A final reflection on ambivalence

It’s almost the end of our ambivalence month.

We talked, up until now, about the ambivalence that constitutes our roots, the coexistence of opposing realities that can find a space to live together, to keep confronting each other.

But some ambivalences are much more urgent. Choosing between two jobs, deciding whether to stop smoking, having or not having children… When these ambivalences are resolved, there is a reduction that needs to be made.

From a multiplicity of choices, and therefore Selfs, to one road: the one we decided to walk on.

After long debates with ourselves, we make up our mind and choose one version of life, one version of ourselves, while giving up all the alternatives at once.

In the indecision lies the everything; with resolution comes the limit.

So, while on the verge of a decision that urges to be made, we bask in the illusion of everything, and with it we feel an all-embracing omnipotence.

And we promise ourselves that an ideal solution will follow this doubt. We are convinced that the perfect answer will come to us.

While we distract ourselves with distant rewards, the choice becomes a necessary and idealised destination. In our mind, this doubt, that makes us feel crippled but infinite, will leave room for absolute clarity.


Sometimes, when it’s protracted for very long, with no signs of resolution, we could ask ourselves if perhaps this ambivalence is a shield from the first one.

I don’t choose a job because that would mean that I might have to come to terms with the fact that my choice holds in it both good and bad aspects, and that the perfect decision I was aiming at, was never really attainable.


The two people I love are both great and indispensable in my mind, because the reality that comes after choosing either one might reveal their bare humanity.

Instead than facing the scary and complex reality behind every choice, I am stuck on the choices.

So, in a world of confusion where some ambivalences can never be overcome, and some others lead to more ambivalence, what keeps us grounded is holding the ambivalence inside of us.

Once we understand that its scariest aspects are also what makes life tremendously precious, every choice might seem less final. Every alternative won’t represent the hopes we forcedly dressed it with, but an imperfect, complex responsibility that will require our care and energy and will be worth it sometimes while not others.

Once ambivalence becomes an ascertained part of our life, no choice will seem perfect, but all will seem valid.

In writing this reflection, I was inspired by the enlightening points made by: http://www.afterpsychotherapy.com/ambivalence/ 

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