Knowing How the Fairy Tale Ends


I had a conversation with a friend today who admitted he was harboring a desire for a gay romantic relationship. I thought a moment and realized that not too long ago I could have said the same.

Maybe a year ago when I was feeling lonely or isolated, I could have imagined the same and felt the draw of such a relationship. But I’ve learned a few things. I know what “falling in love” with a man feels like. The feelings are real and powerful and it feels good. It is seductive. But I also know what is really going on. Basically, I’m in love with a series of projections, a process in which a person attributes attributes of him or her self to other persons with whom they are in contact, and transferences, a process by which emotions and desires originally associated with one person, such as a parent or sibling, are unconsciously shifted to another person. This means I’m not really seeing the other person as they truly are. Freud called the things I suppress out of my conscious awareness the subconscious. Jung had a broader definition of the subconscious and called what I suppress my Shadow which is the language we use in almost all men’s work from Men at the Cross to Crucible to Journey into Manhood. Most of the work we do in men’s work is to help men become aware of their shadows and often to change their unconscious beliefs shaped by those shadows. Jung said I am not consciously aware of my Shadow but one way I can gain awareness of it is through my projections: The false personas I project onto others that they may or may not possess.

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