Carl Jung on Chemistry in Relationships

Happy Friday! Before this Libra season ends, I wanted to write a post about using art-making as a way to reflect upon our relationships, as Libra is the sign of love and partnerships. When I think about relational chemistry, the following Carl Jung quote comes to mind:

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

An Art Task to Reflect on Relationships: Getting Started

For the art task I’d like to share with you today, think about someone with whom you share a relationship. It doesn’t have to be a romantic or sexual one; it could be familial, platonic, professional or spiritual to name a few relationship categories.

Onto the Art-Making

Once you have a relationship in mind that you would like to reflect on using the art-making process, take a sheet of paper and fold it into three sections like a triptych. Alternatively, you could create three separate pieces of art. Then, for your first piece of art or section of the triptych, use any media of your choosing to create an image to represent yourself. Next, for the second piece of art or the opposite side of the triptych, create an image to represent the person or entity with whom you are in relation. Finally, for the last piece of art or the center of the triptych, create an image to represent the relationship itself.

Questions for Reflection as You Create

For this last image, you may want to consider the kind of “chemistry” you have with this other other person or entity. Are you like oil and water? Peanut butter and jelly? Birds of a feather? What feelings are evoked by this relationship? Is there tension or a power differential? Is there harmony or mutual support? Or is it a mixed bag? Do you behave differently when you’re around each other? What are ways you’ve affected each other? Are you greater than the sum of your parts? Or are you a ticking time bomb waiting to explode?

More Questions for Reflection

You may also want to ask yourself what the goals of this relationship are. Do you have a shared mission? Are you co-creating? Co-parenting? Is your goal to create more harmony within the relationship or as much distance as possible? And if so, to what end? As you think of the elements that both of you bring to the table, are there ways that those elements could complement each other? Maybe each of you has what the other lacks. Or perhaps this relationship poses an opportunity to learn from one another.

As with any of these art tasks, take the prompt as an opportunity to carve out some time for yourself, put on some music and have fun with the art materials. And let me know what you come up with!