Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wenesday, Feb. 15: Fire Your Therapist

If your therapist has not taught you to kick self-pity in the butt and to live radically and happily in the present: fire them. Come to me, or go inside yourself and take responsibility. Your pain in not from your mean mom, your bad dad, your sad friend, even your molesting uncle. It’s from your response inside yourself when you attach to the delusion that the past can be any different than it was.

The past is past.

It’s over. Any therapist who allows or encourages you to wallow around in the past is keeping you out of life as it is happening, and also keeping you available for endless therapy. Any therapist who leads you out of the present with concepts such as “the pain body,” “the wounded child,” even “ego,” or “my feminine/male side,” is doing you a disservice. Attention not in the present doesn’t have any traction. It’s standing on concepts.

Concepts can be useful. A concept like trying something a different way. But the concept of some subset of you in trouble, my bad shoulder, my wounded child, this takes you away from understanding and learning about yourself as a whole and complete and functioning organism.

The assumption in huge batches of therapy is that there’s something wrong, that needs to be fixed. Yes, and no. The so called wound/ abuse/dysfunctional family, isn’t what needs to be fixed. But, there is something wrong: we don’t live in the present. And something else wrong: we confuse mean mom with our unhappiness.

Mean mom, past or present is simply that: mean mom.

If there is no mom in the real world in front of me right now, and I go into a mean mom funk, then I can be honest and realize that thoughts of her are coming up and my response to these thoughts is bumming me out. If the sky is blue and beautiful and I’m busy feeling bad about mean mom forty years ago, it’s my allowing my attention to get ripped off that is wrecking my life.

And if she’s here, now in the real world, being mean? If she’s standing in front of me, telling me how awful I am., that’s her business. If I buy into her words, or her tone, that’s my business. My unhappiness is never from mean mom or bad dad, but from my response to their behavior. When I’m young, okay, I don’t know better. I feel bad.

If I see a mom in front of me saying nasty things, and I really look at her, I will undoubtedly see a miserable person. (This is the power of the fourth question of the Bryon Katie work. See earlier essays for what it is). If she wants to be miserable and say miserable things, what’s that got to do with me? If I take responsibility for my own attention, her behavior is hers and has nothing to do with me.

If I really want to move things along, I follow the three principle of good relationship: touch, truth and fun. Touch might be this: Hey, Mom. You look so unhappy when you are lashing into me. Do you need a hug?

Truth might be this: I hear you saying that I’m selfish and stupid. You are right, some of the time. And it looks to me as if you are unhappy while you are saying that. Do you want to tell me how you are feeling now?

Or truth might be this: I hear you want me to come spend my summer with you, and I love you, and the answer is no. I want to spend my summer doing….

Truth is not: you are hurting my feelings. I am the one who hurts my feelings by my response to what someone else says.

Fun could be this. The mean mom starts to tell you what’s wrong with you. You listen, breathe, enjoy her going through her bit. Then you ask, Can you think of some more things wrong with me. Let’s make a list.

Fun could be smiling as she lists your crimes, telling her you absolutely agree, and that sometimes you think you stink, too, but then you snap out of it and decide to enjoy life anyway. Ask her what she’d enjoy doing once she’s through chewing you out.

Fun could be listening, smiling, agreeing, and then saying: What you are really trying to tell me is that you love me and sometimes it’s hard for you to realize this.

Then you are free.

That’s fun.

If your therapist isn’t teaching you stuff like this, fire them. Look at Byron Katie’s books ( Loving What Is and I Need Your Love. Is that true? ) Check out her website, Get out a pencil and paper and do the work. If you think it’s too hard to do the work on your own, do the work on that. If even that seems too “hard’ hire me to coach you a little if you want to think you can’t do her radically simple work on your own. But stop buying into myth of yourself as victim.

There is one person who causes my unhappiness: me. There is one person who can choose for me to be happy: me. From this point of view, life is a vast field of opportunities, to be in nature, to enjoy people, to help people, to learn things, to be at ease and in the present, to…. You fill in for you. That’s your responsibility.


At 2:42 PM , Blogger Delia Bostan said...

Hi!I found something similar to what you are
It is soo good!!!


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