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Stepping Stones

Withdrawal - Week One

As we move from our outer world into our inner world, we will find an inner storehouse of all the old stories and experiences of our past. We tend to store unprocessed feelings about the people and events of our early life in our unconscious. These shadows of our past often unconsciously drive the patterns and choices of our present. We may see these old feelings surface in the themes and images of our dreams, or we may find ourselves working out the struggles and feelings of our past with the people we meet in our outer world. In the Oz story, Dorothy’s nemesis in Kansas, Ms. Gulch, is projected in her inner world as the Wicked Witch of the West. Although she tried to run away from Ms. Gulch by leaving home, instead she found herself facing and confronting the Wicked Witch throughout her adventure in Oz. The story reminds us that unless and until we resolve these old stories and emotional traumas and consciously make sense of our early life experiences, we may find ourselves stuck in old emotional patterns. The work of this stage is to sort through all the old feelings and difficult experiences, and decide if we still want them to define us.

Weekly Stepping Stones

What old feelings do you find in the storehouse of your early life? What stories or themes show up repeatedly in your dreams and unconscious images? Do you have a recurring “wicked witch” story that keeps showing up in your life and making you feel small and afraid?

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