“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall:
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.”
Immaturity, Insecurity, Core Wounding, Fragile Ego, Egoic Issues, Win-Lose Mentality, “Walking on Eggshells”
Humpty Dumpty has wobbled into the picture as a symbol of growth and the fragility of the ego as it develops from embryo into full-blown being. Our egg-shaped friend has a lot of clever things to say to Alice and likes to trick her with riddles and making up meanings for words, but he is obviously very green around the edges when it comes to engaging in a pleasant sort of way: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master - - that’s all.”
He seems to view his whole interaction with Alice as some sort of game, his goal for which is, to win. At this very surface level (which is about as thin as the egg-shell that holds the fragile contents of our nursery rhyme character together), the ego pontificates and confuses to avoid a depth that would quickly crack the protective container and reveal a very soft and undeveloped interior.
Humpty Dumpty is also a bit overconfident, not only in his ridiculous arguments and cleverness, but in his precarious situation. Indeed, it is good to have self-confidence, but if it leads one into a false sense of security, the consequence might be a nasty fall. (It is very possible that the fear of such a shattering experience is frightening enough to keep Humpty in a limbo of denial). It seems like in both the Looking Glass and the ordinary worlds, there isn’t anything so reliable as a good whack to one’s sense of reality now and then to make us take a second look at assumptions we have limited ourselves with, but Humpty Dumpty’s abrupt crash might not offer a second chance (“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,” you know . . . ).
On the positive side, Humpty is the only one who can decipher the Jabberwocky poem for Alice, which is infamous for its nonsensical words. Yes, he is making it all up, but it’s all nonsense anyway, so it’s all fair game. It’s the arrogance that allows such a bold gesture, and it ends up being quite entertaining. Maybe since Humpty isn’t a fully formed being, it allows him to create new meaning to old concepts, which can be a great strength if done with self-awareness. As Humpty Dumpty is an actual egg (in an early state of eg(g)o formation) he represents growth, and he also represents the need to find proper balance in the current circumstances.
It would seem that you are dealing with some, possibly, infantile and egoic level issues in your query. This isn’t to say that the troubles aren’t incredibly powerful and real, and it isn’t to say that they are of little consequence, but they are triggering ego-based responses (maybe childhood issues which are triggering some child-like behaviors) which could lead to a fall and a cracking open. This will inevitably lead to growth, for what doesn’t kill us does, indeed, make us stronger. The only question is whether we can find the balance and move our own way out of the struggles of the egoic shell before something on the outside cracks things open for us. One thing to remember as you move through this seemingly awkward growth spurt is to take advantage of the moments of ridiculousness. Allow it to feed your creativity and sense of adventure. If you can be entertained by the silliness of the situation as you move through it, all the better.
Meditation #1: In a comfortable position, imagine yourself as you are now, grown up, with wisdom and strength of an adult. Now, imagine you are standing with a child. This child could be you, if you feel you are the one who is working with ego conflicts, or it could be a boss, a lover, a friend, or merely a symbolic child. Allow your adult self to be the protector and guardian of the child. Accompany the child down the rabbit hole and into the current circumstances that are coming up at this time, and, always being present but not intrusive, encourage this child to confront whatever it is that needs to be faced, knowing that the adult you is right there, by his or her side, willing and able to help out if there is any sense of threat. Encourage the child to say anything or do anything that needs to be said or done, and when this feels complete, allow yourselves to emerge from the rabbit hole (say, through a doorway, another hole, climbing up through a chimney . . . just making sure you physically leave behind that scene). Once you have come back out, tell the child that you will check back in later to see how things are going. If it feels okay, give the child a hug and really allow a sense of compassion and love for this being.
Make sure to, within the week, take time to do another meditation where you, as your adult self, revisit this child to do what you said you would do.
Journal any ideas, feelings, dreams or unusual physical experiences. Notice if there is any change in how you see the situation, and notice if you see or feel things any differently,
Meditation #2: Allow yourself to stand in a place that requires balance. Maybe just standing on one foot will do, but if you can stand on a parking divider or something similar, that would be best. Now, focus on your balance, and as you do, look around at what surrounds you. Point to the first thing you see, and, instead of saying the name of that thing, say the name of something else. For example, if you see a car, you could say anything but car, like “fish,” or “Humpty Dumpty.” Keep doing this until there is nothing left to point at. Now point at yourself and say the first thing that comes to you. Let the word that comes out of your mouth continue to sit in your consciousness in silence until you feel a sense of understanding. If the word that comes really seems silly and not something you can identify with, I encourage you to do some free-writing about the word or make a collage based on the image that came to you until a deeper insight is gained.
Illustration by Rosalind Lao-Brooks - high school artist