and the Lost Art of Motherhood

A Simple Truth of the Way of Things[1]

It is a given that every child has a legitimate need to be noticed, understood, taken seriously, and respected by their mother. 
This is beautifully illustrated in one of Donald Winnicott’s images: the mother gazes at the baby in her arms and the baby gazes at his mother’s face and in the process finds himself therein. 
This is only possible provided his mother is really looking at the unique, small, helpless being in her arms and not projecting her own expectations, fears and plans for the child onto the child.  If she, is then the child will not find himself in his mother’s face, but rather his mother’s projections.
This child is left without a mirror of self. 
He or she needs their mother to reflect them back to themselves. 
If this does not happen, if the child is left without a mirror, then for the rest of their lives they will be seeking this mirror in vain. Thus we search in vain through our partnering to find the lost and missing reflection that was missed in childhood.

Extracted from Into The Light ... available on

[1] Adapted from Alice Millers Drama of the Gifted Child

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Denial of the Five Freedoms

Deny Feelings
This Is A Defense Strategy
It Keeps the Unwanted Away
This set of rules keeps us in a place where we can appear to be having a good time while at the same time deep down inside, we are scared half to death about things we can’t even imagine or really clearly remember.
Deny anything that might stir up feelings such as perceptions, thoughts, wants and imaginings and especially things that have been predetermined to be negative like fear, loneliness, sadness, hurt, rejection and dependency needs.
This theme is a variation on the rules of Perfectionism and brings us back to the first tenet of Perfectionism:
No Rule Takes Us To Hopelessness Any Faster Than This One.”
This rule dictates that: “You Should Not Think, Feel, Desire, Imagine, See Or Hear The Way You Do, You Have To Do It The Way The System Demands You Do.”
In other words, it is imperative to know the rules of Normal at my house, my work etc and then live my life adjusting my reality to suit the rules of the road. And I have to do this regardless of my thoughts, wishes and desires.

Available on