PSYCHE AND SOMA – A Developmental Tale.

by Velleda C. Ceccoli Ph.D. on June 14, 2010

When Psyche was very young, it was all about Soma.

Psyche would find herself empty and uncomfortable, and Soma would writhe and cry until that emptiness was filled. Psyche would loose herself in the colors and shapes around her, and Soma would flip on his side, or play with his toes, or suck on them. As they grew up, Psyche began to realize that they were one, that her thoughts had a direct impact on Soma, and that Soma’s doings had an immediate effect on her. Take for instance when she began to feel sleepy or tired, Soma immediately sat himself down or curled up and…well she was gone and he was immobile! Or when she felt that familiar emptiness, which was called hunger, Soma set about eating and chewing, and voila, she was full.

It was usually a seamless relationship. The one, acting within the other. Seamless that is, as long as Psyche took good care of Soma, attending to his needs, and even, interpreting them to him. “Now you are tired”, she would say, “we should rest and go to sleep”. Yes, as long as both of them could remember and acknowledge that they needed and relied on each other, all was well.

As they grew up, Psyche tended to push Soma beyond his limits. She would think of many things to do, and go about doing them without any regard for Soma. He had no choice but to go along, and often he was exhausted. Sometimes Psyche realized this, and made sure to make amends to Soma. Often however, she encouraged him to stay up too late, or exercise beyond his endurance, or eat very little or too much, or worse, to drink and smoke, and this made him ill. Sometimes Psyche went too far, and would not stop until Soma was sick. Both paid dearly for this lack of attention, it was as if they were no longer connected, with Psyche not caring for Soma, and Soma turning against her. At those times, Psyche could not recognize Soma, and felt that he no longer was hers. For his part, Soma felt that Psyche was too bossy and demanding, and that she had forsaken him for some loftier place, which he could not even imagine, as she did all of the imagining and thinking. He just knew he did not feel like himself and wished he was better cared for.

As time went on, Psyche grew accustomed to operating alone, spending much time in her head and forgetting Soma. despite the fact that she  could not leave him, as they were one. It was clear to Soma that they were at odds, and none the better for it. Yet, Psyche lived in her own world, and only cared for Soma when something was wrong and got her attention; like the time Soma threw up and had a fever that made it impossible for Psyche to think straight. Or the time when one of Soma’s teeth sent shooting pains directly to Psyche’s center, distracting her from her daydreaming. When things were really bad and Psyche could no longer ignore Soma, she would try to apologize to Soma and take better care of him, and Soma would come around, and begin to feel like his old self.

Keeping that balance was difficult, and yet, when they managed it, life was so much easier. Their mutual experience, when shared, allowed them to live fully and consciously in the world. …And happily ever after.

And so it is for all of us… The mind body connection is something that none of us can afford to ignore. Our thoughts and feelings have a direct impact on our body, and our body’s health or disease is intimately connected to our emotions, thoughts, and behavior. To live in health, this connection must be honored and attended to.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jack Wiener, LP, CMT June 18, 2013 at 8:59 AM

A delightful dialogue between the female psyche and the male soma. Of course, you can easily reverse the roles. But as sometimes happen, an identity has been frozen, as when psyche and soma are all female or all male, in which case there is no dialogue, only self-righteous certainty. These are cases that have no movement, only actions of unquestionable intents.
I wonder if when the transmition between psyche and soma is seamless, a creative flow emerges that is indivisible which we call feeling, for want of a better word?


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