By Michèle Croquevielle
With great joy I write these lines, the first lines of the 1st Inter-American version of our beloved magazine Existence: Welcome the EA schools of Canada, Mexico and Argentina!
Therefore, all articles will be in Spanish and English.
Also note that each semester we will add an extended article, starting this year with a relationship between Existential Analysis and Mindfulness, developed by Roberto Arístegui.
It will be a huge challenge for this great new team coordination editor, which leads me to think about our ability to be (able to be, 1st FM) and the required conditions: to have Protection (of a theory, of the equipment), Space (internal to dream, think the themes, and the team to discuss them) and Support (this web platform, our previous experiences).
All the articles in this issue revolve around this: the conditions required to be able to be in the world. Because “Being able” in the world, is the fundamental pillar of our existence. It is like having the structural foundation of our home (support), its walls (the space they provide us) and its roof (which protects us).
Now, my reflection goes to the very person enabling those conditions. So the question is no longer Can I be? But I turn it towards me: Can I give Support, Space and Protection to another / s? What (attribute) do I have for it?
I am a mother, a couple, a daughter, a therapist, a friend, a teacher, etc., and like each of you, in each of these roles, throughout my life, I have been asked by another to help, to hold. I think that every living being is trained to some extent, and has the resources to do so. The point is that we are not always aware of this ability. Especially when our perception is selective to our precariousness facing different situations, where I can not grasp in myself that, even there, I can give Space to another (ie if I only need to cry), or Support (when I take his hand firmly when crossing a street), or also Protection (when I accept someone in their diversity). Many times it is just that, situations so simple, but that can have a scope so profoundly protective and enabler.
Particularly from my role of therapist, providing these conditions makes me fundamental, because it facilitates being able to be the other. However, it also requires of me a lot of awareness of both (as always, the dialogical of the EA): on the one hand awareness of my own support, more than the words that are said, is the “how they express” what my own Trust in what I say. And here Truth is a very significant concept in this. Truth is Reality, it is “what it is”, even when I make conscious my own limitations (eg, when I recognize not being able to attend to a subject of a patient and derive it). We do not believe we are omnipotent because we can not do everything, but we can do a lot.
On the other hand I also see the awareness of the other and their own abilities and limitations. This implies not overestimating the other in their resources, but neither underestimate it.
Faced with this I ask the following questions:
Do I perceive myself as supportive towards others? What are my own specific characteristics that make it possible for me? Physicists? For example the tone of my voice, my way of sitting, the firmness in the hand that I give, etc. Or rather Intellectuals? My knowledge, my academic qualifications? Perhaps my ability to hold or give space goes by my emotional closeness, affective firmness. While I think of this, I imagined a small herb giving shade or shelter to an ant … so small that vegetable and yet …
Is there any characteristic of my own that I can visualize as protective, supportive? In some special areas: at work? In maternity / paternity? In friendship? in academia?
And when I look “outward” at the external world, do I see myself as being protective, accepting, supportive? What port in me that may be required by someone, something to be able to be?
(Essential awareness of Me as enabler and consciousness of the Other, as required).
Dear and esteemed, Existential Analysis offers us this wonderful challenge: to be co-builders of both worlds. And to get to work, what better than to take a look at the personal inputs we have for it.
Editorial: Our quality of enabling the Being of another