Recently I mentioned that Freud did NOT discover the unconscious.
This week I am going to disclose that Freud did NOT, despite me thinking he did, discover the concept of ambivalence.
He learned both of these ideas from his colleagues and then explored them further and added his own spin.
I like knowing these facts because it makes me consider what would have happened if Freud wouldn’t have been so stubborn.
While he didn’t start his journey with something totally new, he kept writing and arguing with other scientists and eventually created psychoanalysis.
I think what made this possible was his ability to stay in contact with ambivalence!
It is difficult to stay in ambivalence – it can be a place of not knowing.
One of the main gifts I have received from psychoanalysis is the concept of ambivalence.
I used to think that things were either right or wrong, good or bad. Now I’ve learned the importance
of being ambivalent.
If you are ambivalent, you have the capacity to feel conflicting feelings about one thing.
I don’t know how my memoir about my experience in Freudian psychoanalysis is going to turn out.
Some days I feel a bit of ambivalence about all the work I am investing in this project. But I want to
tell the world the benefits I have reaped from a decade in analysis so I am going to be stubborn like Freud.
I want the world to know that there are options for gaining self-understanding and self-love.
Being quarantined because of COVID-19 has given me the opportunity to experience many ambivalent feelings.
One day, I feel so relieved that I don’t have to venture into the world and can stay home and write.
But the next day, after a few weeks without interactions with others outside of my house, I am feeling lonely.
Nicholas Kristof* writes that in the industrialized world, in addition to the corona virus pandemic, we also face a loneliness pandemic.
Some researchers believe that loneliness is more lethal than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
I’m wondering if we were taught early on that it is normal to feel conflicting feelings, if we would feel so lonely?
I don’t know how being lonely and ambivalent go together but I’m thinking they may. Let me know what you think.
As I type this, if I switch to my Zoom screen, I see twenty other writers, each in a tiny square.
We are all working together separately! Jennifer Louden, creator of The Writer’s Oasis is the organizer.
You can find her at: https://jenniferlouden.com/writers-oasis/. This helps me with the loneliness.
Let me know what you are doing to deal with loneliness and ambivalence. We can help each other.
Scroll down and leave a comment.
CLUE: I feel fresh out of clues for better living this week. I’m standing on one foot while brushing my teeth, thinking
of my hilarious brother who said he was working on his balance too while brushing his teeth but when he was balanced on his left hand,
it was difficult to get his right leg in the air.
IMAGE: Received in Colorado many years ago.