Here's a beautiful rounded example of what we mean in this world of 'working on ourselves' or doing 'inner work'. And the beauty of it is is that it shows it's never really about the person you're not getting on with or struggling with but more about your own inner psyche that needs help and unfreezing to be free to be itself.
A client with whom I recently worked with grew up under the authoritarian rule of a rigid father who did not value the feminine aspects of intuition, feelings, softness, etc. That's quite normal for many of us and by no means is it a 'wrong' thing - I'm sure the rigid/authority when looked at deeply is all about a father trying to protect, keep safe in the only way he knows how, unconsciously there - never examined.
Hard work and discipline were what he stressed. Weakness or vulnerability of any kind were not allowed. So his daughter naturally and symbiotically adopted these values and always kept busy planning and controlling her life not letting anyone see her 'softer' sides. This created an emotional distance from others and from her own heart centre. She came to see me after developing a skin rash that was becoming more and more visible to others. It was energetically perhaps as if her vulnerability wanted to be acknowledged. She could no longer hide it.
An initial dream she had at the start of work with me: she was stranded in a skyscraper high up at the top. Up there she could see all the traffic flow in the city, but she couldn't get down to the ground. A man, who was fun-loving and light in spirit compared to her father's austerity climbed up the tower and helped her down to earth and then she ran barefoot with him, playing all the way. This dream began to show the side of the masculine that she was less related to and had not seen in her development as a child - the instinctual man who would play with her vs the authoritarian man who through his own filters and fears tried to keep her safe with rules and stern ways. High towers equally often mean the mind/the head - something I call the "ice palace of the mind' as in it's cool, calculating, logical etc.
After a couple of sessions she had another dream: in the dream she wanted to show her father her skin rash but he refused to look at it. He refused to allow her any vulnerability and she had unconsciously adopted this same attitude towards herself. This effected her emotional life and her creativity. Although she had lots of creative talent and potential, she went into one of the more rational sciences and struggled to finish her studies - it was literally as though she was shadowing her father's path and not her own.
In the course of our shamanic work together ie beyond traditional psychotherapy and looking at the psyche, the psycho-spiritual, the emotional body, the energy body, the mental body etc and also at her astrological chart (which shows her potential this lifetime not her predestination) she began to accept her vulnerable side and allowed herself to play more. The man who had shown up in her dreams as a more instinctual masculine was embraced into her psyche, the old paradigm of her father was renewed, like a computer upgrading its software programme.
She returned to college, this time in an area that really called to her - languages and arts. She met a man in the 3D concretised world (ie not in own unconscious/subconcious numinous realms) and she fell in love because he invited her to open up to her emotional field and not be fearful of what she might find there. Her skin rash cleared up completely and to be clear I'm not stating all physical or medical issues can be cleared by sorting out our energetics but it's worth exploring).
Shortly after, she had a third dream where the image of her father significantly changed: in one dream she was told that her father had died. Then she heard a bell ringing across a river calling to her with a bridge in front of her. She started to walk across the bridge but the bridge wasn't yet finished and so she slid into the water in order to get to the other side where the bell was.
Her inner world 'death' of her father symbolised the end of his rigid reign and the opening up to another side of her across the river that she'd not met before yet she willingly dropped into the flow of the water to get across to without effort or struggle and without any aggressive pushing off from what she'd previously known as the masculine from her father (and that's important as too often these days folk are taught to dismiss or make 'bad' what they've learnt in childhood whereas honestly all the learning has given huge protection to a young psyche however misconstrued or unbalanced it may have been given or shown as).
Over the next few weeks she continued to have dreams about her father but he was softer, more accepting in them: in one she'd lost something precious to him and instead of rebuking her for her failure, he accepted it with kindness and softness. In another dream, her father was working for a creative rock band and she was proud of him - he'd discovered new sides to himself beyond his scientific, analytical ways.
It was as though the dreams and her life were dancing together, each making new movements in turn that allowed her to free up in her psyche and expand her field of consciousness and awareness to a place of more rhythmic and breathable spaces where she was able to connect to more playful flowing feeling sides and her feminine nature and creativity were released into her everyday life.
It is as if the stern, rigid and unaccepting archetypes of the patriarchal father energies held inside of her were melted, released and integrated in a much healthier and aligned way that allowed her to find her own self expression of living and loving in the world without having to be aggressive and defensive in her on-going relationship with her father - how he rolled was how he rolled and she no longer had to sponge-like absorb those ways. Equally whenever she was doing something that required more discipline, analytical awareness she had that side of her still beautifully relevant and on board to use when she needed it and to put it away when she didn't (like when making love - the last thing you want in the room with you is your analytical, rule making mind!!!)
Hope that helps encourage more people to get diving in deep to themselves - it's a beautiful, non-aggressive journey that will never damage and only ever improve, expand and enlighten you.