More Than Just A Wall
Photography and Text by Jules Hovee Steffen
Mirroring is an essential component of being human, where specific patterns and themes are repeatedly reflected in the storyline of our life experiences. By taking on a body at Conception, we have the propensity to experience wounding on many levels, where what happened to us in our pre- and perinatal experiences is revealed in our bodies and in our lives. As we consider what occurs for us as a blastocyst during our prenatal journey to embed into our mother’s uterine wall, make a landing connection of sorts during Implantation, and subsequently detach from the wall, we may likely find that these themes are mirrored and revisited again while experiencing birth, revealed in the way we exit from our initial embedded-prenatal home. (Emerson) Whether we encounter the birth canal or not (e.g. C-Sectioned birth), each of our experiences is uniquely ours and of paramount importance as we consider our personal path, and includes mirrored happenings.
The passages of Implantation and birth may offer mirroring experiences for the ways in
which we may show up, connect with ourselves and others, make contact, experience touch, be received, complete the goal, etc. Our personal experiences of what happens for us is what really matters on this continuum of mirroring that can potentially span our lifetime. In the depiction above, the greening moss attaches to the rock wall, a wondrous display of Nature, innocent and benign in reference to human wounding and in its display of what it may mean to be embedded into a human surface, yet this photo may likely give us a visual reference from which to feel into what it may have been like for us when we embedded into our mother’s uterine wall during Implantation. In the photo, the white blossoms reach upward in hope of living in the light. As we find ways to separate from the wounding that may have happened to us, we more accurately experience the light in our being.
Dr. Emerson succinctly details the Implantation process that occurs inside our mother’s uterus, as it may likely be our first level of contact with our mother: Implantation is the process whereby the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. This process involves burrowing completely into the uterine lining and then growing back out as the placenta and umbilical cord form (called Individuation). Implantation requires that you imbed in the endometrium (uterine lining), and become absorbed and enveloped by the wall of the uterus. From there, you must develop an umbilical cord, amnion, and move out of the wall. This is similar to birth where you are enveloped by the pelvis and have to move out of the pelvis. (Prenatal Stage Manual, Emerson)
- The Narcissistic Wall. The uterine wall is a marinate of the mother’s psychological, spiritual, social, and personal issues and feelings. It also embodies and carries all of her shocks and trauma, her ancestral wounds, as well as those of the biological father. Her tissues effect her directly and many of his wounds permeate her psyche. If the mother is narcissistically wounded, this is profoundly available to and felt by the prenate. Quite a few prenates symbolize the narcissistic wall like pockets of quicksand, experiencing themselves being sucked in to their mother’s needs, their father’s needs, or their familial needs (this assumes both parents are narcissistic).
- The Entrapping Wall. If the parent or parents are narcissistic or they have many conditions and expectations of their prenata, or if they themselves are very manipulative people, the prenate will likely experience the wall as entrapping. In addition, if the parents feel entrapped by their culture, religion, or other conditions, the prenate will experience this most intensely during the Implantation Passage, and the wall will be experienced as entrapping.
- The Rejecting Wall. As with all prenatal events, there are potential levels of wounding, some much worse than others. Whether rejection is traumatic or shocking depends in large part on the conscious and the unconscious attitudes of both parents. It is possible that one or both parents might consciously want a child, but in their unconscious minds they do not. If both parents do not want a child at both conscious and unconscious levels, that is likely to be very shocking to the prenate. The final level of wounding is often contingent on the constitutional nature of the baby and the degree of love and support available from one or both parents. The rejection is not only felt by the prenate on emotional levels, it is also experienced physically, in terms of blood volume. (The Prenatal Stage Manual, Emerson)
If we experience a sense of knowing that points us back to a Narcissistic Wall, the Entrapping Wall, and/or the Rejecting Wall (Emerson), we may have a nudging sense of it in our bodies and our being. It’s not about placing blame, but naming our truth. This is all about taking responsibility for our lives, owning what may have happened to us such that we may begin the process of healing, and discover who we really are, separate from the wounding that happened to us. If we remain unaware, we likely continue to perpetuate the negative impacts our woundings It’s from this kind of unconscious living that our negative behavioral patterns and themes thrive.
The level of consciousness and knowing that is available to us as we ponder our myriad of behavioral patterns and our emerging emotions (both from times past and/or in the current day), are simply profound and may likely guide us to the healing for which we long if we will but slow our pace, quiet our minds, and intentionally seek mentors and guides to support us in claiming who we really are, which is clearly separate from the wounding that happened to us.
As a Sufi mystic and poet, Rumi’s perspective may offer satiation for our thirsty souls and hungered hearts when it comes to being in relationship with ourselves and others who tread this life with us. Each experience in life and each emotion along the way are perceived as a welcomed visitor in Rumi’s guest house. The presence of each guest house visitor is not lost within the layers of our emotional energy, but is carefully tracked on our individual life-line trajectory. The imagery of his guest house and its visitors may likely connect the respective groupings of joys and struggles, magically mirrored within us, as we move forward and experience passage toward personal healing. Rumi understands the potential dance that arises within us, in what may be at times, a push-pull, up and down, or roller coaster dynamic:
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. (The Essential Rumi, Translations by Coleman Barks)
May we begin to track the guest house visitors that come to us each day, that grace us with their presence. They bring invaluable information about where we’ve been and what
has happened to us. As we slow the pace such that we can track and retrace our steps, we more consciously invite healing to meet us on our path. Whether it be our painful sorrows, ecstatic joys, the depressive cavern within us that feels endless, or our emotional highs and deep lows, there is sageful wisdom in each one that comes to us, if we will but take careful notice. The same is true about our experiences during our early prenatal times, Implantation, birth, and beyond – also guest house visitors, experiences that contain a wealth of wisdom in their storyline material, if we will but pause into it. Our Implantation experience with our mother’s uterine wall during our prenatal time is much more than mere contact with a wall of sorts. The impacts of this particular contact have huge implications in our life. Surely, we are in the midst of the Middle Ground: Where Sages Dwell when we honor these sacred spaces and prolific places that reveal themselves to us in life. May we sit with each visitor that comes to us so that we don’t miss what the guide from beyond (Rumi) has to offer.