Jungian Therapy, Time and the New Year: 4 Reflections
Posted: January 5, 2012
At New Year , we are all acutely aware of the passage of time; an approach rooted in Jungian therapy leads us to reflect on time in at least four different ways.
1. We Live in the Flow of Time
By nature, humans exist in time, and in conscious awareness of time. All we do and are is in the midst of duration. We may lament time’s passing, but without it, we wouldn’t exist. Still, we are surrounded by so much that is impermanent, to which we cannot cling. How will we cope with passing years?
2. Midlife and the Significance of Time
By midlife, and often before, we feel keenly that our time is limited. We know we have lived nearly half of our lives. Sometimes, I can seem to feel the days rapidly slipping away. It can be an agonizing realization, and sometimes we may have to battle the snares of regret , in order to stay with life in the present.
3. Worthy of my Time?
If life is limited and finite, I need to live in the ways that are most meaningful to me. To do that, I must know what it is that I really value. And to know what it is that I really value, I will have to encounter those parts of myself that I do not usually encounter or acknowledge — the undiscovered unconscious self. Many people don’t dare to really ask, “What is it that is really important to me? What are the things that will really last?” — and then to live in and for those values.
4. Dancing Toward Soul
We cannot imagine existence outside of time — it is fundamental to who and what we are. And yet, something in us connects to, and resonates with, eternity. There is a dancing way of living, that, although it moves through the seasons, has the air of eternity, because it connects with values and aspects of the self that are unchanging — the things we eternally seek. This, the reality of soul, is often imaged in dreams and in art, as a lover within us, who we seek and love for our whole lives. Here is Donovan, singing W.B. Yeats’ profound and beautiful poem,