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Be careful when crossing the threshold of the New Year!

If we could stop seeing ancient Greeks and Romans myths as if they were baseless legends and we could see them for what they really were, that is, narrations of psychological reflections on important moments of life, we would then see that these stories have much to teach us about the beginning of a new year.

In fact, the name of the first month of the year, "January," comes from the name of one of the Roman gods, Janus, the only god with two faces, one looking to the past and another looking to the future. The teaching is clear: you cannot look to the future without looking simultaneously at the past, and vice versa.

Moreover, as someone well said (I don't remember who), what we have now was not received from our parents (that is, the past) but we have it as a loan from our children (the future).

In other words, against everything we are taught, the past never remains in the past, but is reinvented in the present. Therefore, the idea of "leaving the past in the past" or "forgetting the past" is equivalent, if fully implemented, to forget about the future, something that, incidentally, is what many people do.

If Janus teaches us something, it is that, in the passage from one moment to another of our lives, especially when that moment is shared socially, we must look simultaneously in both directions, but not because the future is continuity of the past, but precisely because the future is no longer continuity of the past.

If we only look to the past, there is no future, or we enter the future walking backwards. If we only look to the future, we will lack identity.

But there is another god, Mercury (Hermes, among the Greeks), known for being the messenger of the gods. At the same time, Mercury is also known for manifesting (although not as himself) in moments of transition, be it a physical (passing through a door) or temporal (beginning of the year) transition. And those are the moments that Mercury uses to deceive us.

I must correct myself: Mercury doesn’t deceive us. He does something even more worrisome: he creates the space for us to deceive ourselves. And once we deceive ourselves (that is, we betray ourselves), we not only cease to be who we should be, but we rationalize and justify our decision.

Therefore, at the end of each year we promise that we will stop doing many things and that in the new year we will achieve what we have not achieved the previous year. But it is only a self-deception, as evidenced by the messages on social networks "declaring" abundance and prosperity, posted by those persons who a year ago "declared" the same things and still didn’t succeed.

In a way, even if we don't recognize it, Janus and Mercury are still as active as they always were. After all, they are expressions of our psychology every time we cross a threshold.

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