Monday, July 27, 2009

Faulty Thinking

Frequently in my practice, I find that clients come in thinking that something is terribly wrong with them because they are suffering emotionally. There is an unspoken message as they tell me about their suffering. "If I just did all the right things and lived my life the just right way, I would never suffer." For them, suffering is an oddity. And of course, it's hard for them to hear me say that happiness is the exception, not the rule.

Suffering is inevitable. Being human guarantees us an annual trip around the sun and suffering to some degree or another. It is atypical for people to find peace of mind, aka happiness. Think about it. How many people do you know who don't experience periods where they struggle with psychological pain from work, relationships, deaths of loved ones, etc.? We ALL put on our best face, for various reasons, and head out each day and try to do the best we can. And under that face from time to time, we're unhappy. And the very strange thing about this fact is that because we have "the advanced brain," we are the only creatures on the face of this planet that experience this kind of pain. Being about to think sure get us in trouble sometimes.

Often emotional pain holds us back from living the kind of life we have dreamed of living. The struggle with our pain becomes our focus. We find all kinds of ways to avoid accepting that we are in pain and all kinds of ways to avoid experiencing the pain. And what's even worse is that we construct our self identity around this pain. Clients say,"I'm depressed," not as if those are just words, but as if being depressed is who they are as people. They could be saying, "I'm having a difficult time right now. I'm a hard worker, but what I'm doing right now to feel better just isn't working." Bravo, you're half way there.

So I have a question for you. What if someone could wave a magic wand and all your emotional pain would be gone, what would you do instead of what you are doing, or not doing?

If you're experience difficulties in you life, you can find me on my website and/or you can reach me at 512-795-0402. I'm located at 4131 Spicewood Springs, M-1, Austin, Texas 78759.