December is an existential month, especially in a year like this.
A recap of the process we have, willingly or not, been the protagonists of for the past 12 months.
For me, looking back at this past year means coming to terms with the bulky presence of the body, enhanced by forced distances, reflection on vulnerability, mistrust in its ability to fight back or to show it’s ill.
As psychologists, we are increasingly including the body in the picture, because we start realising it cannot be separated from “the mind”. The mind is, itself, part of the body.
But the interconnectedness goes beyond that. As humans, we are required a constant and effortful focus on the balance between our symbolic self (who we identify with, where we intend to go, which meaning we attach to what we do or who we surround ourselves with) and our biology (genetics, hormones, impulses). The former brings a sense of freedom, the latter reminds us of our fate. In a year like this, the contrast becomes visible, tangible, unavoidable. It’s us and our desires, accompanied by the limits of our body. The body does not have to be a limit, but in 2020 it forcedly became one. So, instead than feeling lucky for this convergence of dimensions, we end up feeling crushed by it.
We will talk more about this, but for now let’s stay in this complexity without seeking a simplistic resolution. Let’s embrace the duality of our direction. Solutions come only from acceptance. And today, we approach together the end of a year of intense changes and ambivalences, and it’s our full right to feel all of it.