We all know someone that just does not seem to connect with the people in their life in a real way. They can carry on a conversation, hold a job, keep a marriage together, and raise their children. But there seems to be something basic missing. They seem to be acting the way they think they are supposed to, or the way others around them act – indeed, they seem to be acting. Let’s discuss two different types of such situations: those trapped separate from their “unlived lives”, and those who are “not yet born”.
Remember when you were a small child, and at any given moment in time you had a ready answer if someone asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” One day it may have been a policeman, the next perhaps a dancer. But your imagination always readily envisioned the life you wanted to live. That was when as a child you could easily access that world of the imagination, and in that vast world almost anything is possible. In fact, children do actually live that life momentarily in their play, in daydreaming, and in enacting their fantasies.
As adulthood arrives, we lose more and more of such ready access to the imagination and its vast world where almost anything is possible. We begin to “settle down”, to “pick a career”, to become burdened with responsibilities that limit our choices about the life we want to live. Maybe we stay in a loveless marriage for the sake of the kids, or remain in an unfulfilling job for the security it provides. This individual is living a life, yet has an “unlived life” that remains out of reach, often not even acknowledged. And living this way drains the passion and meaning out of one’s daily activities; the routine becomes a drudgery, a rut with no joie de vivre, no cheerful enjoyment of life.
Such people sometimes come into hypnotherapy with symptoms of depression or somatic symptoms of fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders or other forms of stress and fatigue. A basic question that often surfaces is, “Whose life am I living?” Is it the life that my parents wanted for me, or that I was conditioned to believe is the best I can hope for? And very often through the altered state of hypnosis a person once again begins to open up that access to the imagination that may have been dormant since childhood. New possibilities enter into conscious awareness, opening an expanded perspective that acknowledges the very real possibility of choosing to live one’s “unlived lives”.
“Not Yet Born”
Some people live their life as if it is what’s happening while they wait for something else, something more satisfying that they can really engage in, that will feed their soul in a way not yet experienced. Maybe they are “biding their time” until they meet their soul mate, or until their true talents are discovered, or until they have enough credentials or money in the bank or courage to make a significant change in their life. Carl Jung once said, “There are plenty of people who are not yet born. They seem to be all here, they walk about – but as a matter of fact, they are not yet born, because they are behind a glass wall . . . they have not formed a connection with this world.”* Such people have conditions that the world must meet before they will commit to really living wholeheartedly. They are living halfheartedly, waiting to see if life will live up to their demands before fully committing to it.
Jung went on to say, “Now, it is most important that you should be born; you ought to come into this world – otherwise you cannot realize the self, and the purpose of this world has been missed.”* The work we do in Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy offers individuals the opportunity to examine any of their unconscious beliefs that may be holding them back from living wholeheartedly. Maybe the inner artist within is not yet born, or the part of you that craves more adventure and fun, or the part of you that has indefinitely postponed taking up a spiritual practice. Until these parts of you are allowed to come to life, you have not realized the self, your self. And why not? What is holding any of us back from being all that we can be, all that we want to be? This growth and adult development is also the help we offer people, in addition to repairing the damage done by traumas in life.
*Carl Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C. G. Jung, Sonu Shamdasani (Ed.), Bollingen Series XCIX, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996, pp. 28-29.