This is a post I wrote a long while back. I have over 80 posts in my drafts file that the critic sanctions. As a practice of letting things out I am freeing some of my drafts from drafts.. to published:
I find synchronicity really interesting. Yesterday I went to the local library to get some new audio books and I came across a novel by P C Boyd of The Boy In the Stripped Pyjama’s fame. It was called Wild Child and was about a boy raised by wolves who is then found and taken back into society and of the struggle and drama that ensues. I haven’t borrowed it or listened to it yet, but it really intrigued me, this idea of where the human and the animal intersect and how being exiled into the animal world may impact someone, forcing them to develop in certain ways that are not so civilised.
I feel part of my healing is to have embarked upon a relationship with my dog over four years ago. I haven’t had children and so I haven’t been brought face to face in that kind of relationship with the triggers of my own childhood. I think deep down I was scared that if I did have children I would pass a lot of damage on and so, many years ago I had several terminations of pregnancy. Having an animal is not exactly like having a child but there are similarities and I do believe that having such a relationship triggers so much about our own history and conditioning and approach to life. It also raises issues around obedience and control. I read somewhere recently that owning an animal often forces us to recognise aspects of our shadow, which animals can express for us.
In my own case my childhood was controlled and controlling, when my parents were around but when they were not (which was a lot of the time) I had free reign and because of my deeply inquisitive and passionate nature I would get up to all kinds of mischief. Due to the emotional repression or the scary outbursts of aggression in my Mum I learned to repress and hide, the acting out of the repressed impulses came a lot later when alcohol entered the picture.
Alcohol freed me from the repression and unloosed the tied up energies. It made me a real wild child. It turns out that yesterday at a funeral I ran into an old school friend and she was laughing over how wild our year was. We were raised in the Catholic education system and I think that wildness was a legacy of all the repression.
There is a certain element of being wild that to my mind has to do with living the life of a spirit where the true fire or essence of ourselves has a chance to shine or burn clean obstructions to that spiritual energy that is divine being. At times this fire can be dampened and we can be over civilised or have this wildness distorted by conditioning and by a collective culture (most especially those of us born prior to the 1980s), which does not allow the nature wildness of the soul a free reign to grow and express.
Jungian psychotherapist, Clarissa Pinkola Estes devoted an entire book this subject : Women Who Run with the Wolves. She speaks much of the soul in this book and most especially the wild aspect of a woman’s soul that can be destroyed or captured by too much civility, repression or conditioning.
The idea of a boy raised by wolves intrigues me if the wolves were a metaphor for a people who lived closer to nature and to the vital aliveness of wildness. Would chaos reign supreme? Who knows. But something about that kind of society appeals to me. I’m not a big fan of the word or principle of control. In the words of a recent movie I feel the world would be better if we all allowed A Little Chaos and wildness into our lives. I would love to see a world where people did not feel the need to apologise for expressing natural emotions. This post is my attempt to reflect on this wild self a little.
As if my synchronicity today I was reading how control can be one result of not attaching or bonding or forming relationships of trust in childhood. At time I try to over control myself because my natural messy, expressive, passionate self does not live up to what was appreciated by my parents. I then turn against myself and my own energy and my dog Jasper in carrying the shadow ends up making a mess, pissing on the bathroom mat or engaging in some other mischief. When I get upset I then see how unreasonable my response is to a small animal that is just acting in line with his instincts or perhaps picking up my own anxiety around being out of control, natural or unrepressed. I want to allow the wildness out. To let the spontaneous uncaged part of myself free, to find the beauty and mystery in chaos, accidents and mess, to let nature take its course so that I can breathe a full breath and let go of so much of the fear that has dogged me since childhood.
I have placed the tarot image of the Moon card at the head of this blog. Many years ago I had a reading with a woman in Sydney. When this card came up she said to me. “Inside your deepest soul and spirit you are like this wild wolf baying at the Moon but growing up your mother preferred you to act as a domesticated dog.” I have never forgotten those words. At times my conditioning strangles me and I feel myself longing to break free but there is fear, excitement and fear. Recognising this fact is perhaps all a stage of my healing.