I am reading a book by Carl Jung at the moment, ‘Modern Man in search of a soul’. The book has impacted me, and caused me to read about Carl Jung. One person wrote that the most common complaint his patients brought him is ‘I am stuck’ – mind you, this was in the time of the Great Depression, when people had big families and lost their work. Stresses were real. Jung’s answer to getting out of this place of feeling stuck was to ‘play like a child’
This stirred something in me. I have had a very difficult few months, battling severe depression and darkness that I didn’t know existed. It has felt like my personality has been broken, or stolen. Like my soul was taken from my body and I was left with this shell. This hermit-like subsistence that is so far from the ‘me’ I know. However, the happy moments I have had have all been when I was with my children – goofing around, playing, singing, dancing – or on holiday with my friend, also in a playful, holiday mode.
I’ve constantly been saying lately ‘I’m happiest when I’m with my children’. This undoubtedly comes from the fact that I love them more than anything else in the world. However, this ‘solution’ Jung offers to the dilemma of feeling stuck resonates, that it may also be because they play. We play. They bring out the silly, fun side. Sometimes by conscious choice, because I don’t want them growing up with me the way I’ve been feeling the past months. And that conscious choice to be silly, to laugh, to sing, to dance, to goof around – has made me genuinely happy in those moments.
This poses the thought that play is essential. Vital. And motivates me to look for ways to incorporate play and fun in my every day life.
So ‘fun’ isn’t a frivolous diversion, but a necessary, vital part of life… or perhaps, path to life