Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your 

             life and you will call it fate.

Carl Jung

Maybe aging seems so immense because it is an ultimatum that carries within it uncertainty. The answer is obvious. Time is limited, time calls us to consciousness, and the unconscious calls to us through our dreams. The world of our lives draws us to urgently attend to the unfinished and the undone. The world of ‘un’ or ‘not’ or not in this lifetime face us now.

And, we might be unnecessary, uncertain. Are we? This attitude can feel so disparaging and demeaning. Yet, this is in stark contrast to the possibilities we were unaware of earlier in life, the choices we made. Lingering regrets come into play. Wisdom is the knowledge what we could have done, why we did or did not and respecting the path we chose. Whether circuitous or not, it is ours and ultimately we developed within its winding ways.

We might see where we were and remain unconscious of how we use or don’t use the world that lies right in front of us. We might erect false filters and ignore what is there. We do not notice that older women are useful in the Western culture so oriented around youth and energy. If energy only insists on moving forward, it resists the speed of the slow and steady. We become lopsided in a one sidedness. Usefulness lies in how we honor our experiences, perspectives, knowledge and contributions.

We always want to receive messages from the unconscious, clear messages telling us what to do. In approaching the unconscious, this place that speaks the language of symbols, from such a narrow perspective, we miss its messages. They come in the obtuseness of a dream, the surprise of a relationship, the meaning in synchronous events. All these are messengers of the unconscious. Our task is to take the time and effort to listen, even if it seems confusing, overwhelming, mixed or something we do or do not want to hear.

In the unconscious, brought to conscious existence, we encounter the essence of woman – of self, of other, of place and position, of core. With age, even more so than previously, our lives are taking form and shape that we previously knew, as well as those we never knew. Always, the lurking of the old is there…amongst the evolution into the unknown.

It is in the unknown and unexpected that excitement resides. The mystery of life is just that. We are not meant to know how it will be. It just is and that might be the hard part to accept. And if we get stuck in un-acceptance we do not move and we groan and we let life go by. The difficult aspects of life are the ones that lead us into consciousness and an awareness of the depths of our soul.

We can look to the unconscious to give the sustenance needed. It is there all the time, if we choose to access it. We are at a time of the unexpected – illnesses, friends dying, partners as well. We might be drained and without the energy we formerly utilized. But then we also have to recognize that we do have energy, but differently apportioned. The lens through which we view ourselves and our world perhaps reposes in the unexpected. Our choices stare boldly at us. Challenging.

Do you examine your dreams to gain access to the unconscious?

41 Comments on U – Unconscious

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  2. The last paragraph sums up your point nicely. Yes, I do examine my dreams. Didn’t used to in younger years, but I do now. I review them as I would a good book or movie — why did the creator or writer introduce this character or this scene; what is the metaphor? This review becomes especially enlightening when I put myself in the place of the other characters — or the scenes. I find my dreams are most often about the “uns.”

    One thing about aging, though, is that it becomes increasing harder to remember your dreams, that you even had one.

  3. Dear Susan,
    Reading your posts have always been refreshing and this one is no exception. You take subjects and concepts to a deep level that invites even further questions and speculation. Your writing is thought-provoking and fresh and honestly–to me, is like white linen and a tall cool glass of lemonade on a hot and sultry summer afternoon–simply refreshing on so many levels.

    Thank you for your continued shares.

    • Thank you so much Renata. Lovely image of linen and lemonade. I’m using cell ph to respond which is a huge challenge right now – no wi fi. Will get to yours soonest.

  4. Hi,
    Very interesting thoughts. I have a book by M. Scott Peck that also talks about the unconscious and consciousness and getting in touch with yourself and what lies beneath in the deep.


  5. I love this–the ideas and the writing both. I’m wondering why I didn’t think of doing “unconscious” for u?! It’s such a rich and lovely topic. I really love the idea of unconscious as sustenance, as a source for miracles and synchronicity. And something that’s always there for us.

