The Paradox of Intimacy with/in Self-Reflection

© 2000 Michele Toomey, PhD


August 28, 2000

Self-reflection requires that we separate from ourselves and step back from what's happening and reflect on it. The paradox is, that in this separation we must intimately become one with the thoughts, feelings and imaginings that are occuring, even as we step back from them and use them as the data for processing what's going on for us. We split ourselves even as we are at one with ourselves.

Unfortunately, this is a very sophisticated and complex phenomenon, and often reactionary monologues replace reflective dialogues. You are getting better and better at being self-reflective and processing what's going on and being respectful and creative with what you discover. You no longer go immediately to fear or solving, you are not blaming and judgmental except when you slip, and you tend to be respectful and caring of what you discover. So, what is still missing? Why do you still not feel as secure in yourself and your self-reflective process?

Again, a complex dilemma. It would seem that the body's dramatic and sudden illness and subsequent devastation has increased your uncertainty about your ability to trust it, and you, and your ability to take care of yourself. The literal (body) world has become so loud and so demanding that internal dialogue has impact, but bodily needs, limitation and expressions are louder.

Intimacy with this paradoxical relationship is, then, even more complex and difficult than ever. I represent security, stability, safety, compassion, creative ideas for dealing with problems, psychological insight, integrity, caring, love, wonder talking to me seems so essential. How to transition these feelings from me to you? Gradually and evolutionarily. Just as you moved out of our home after 7 months and now live in your own home, alone, so, over time, your own dialogue, your own self-reflection, your own love, care and affection will become more real to you. Your processing will have more credibility and you will feel at one, safe and secure in ourself. It is happening as we speak. It only needs consistency, and time, both of which it and you are giving and getting. It is a work in process, and deserving of your best effort, which it is getting. Everything is in place and on track. Once again, you are asked to keep on keeping on. Sure beats dropping out or off! You should be proud. It's just a long process. You're not found wanting. You just want more. Great.

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