Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul. Invictus - By William Ernest Henley
For many men, myself included, the above poem is inspirational and reflective of who we are and/or who we want to be. Such a persona though is insufficient. According to Carl Jung men and women are a duality, not just with one another but within themselves. The feminine aspect of men being Anima, and the masculine aspect of women being Animus. Symbolically this may be best represented by the yin-yang symbol:
Proper recognition and integration of these aspects is necessary and the failure to do so leads do dysfunction in our behavior and lives.
I believe my Anima gave me a hard warning last night via a dream:
The theme of the dream was me being a Sergeant again in the Marine Corp. I was working to prepare a platoon for a large scale exercise. At some point I left the group to obtain some gear of my own. On my return I was stopped by a female marine in emotional distress. In retrospect I identify her as my Anima.
Anima: “You did this to me. You did this to us.”
Me: “But you chose this. All of your siblings did as well. Did they regret it?”
Anima: “No, but I do.”
Me: “But I’m the leader now, we have a direction.”
Anima: “But I don’t feel safe!”
I then moved foward to comfort her when she exclaimed:
“Ow! Something’s wrong; it hurts!
She holds her head and collapses.
I pick her up and yell for a medic as I run towards the treatment area. I arrive and an older woman in her 40s and grossly overweight appear dressed as a nurse. I lay Anima on the table/bed and explain the situation. The “nurse” examines her somewhat but seems completely incompetent. Anima is now unconscious yet strangely I can still hear her thoughts in my mind and it’s panic. I speak to her and she hears:
“Can you hear me? Can you feel me?
Hold my hand and listen to my voice.
It’ll be okay. Just hold on, just hold on…”
In retrospect I think the “nurse” was also a personification of the Anima but a separate aspect. Both are sick in different ways. I haven’t had much time to reflect on this yet to identify the problem(s) more specifically but identifying that there is a problem is a start. If the above poem continues to inspire me without exception perhaps that’s a hint?