Episode 150 – FACING YOUR FEELINGS: Avoidance or Encounter?

Feb 11, 2021

Photo Credit: Benjamin Davies via Unsplash

While we welcome “good” feelings, we often try to banish “bad” ones like sadness, fear, vulnerability and shame. We may deny them by trying to “think positive.” We may attribute them to political wrongs or even the barking dog next door. If emotions have nowhere else to go, they become symptoms, complexes, and even physical illnesses. Avoiding negative emotions simply causes them to go underground and express themselves in disguise.

Jung says, “Our emotions happen to us; affect occurs at the point at which our adaptation is weakest and at the same time exposes the reason for its weakness.” So what is calling for encounter instead of avoidance, displacement or somatization? Feelings are information—they do not necessarily mandate action, nor do they originate externally. Notice them, name them–and look to your dreams, for the unconscious compensates nightly for what consciousness avoids. Something may be pursuing you. 

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I saw a bride in a white dress sitting behind a small table in a candlelit, cave-like room. Her groom was standing/waiting across the room. It was an arranged marriage but of their own volition. The bride stood up as a signal that the marriage would occur. They looked into each other’s eyes and knew the marriage was right. This part of the dream seemed to be in close-ups of their eyes and lasted what seemed like a couple of minutes. The sense of certainty seemed to have been there, either two weeks before or after the marriage. “


Inside Out (film).

On the Way to the Wedding: Transforming the Love Relationship, by Linda Leonard (Amazon).

It’s Not Always About Depression by Hilary Jacobs Hendel


Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/ 


  1. Mamie Allegretti

    This was a very good episode and I think the idea of a show on OCD is great. In thinking about the dream you analyze, a few things occurred to me. The image of the bride being seated at a table gave me the feeling of the table being a barrier to the impending marriage. It would be interesting to see what the dreamer thinks of the table being between the bride and groom. The table is horizontal and could represent the horizontal plane of life as opposed to the vertical plane of spirit (which could be symbolized by the action of the bride standing up). So I see the table as work needing to be done on the physical plane for the dreamer – her life plan and where she is going and what she will do now. But there’s also the spiritual aspect of the work that she needs to do as represented by the bride standing. I see the bride as a positive symbol of new life which perhaps is “marrying” the interior as well as the external growth (in real life) of the dreamer that is about to take place. The cave might symbolize the unconscious or the going into the depths which is dark and lit by the candle of consciousness. It’s a nice image of the unconscious and the conscious working together. And we find in the merging of those opposites a very nice image of the bride – an image of new life and a “wedding” of these two principles. There’s definitely a lot to unpack in this one!

  2. Lorraine Fothergill

    Very interesting and helpful. Thank you.
    The 30 year old woman who constructed a positive (only) identity in defence of being flooded by ‘negative’ outraged emotion rings true to varying degrees in so many of us. ‘The spiritual bypass’ is a great way to put it. This bypass creates another level of self-denial and suffering, I think. Great podcast.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *