November, 2021

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog article about “no more snakes on the path” and talked about how I realized I was still looking out for rattlesnakes in the early fall this year, even though I no longer live in the desert. The minute I hit “send” on my email, I realized, “I’ll probably start seeing snakes again.”  And can you believe it? The very next day(!)  I was riding my bike on the Illinois Prairie Path and right across the path was a snake! But it was a little cute, thin black snake and my first thought was, “oh, how cute!” And then – “I KNEW it! I just knew I would see a snake as soon as I hit send on that email!”

I screeched to a halt with my brakes so as not to run over it – and then I fumbled around trying to get to my phone for a photo! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Right on the path was a little black gardener snake –  The funny thing is that before I could get to my camera app, it had quickly slithered away into the grass.  I was the one who created the fear this time! (Ok – obviously even a rattlesnake doesn’t, on its own, create fear – it’s our survival response.. but it felt like I was more of a threat to the gardener snake than it was to me!)

black snakeSo I had the opportunity to look at conditioned fear responses or triggers from a different perspective – the aggressor. So the snake is a shadow archetype for me:

jung shadowBeing female and having experienced sexual assault by a family member throughout my childhood and then by a few more perpetrators over my high school and college years, I was used to feeling the part of the victim. But there are always 2 sides to the “dance” and in Family Constellation work, the victims and perpetrators are always entangled. It’s too complex to write about in a short article but there are many constellation books that take on this tough subject.

What I do know simply, is that until I could see myself as BOTH/AND in all relationships of my life, I kept defaulting to the victim role. So by habit, I was always the one who would get bit by the snake, or singled out for a date rape.  But what happens when I decided to strike back? To take an aggressive stance? This is a very complex and delicate topic, one that I hope to cover in a paradigm-shifting way in my next webinar.

This is what family constellation work has done for me: shift my perspective and detached me from conditioned roles of the past. I now have a new awareness about both sides of the relationship dynamic. In attaining this, there are no more dangerous snakes on the path, just snakes – who are doing their best to survive and to carry on life, just as we are, in human form.

I invite you to join me on Thursday at 5 pm Central time to learn some of the perspective altering shifts that can result from Family Constellation work in 1:1 relationships.