I was having a typical conversation with my mother, when the conversation accidentally revealed behavior I had taken from my childhood and continued practicing within my marriage. I came to know that as a child I would rely on my mother to take care of me. She had shared that when she didn’t know what I needed I would get very angry.
I felt an immediate rush through my whole body. I knew in that moment that I been holding unspoken expectations of my wife and when she wouldn’t meet those expectations, I would feel disappointed and often angry. This new awareness brought to light behavior of mine that I could easily shift.
In response to this revelation, one of the many emotions I experienced was humiliation. I couldn’t understand how I could possibly have navigated as long as I had without this coming to my attention. This left me quite confused until I realized that something had shifted in my life. My marriage had hit the hardest times and in counseling we began doing work from a book called, “Getting the Love that You Want” by Harville Hendricks. Looking back, I can see that this book’s main message was psychological alchemy.
I had come to know that there was behavior of mine that was unconscious. Now that I knew, without a doubt, that this was the case, I made it my life’s business to find more of what I am unconscious. Along this path, I came to discover that there is a name for such activities, which is when I officially became an alchemist.
Situation after situation began to appear in my life that showed me new revelations of myself. I became very curious as to how these situations where coming up so quickly. I came to understand that when I simply asked to find what I was unconscious of, situations came up to reveal this very thing. The philosopher Gurdjieff describes this situation as installing a magnetic center. I’ve come to connect the language of alchemy with my experiences.
What I realize is that only those people who truly commit to a journey of self discovery ever get there. Too often it takes very painful life experiences to reveal this path at all.