Navigating Better Through Paradoxical Times
I know this sounds strange, but a good psychiatrist friend of mine once said that the great short coming of the psychological counseling profession was that the only people who came to her were those in real mental pain. Hardly anyone showed up doing just fine, but seeking to do better. In our culture, we see doctors when we are sick. Furthermore, seeing a mental illness specialist is admitting to the world that we need help, but only from a negative sense. Terence Mckenna, the noteworthy ethnobotanist, once said that “Culture is your enemy,” meaning that there are social morays and dictates that might serve you in one sense, but restrict you in another.
So what is the point I am making….?
”For example the statement, “Men don’t cry” is part of the idea that crying shows weakness and vulnerability. Is it ? Could we improve our decision making with a reframe of some of the ideas we possess, or better yet ideas we have yet to think of. ?
Back to my psychiatrist friend who said that rarely if ever did she see a patient who was just fine, but wanted to actually improve on “fine.” For example if we took the pressure off of one part of our lives would that expand our potential in another part?
We are used to going to fitness trainers, and hiring coaches/teachers to help us improve in a sport/ hobby or physical well-being. And if we are in business, leadership seminars are considered ok. But how many people do you know say they are doing just fine, but are seeing a therapist to garner a more useful point of view? I venture virtually nobody. For example one of the main tenants of the Enneagram, a model of the human personality, is that we all have a blind spot in the way we see the world. Part of a healthy self-awareness program is to become aware of that blind spot and have someone else help you see what you don’t see and what kind of changes to make as a result.
In a way you might say that you are acquiring thinking help training. And since even the most ardent skeptics ( well, ardent might be a stretch) are coming around to seeing that our intentions help shape our reality, why wouldn’t a good thinking coach be of some use. Let us assume you could say you are happy at least 60% of the time. How much would you invest to be happy 70% of the time?
One might ask, “Well, isn’t that what all of the self-help is about?” The answer of course is, “Yes.” Yet if you are on a hunting or fishing trip or any kind of exploration don’t you usually do better with a guide?
If we at least thought of this endeavor as a hobby, then we could consider a visit to our resident shrink, not as salve for desperate situations, but as a a fun way to feel better. Would that be a creative reframe? Would that be a novel way to enhance your decision making? Food for thought. I would love to here your thoughts.