Complexes*: Positive Mother/Negative Mother

Reflections from Bone:Dying into Life by Marion Woodman

Copyrighted photo by D. Bridge

“The Positive Mother that opens me to oneness and love would carry me into Being in life. The Negative Mother that opens me to rejection and fear would carry me into blank nothingness.” (Woodman, 2000, p. 88)

My reflection**: Positive mother/negative mother.  Ooof!! This one hits home for me!  I, as so many others, carry the wound of a negative mother complex.  Only recently did I come to understand that in my work with my therapist, where it might be expected that I project the positive mother onto my therapist to fill that hole that exists due to having had a narcissistic mother, I have actually been projecting the negative mother onto my therapist.  That was a bit of a stomach punch for me because my therapist surely does not warrant that projection.  Now I wonder, does anyone ever warrant the projections directed at them?  Does every projection require a hook in the object of the projection upon which to hang?  Even so, despite the hook, I would doubt that anyone deserves to hold our negative projections.  Is it simply a matter of being conscious of the projection in order to take it back?  If so, this speaks to the power of consciousness, in my opinion.

*In Jungian psychology a complex is a core pattern of perceptions that trigger emotional reactions generally based on specific memories or perceptions. This process generally happens unconsciously unless one specifically works on becoming aware of one’s complexes.

Woodman, M. (2000). Bone: Dying into Life. Penguin Books.

**This reflection was first published in a Facebook Group entitled BodySoul Rhythms – Continuing the Legacy of Marion Woodman

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