Last year in September I was preparing for the final session of my over a decade Freudian psychoanalysis. This year, I am writing to explore what I learned during a purposely scheduled termination process that took one calendar year. Much to my surprise, those twelve months brought me a completely new way of thinking.

Throughout this painful yet joyous process of leaving psychoanalysis, I discovered how the unconscious part of my mind had unbeknownst to my conscious self, drawn a hard and fast line between what I considered secular and what I contemplated as sacred.

Karen E. Starr writes in her book, Repair of the Soul, that this type of discovery is not attained in a straight line but in an ever-deepening spiral. This feels like how it happened for me. I did not have a goal in mind about my spirituality. However, each time a thought about the secular or sacred arose, I added a new level of awareness which created the spiral Starr mentioned.

The spiral happened because I consistently added nuances to my feelings. I also included the information acquired over the years of treatment, plus information from my extensive reading, plus the fruit harvested from living a full rich life. Each platform of the spiral was different and led to a new awareness that the secular and the sacred are in relationship in ways that I want to understand.

 Do you think your changes or new awareness occur in a straight line because you set a goal, or do they manifest when you follow an ever-deepening spiral?


4 Responses

  1. Hi Nicky.

    The more we discover ourselves, we discover the puzzles pieces of life are sometimes linear and sometimes spiral. Uncertainty is a certainty.
    The meaning of a secular, spiritual, religious, and/ or sacred life have different meanings to all of us and leads to fascinating discussions.

    What we value determines meaning; we may then integrate our life with what matters to us.

    Analysis is an integral part of my self care. I feel a sense of peace knowing I am enriching my brain, body, and soul with the experience.

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Happy “soon -to -be “ October.🧡

    • First off – thank you so much for your message! And secondly, you spoke to what I am finding out writing my second book – there are many ways to define
      secular and sacred – my job is to define what they mean for me in my life. Thirdly, I love thinking of analysis as self care that enriches my brain, body
      and soul. I could go on! So much in your message speaks to me. I hope we can continue the conversation. And happy soon-to-be October to you!

  2. Hi Nicky- I wrote a long response; did you get it?
    Disappointed if I deleted rather than sent it
    Please let me know.

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