A long time ago I had the good fortune of needing therapy. Of course, such life passages happen to all of us, but what was fortunate for me is I fell into the office of Jungian Analyst David Bennett.
David was great. From day one he offered me insights and ways of looking and thinking about life’s journey that will stay with me forever. Among them was what he called “the Renegade factor.”
As I’m sure you are aware, Carl Jung classified different human characteristics in terms of “archetypes,” perceiving that we can gain great understanding of our selves and the forces that drive us by recognizing them in terms of these symbolic representations. It is also important to note that, according to Jung, the most important thing for a person to do in life is to “individuate.” In Jungian psychology, Individuation is “the gradual integration and unification of the self through the resolution of successive layers of psychological conflict. “
More easily said it’s to be yourself. But really yourself.
Steven Gilligan said some of the power that Milton Erickson had was that he was “totally comfortable with his own weirdness.” So, when you were with him, there was that implicit permission to be comfortable with your own weirdness. I think it might be true, that perhaps Dr. Erickson had individuated and thus was an exemplar of that way of being.
But let’s get back to David.
David Bennett said this… He said there will be times, along your path toward individuation, that your true self will require that you renege on the expectations of society, even of those people closest to you, and “commit the crime of your own uniqueness.”
In other words, you might sometimes have to take actions in your life that are true to you, true to your soul, right for you and your genuine personal best interests, and these actions might really piss somebody else off. But you have to do it. Someone may hate you, but you have to live with that. To them, from their perception, your actions are tantamount to committing a crime. “You said you would! You promised!” But you are being lead by the renegade archetype down a path that perhaps no one else can appreciate, but is right , is necessary for you.
But you do it because you must.
You do it because it is the right thing to do… for you.
And you deserve it.
You’re entitled to it.