You, Piece of Work
I forgot where I found it, but there was this conversation between a therapist and a father who was there trying to deal with something about his son. You want to get over this and get better right?, the therapist said. And the father said of course. So the therapist asked, then why do you only come here once a month?
I realized I didn’t want to be so angry. I have trouble with empathy and I use being busy as a crutch. I’ve tried to understand that some of the things I’m dealing with are just over my head. I’m closer to being able to admit that I just may be the source of some of the things I don’t like about myself and that happens to disqualify me from being able to handle them alone. So since June, I’ve had an appointment every two weeks to deal with it.
It allows you to think and talk about things until the words become works. You can make notes doing the week and say “I really don’t want to do that anymore.” My health insurance covered it at first but I’ve been paying for it myself now and it’s the best thing I could possibly spend my money on.
I’m not saying that this the only path you can take or that it’s even the right one for me. But I am saying that there isn’t a single part of your life that isn’t work – a part of you that in order to improve doesn’t take honesty, investment and effort. Only the lazy and the broken believe otherwise. And it’s not enough to understand that intellectually. Carrying around baggage isn’t proof of strength. There’s nothing admirable about being able to articulate where your weaknesses lie if you refuse to actively address them. For me, that meant identifying where my control ended and habit began and taking the steps necessary to wedge in a mediator. It meant doing something about it.
Dude, I was writing exactly about this last night. You took it much further than I did.
It’s been a while since one of your posts really struck home for me; it’s really great when they do.
Perhaps the hardest part of life is the struggle of finding out who we are, and what we can become.
Two comments in two days, this is a record for me.
I was also having an issue with anger and I tripped into a solution. I successfully used Bill Ferguson’s Mastery of Life workbook and mp3s. Bill’s thought is that anger means the person is resisting some truth about their life. The workbook and recordings help the user focus in on the core issue.
That was last October, and I have not flown off the handle a single time since then. In every circumstance where I even started to feel anger I have been able to link it back to my core resistance. It was almost like magic how my life started changing.
The only part that I am not satisfied with is that I still feel the core issue. I guess that makes me consciously competent, but I want to make that last step into unconscious competence. I plan to attend a live workshop in November and see if I can break through completely.
Total non-sequitur: I’ve been on the Seth Godin Tribes thing since its start. Thus far, I’d choose to describe my view of the place as “well-meaning, but retarded”.
If you’re interested in the psychodynamics of talk-therapy (ie, the little mental strategies you prepare before your session, how part of you always tries to show how you’re smarter and better at diagnosing yourself than your therapist, etc etc) you really, really should read David Foster Wallace’s last published book of stories (before he hung himself Sept. 12). All the stories are great-some of the most challenging but rewarding fiction out there. The one you should really read is “Good Old Neon.” It’s about a suicidal genius (which was exactly waht Wallace was) who thinks about everything constantly and has the most delightfully inspired therapy sessions again and again. Incredibly insightful, brilliantly written, it’s really powerful and will change you.
In lighthearted jest, you know you post too much when it has taken me a week to read your blog posts back to May. New to Rudius Media, I have already read through TM’s stories, but yours take forever to read and digest. Your reading lists are particularly helpful for general knowledge and my minor in public relations and rhetorical advocacy, aka simply PR/advertising.