Monday, September 9, 2013

That sounded optimistic

Pessimism and optimism in one – that’s right.  Love, touch, being cared about in our pain or in our happiness (but not in our persona) is a tangible good.  Optimism is physical.  When we feel cared about in our reality, not our façade self, there must either be optimism or a very serious challenge to our negativity.

A new client, let’s say anywhere in his teens to 60’s, sits down.  He looks at me quietly and I see an ocean; or agitatedly and I see a time machine in a time bomb.  He is – we are, too much, a molecular mess held together by defenses.  A baby screams when he’s in pain.  An adult in pain smiles and says “That which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” or “I was beaten and I turned out all right” or “I love my mother to death, I just can’t stand to be around her” or “My child doesn’t respect me.”  He is clothed in the chainmail of anesthetizing, delusional thoughts.  Here is one of many paradoxes: The real, authentic person is a hysterical, contorted mess, maybe even a 42-year-old baby dying in his crib; the faker is a high-functioning guy with good posture and a philosophy of life.

I look at the ocean and he looks back.  I have never seen any person who knew what was wrong, but sometimes she will come closer to knowing.  She will say, “I don’t know.  I’ve never felt right.”  This is possibly someone more in touch with the hidden parts of her ocean than someone who talks the standard symptoms, or who talks and talks.  Too much talking about things that are feelings rooted in birth and infancy and childhood is a sign of survival: running fast across a field of stratospheric helium balloons lest she stop – and fall.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.