Def. Hendrix and Hunt selected the word “imago,” the Latin word for “image,” as a name for the “unconscious image of the opposite sex that you had been forming since birth
Imago Therapy is a relationship theory on how we select the people we go into relationships with.
It amazes me sometimes about how much time I spent looking for a person of the opposite sex to go into and be in a relationship. Those of you following this will know that it is a concept and activity that really intrigues me, and keeps me quite busy.
So as far as looking at my own imago and the kind of person I would like to be my imago and “partner” in this journey I am continually confronted by what I use as an imago , and as age has crept up on me like a lazy river it is slowly becoming more clear. The obvious choices as Hendrix says are your parents as direct caregivers.
At the age of 25 I realized or so I though that I dont really have male role models, and in that chose specific person to use as role model. As with my imago, the people that I disregarded as my major Imago’s were actually well formed in my psyche.
I have been divorced now for about 5 odd years. As with my marriage that was a arrangement of necessity my selection criteria for the Imago’s that I want in my life has always been quite clear or so I thought. My mother being the most obvious imago.
Recently I have become aware of another imago in my field of vision that has been hidden behind the smoke of my memory. I don’t see Imago just as a partner selection reference point but also as a way of bringing people into your life. Friends colleagues etc.
My formation years that has been vague has always been according to my own memory quite happy growing up on a farm next to the Vaal river outside a small town, Prieska in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The people that I remember most vividly form that time is my grand mother and grandfather. As we shared a property with them we were in one another’s space quite a lot. I remember them more directly and vividly than my parents from that stage in my life.
Turns out that my Grandparents has been more of an Imago than my parents. My grandfather was a tall intelligent political aware business man, quite successful. My grandmother was a typical Afrikaner woman, Strong willed, caring and astute with money and a business person in her own right. Also, she made the most amazing pastries. I remember creeping into the “spens” and stealing puff pastries with the best home made apricot jam.
When my grandfather lost the farm and my grandmother passed on, life changed for all of us. My father that was more of playboy than a real worker, suddenly had to find a job and look after myself and my mum.
So although on first impressions, I thought I chose my parents as role models, lately I have realized that my grandparents has and still does plays a more and an almost bigger role than both of my parents.
I have always been and am still working for myself. My grandfather became a diamond prospector after he lost the farm. I can remember numerous times going with him to his small mine where he mined diamonds.
It just seems that I have not given them ever the credit in forming me in a way that I just never thought of. Formed how I see people, situations and relationships.
My being today is speckled with their teachings and life lessons that I never though came from them.
And one day we woke up and we were our parents. or in my instances Grandparents.