Friday, November 23, 2012


I've been wanting to do more blogging for a while now, and to write more in general, and one of the things in my way is complexity.

In the process of writing Practically Shameless, I simplified some of the concepts we use in Shadow Work in order to explain them clearly enough to a reader who had never heard of Carl Jung or archetypes before. I believed at the time, and still believe, that simplifying is required of every writer on personal growth, because human beings are so complex that there's no hope of conveying the whole of our emotional or spiritual experience. Instead, one idea has to be plucked -- the word "wrenched" may be better -- from our experience and written of separately from the rest, to avoid the narrative becoming like a stream of consciousness.

I often think about writing some of my own reflections on the Enneagram, and maybe I'll do so, just the random thoughts that go by without trying to be comprehensive.

So, when I've thought of something to write about recently, I've thought to myself, That's too complex to explain, how could I take just one bit of it and write about that?

But there have been other things in the way as well. I may still be dealing with some burnout, and not so much burnout from writing but burnout from working with my mother. For about 28 months I saw my mother virtually every day, and my brother Cliff began to jokingly refer to my work with her as the longest therapy session in history, because that's really what it was. I was trying to help her in any way I could. I wasn't able to help her much, in the end, because she was bipolar, and she was well-defended in her disorder and even seemed to take some pride in it. If I helped her at all, it was to help her die. A part of her really wanted her life to end, while another part wanted to keep living. I helped the part of her that wanted to die, because I could see how wretched she was, and how resistant to any kind of change, and how unlikely it was that she would ever feel better.

But enough about Mom, I'm burned out writing about her, too. Most of the essays I've written in the past two years have been about eldercare, dying, and death, and I'm tired of it.

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