  6. Susan, Thanks for stopping by my blog on your A to Z journey. Yes, I most definitely check out my dreams….nightmares, too. I know there are clues there, but being the creator of some pretty bizarre nightmares, I don’t figure all of them out. One of the mysteries of my subconscious, I guess.

    • Dreams and nightmares can take forever to figure out Patricia. Patience and attention is required. Thank you for commenting. And I’m sorry it has taken me ages to reply – I’ve been away in the mountains where there was no wi-fi.

  7. Deep thoughts, Susan, and I love your posts for the depth and care you put into every word. Yes, the lurking of the old is always there. I think about it sometimes, when a new ache visits my body. As far as my dreams, I grew up in a culture that placed some importance on dreams — certain women from the older generations were dream decoders. Having grown up with that, I still find myself examining my dreams from time to time, especially when the departed visit. Does it mean anything? I don’t know, but I do wonder.
    Thank you for another excellent post.

    • Thank you Silvia for your very kind compliment! How special is that – dream decoders, from Romania. The elderly have much to teach us, as do the departed … as do we ourselves if we pay attention to mind, body and soul.

  8. OH SORRY, yes ALL the time! I tap into my dreams all the time, I have also had dreams of premonition. LOVED IT share LOVED IT!

  9. When I search for my unconscious it eludes me, but when I least expect it, it appears to me. In an extremely simplistic way I see us somewhat as a loaf of bread being baked. We are fully formed when we are done… or maybe it is just me.

    Death seems to be on my mind as I watch 90+ yr. old friends decline. Plus, because of my own health limitations I wonder how I can still be productive. Learning to accept that I’m aging with its’ limitations has been a challenge for me. To move on in keeping active and involved in life is important to me, but I continually have to look for new ways to grow. Eventually, I do know my unconscious will help me come to terms with all of these changes.

    Hmmm, I need to read this post over again to let it fully sink in. Thank you!

    • Dear Gwynn;
      You do not have to search for the unconscious, it appears in life and dreams and everywhere. It is synchronous with existence…
      Thank you,

  10. In my 80’s, I find that I am engaged in my life too much to think about death, but when I do, like a child, I just trust in whatever it may be. We fear the unknown, yes, but we have feared it here on earth many a time and faced it and can do so again. I know I know nothing, and there is a comfort in that after years of pursuing knowledge.

  11. Always examine my dreams – they hold so many clues and symbols that can be messages for us from the unconscious as you say. Very powerful and I encourage people to explore their unconscious. I have found keeping a dream diary useful too in picking up themes/recurring symbols over days or even months sometimes. Thanks for posting – thought provoking for today and a reminder for me to do this more often…

    • Thank you coming by detoutcoeur. And for your affirmation of the wealth to be found in the unconscious ie dreams. A dream journal is so valuable – to be looked at over and over again to glean its messages –

  12. The Unconscious is important to me as a person, and also because I write I delve into it on a daily basis. The fragments of a dream, symbolism, a half remembered image… Thank you, Susan, this is another wonderful post. I’ve enjoyed too, and loved, the beautiful quotes and photos you’ve used throughout the A-Z!

    • The more one delves, the more it yields, like mother’s milk. All those images, dreams, remembrances are fructifying food – thank you for your kind words Sharon.

  13. hello there, great post, very insightful and deep. I have been thinking about age recently now 44 it catches up on you and so many things you say are valid, food for thought.

    Hello also from another a-z blogger x

    • Thank you Justine, food for thought needs digesting. Yes things do catch up, as they are inclined to do. Good luck with the ‘last’ of the A-Z!

  14. Thank you Rosie, we have the keys; we just need the courage to put the key in and turn it, open the door, and step in … 🙂

    • Thank you Rosie, we have the keys; we just need the courage to put the key in and turn it, open the door, and step in … 🙂

  15. Hi Susan .. I definitely need to come back and read this properly – it looks like there’s some very profound ideas here .. I’ll be back anon … cheers Hilary

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