VJ’s Weekly Challenge: The other side

Picture a stage; empty except for two chairs. Now picture yourself, seated, in one of those chairs. Just you facing an empty chair.

If you are familiar with the Gestalt practice, you know where this is going. In dream study, I’ve learned that all aspects of a dream can be representative of self. Visualizing the antagonist, or unsettling character in the opposing chair, opens up the opportunity for dialogue and hopefully, understanding.

This week, I am challenging myself to consider the other side. Through creative writing or visualization, to imagine a dialogue with an opposing force. If I am so inspired, I may write from the perspective of other, putting ego-self into the third person.

Let me illustrate. Recently, I dreamt that a friend, enraged and out of control, was trying to murder anyone that got in her way, including me. She would be the perfect subject to imagine in the empty chair. I might ask her what she is angry about, and why she is angry with me. I might ask her how I can help, and what she needs from me.

The key is to allow your imagination free rein. Let the other speak. Don’t worry about whether it makes sense or fits with your ego-perception. Just go with the flow.

Importantly, work to the positive. The intent of this exercise is to bring understanding and lighten tension. Be foolish, be creative, and maybe, if you’re lucky, experience the ‘aha’ moment.

Look forward to your responses.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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