Creative Connections & Client Communications
Recognizing Limiting Boundaries
Author Julian L. Simon ( Good Mood –the New Psychology of Overcoming Depression) writes an entrancing phrase: “Childhood experiences are the colors with which the adult draws pictures of life.”
This observation plays easily into the Zen thought that there are no boundaries between the past, present, and future. At any given time, we are living an expanded present (my term), one in which what has gone before focuses as leverage to what is coming ahead. In a real sense, in any moment of development, the future has already happened.
“My daughter is NOT going out on dates until she is out of high school and shows me that she’s serious about life” –or something to that effect leads, easily to the conception, the color for the future: “Going out on a date means I’m whoring around. I am wrong to have these desires. Sex is dirty.” --This is a rather common state of affairs in the development of young women –even now. [Especially one or two generations ago, with the daughters of immigrant parents; still now with strict religious families.]
The choice is clear: to please the father (or the mother, often, making such a pronouncement) one can leave the family and suffer extremely protracted animosity into the future; or one can toe the line with patience and behavioral adaptation, which itself conditions relationships for an extremely protracted length of time.
After a while, the cause of the behavioral adaptations is submerged or strategically forgotten, and even an aggrandized image of the tyrannical parent may be substituted as the ideal longed for. The behaviors endure; the organism is making the best of a difficult situation; and personal fulfillment founders in the dark.
“No son of mine will ever be a politician, y’ hear? Politicians are the ugly people of society; they’re all liars and exploiters; they practically ruined my business. We’re lucky still to have a roof over our head!” --Think of that pressure on the son; what an ugly color for the expanded present of experience, endeavor, and end goal. Father’s pride is never, ever felt.
The choice is clear: to please the father, one can leave the family, work in the world of local government and politics, with eyes to national office someday, and suffer protracted animosity into the future; or one can toe the line with patience and behavioral adaptation, following in the father’s footsteps, in his profession as a manufacturer, which conditions self-worth feelings and relationships for an extremely protracted length of time.
In these scenarios –and many similar ones—an artificial, intrusive boundary is placed into the growing individual’s sense of Self. What forms is the idea of the Self and the non-Self : the Self the individual wants, and the Self prescribed by the parents. [See “The Astrology of Intimacy, Sexuality & Relationship”] The boundary becomes problematic: the rulership networks may be in Fixed signs suggesting very closed-off acquiescence; rigid self-protectionism. The boundary may be dramatically reactive in Cardinal signs, fighting and rebelling all the way to freedom. The boundary may be porous and weak, imploding and victimized. In every way, the Self is compromised.
Discussing situations of adverse parental conditioning with the client –discovering the situations in the horoscope, which is often extremely easy, and discussing them gently and creatively with the client, which is quite challenging [See The Creative Astrologer]— illuminates the colors. We can help the client see them for what they are: garish accents, misty camouflage, or red-flags high on the mast. But is it crucially important to the process of single-session therapy, for the astrological consultation dealing with problems like this, to realize that awareness of the situation opens the door to change.
A detailed self-assessment is in order, and, fascinatingly, it comes quite naturally when an empathic, objective mirror [the astrologer] reflects the structure of difficulties. [Please see Monitoring and analyzing thinking reveal the patterns conditioned in those earlier times. The past clearly still exists in the present and future.
What are my assets now? Have I overlooked how well off I really am? Is just one thing knocking all of this out of proportion? --I’m not alone; I have a job; my sex life could be better but it’s not dead yet!, I talk with friends and I can make them interested in what I have to say and I can make them laugh! Hmmm.
Think about what your client is doing with the information you discuss in the consultation. What should your client do? It’s not just an approach to an event, the asking for a raise, meeting a new mate, etc. It is much more: it’s reaching the Sun.
Next Update: October 31, 2002