To undertake a Jungian psychoanalysis is a beautiful experience, but it requires efforts such as patience, perseverance, curiosity and tolerance, because results are realized neither miraculously nor overnight.
What I just said is in direct contradiction to the prevailing expectations of our consumerist society that demands immediate gratification with a minimum of effort or discomfort.
Strong motivation is necessary not to give in to the temptation to expect immediate results, to satisfy oneself with little, or to quit.
The individuation process has meaning and is real only if a patient consciously integrates it into his/her life. That is why the most meaningful results occur outside analytical sessions.
Jungian analysis also demands strength and courage to face and accept one’s shadow. Because it contradicts who we think we are and who we would like to be in the eyes of others, the shadow is initially perceived as a threat to our sense of ourselves, to our autonomy, to our self-righteousness. To come face to face with one’s shadow is always a disquieting and dramatic experience.
To consciously approach, understand and integrate unconscious contents calls for the capacity to open up to the irrational world; to accept what is not always perceived as acceptable; to think in images; to put aside mental attitudes that perceive reality only one-sidedly, and above all, the desire to discover the deepest nooks and crannies of the human heart.
It is through the vitality of love that we become able to face the difficulties and dilemmas of the everyday world that constantly oppose and limit us. By perceiving that world as only one aspect of human life, it becomes possible to see it for what it is, and to welcome it.
When we transform contradictions into paradoxes, we embrace reality in its totality. A paradox invokes a conscious acceptance of opposites; it produces what is tolerable and sensible; we become creative and creators.
The capacity to accept paradoxes is not only a measure of our spiritual strength; it is also THE consummate sign of maturity.