Spring Bear

Oct 7, 2009

With all this talk of Spring Cleaning, I just would rather hibernate.  I think bears have a good idea to skip the whole winter wonderland and just sleep for months at a time.  Can you imagine eating so much that you wouldn’t need to eat for a few MONTHS?  What an amazing process.

In some sense, the bear’s symbol is related to Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon.  As such, the bear is associated with lunar qualities, and as a result of its magnificent strength and lethal capabilities, Carl Jung connects the symbol of the bear with the dangerous side of the unconscious.  Note: these symbol associations are from the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols.

I feel like it would be nice to be a bear, this connection to the unconscious makes sense to me and my desire to sleep through wintertime while waiting for summer.  If, as Jung and Freud suggested (and Rashin blogged about last week), the unconscious houses all those things we would rather not be aware of, then likely there are things that hold an energy for me that I would rather not stir.  The cycle of life seems to suggest that the appropriate time to “stir” those things and begin anew is now, Springtime.  For me, this often manifests in a difficulty in throwing things away.  I often have grand visions of a clean desk or garage, and I do fairly well, but in the end I usually hold onto a few things from years prior that probably could go to the trash bin.  Then, ironically over time they get an “antique” quality that makes them even harder to let go of in future cleaning cycles.  If the corners of my mind, that is my unconscious, would rather hibernate, then perhaps so too would the corners of my house represent all those memories I would rather not clear out.

I live in Colorado and thankfully, the seasonal changes are just as sporadic as I feel.  For example, last week we had 70 degree weather, today we are shoveling 15+ inches of snow.  What a place.  Last week I was feeling like I was behind in my Spring Cleaning, this week I’m feeling like it would be premature to do it.

Eventually the bear inside me will awake and I will be ready to clean things out and begin anew.  Yet, by its definition, there will always be a place inside my mind that is unconscious, and I guess I have to accept the same in my house, that there will always be places that could be cleaned out, and not every space will be perfectly clean.

What about you?  Do you ever feel like a bear, and prefer to hibernate?  Do you see a connection between that and your desires to participate in Spring Cleaning?

Note:  I originally published this post on www.depthpsychologytoday.com on March 27, 2009.

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