Courageously Exploring the Subconscious

Ever so occasionally, and perhaps frequently for some, we may find ourselves dodging certain things as they come into the view of our experience. We dodge them because there is pain involved – pain recognised from our pasts, but at an unconscious level. If we have no awareness that this has occurred, we never learn to challenge those things about us that are barriers to our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing or fulfilment.

It can be taken as a human given that all of us suffer some damage that resides neatly, packaged cleverly in a concealed way, in our deeper unconscious minds.


The ancient mythological meaning of opening Pandora’s Box (or jar) involved opening something that could not be undone; without hope, the release of despicable evils.

Digging into the unconscious, by exploring our behaviours, especially by our modes of interaction, can seem like opening Pandora’s Box. It can seem like, ‘Can I contain this… Will this come back to bite me?’ These are reasonable assumptions to question.

What we need when we open this Pandora’s Box of our experience is the ability to contain any of the residual pain that resides in what comes up. Nobody is devoid of such pain. It’s just that some people’s pain may be more excruciating than other people’s pain, or, as it’s a fact, some people have less resilience in dealing with their pain than others. But courage can be grown; an act of faith can be ventured into.

Opening our Pandora’s Boxes should be our goal. If we can we may unravel some of the deeper mysteries that cause us torment; unravel them toward portions of freedom.


Perhaps one of the greatest advantages in attempting to plumb the depths of the unconscious, by reflecting over our interactions, is the fact of delay. Many times we might react aggressively when we feel attacked, but as we feel attacked, in that moment, we can just as well ask some simple questions of ourselves – and thereby delay.

Such questions may be:

1. What in that person’s response to me has angered me so?

2. What has it touched within me that may remain unhealed?

3. What within my emotions am I ignoring to hold as my own?

There are myriad questions that could be asked. Our role in plumbing what resides in our unconscious is simply to have the curiosity to learn and assist ourselves, which helps us to feel and think better, later, as a result. Of course, the greater benefit, especially in conflict situations, is we need to delay our response to ask these questions within our minds. Many adverse consequences are, therefore, avoided.

So often when we feel attacked, we may not actually be being attacked. In other words, we may attach the emotion of attack to what is said or done because of what lies deeper beneath in our unconscious minds.


The unconscious mind holds great mysteries. Our emotional responses are a cue to the pain held there. When we become inquisitive regarding our pain, we can access it and then ask God for help. These are salvation experiences God wants us to have. But we need courage. God will never leave us, nor forsake us.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.