Sunday, May 20, 2012

Two Step

The search for self-knowledge is a good thing ... but it sometimes becomes obsessive. One self-help book after another, gurus galore and endless conversations about what I or you did and what it meant when I or you did or said it. It's useful (and interesting) to see how you promote or damage your life because of past experiences. But understanding alone does not necessarily make a difference in a life without a second step.  It's avoiding that second step that may keep your nose in a book or your attention riveted on a guru.  Change of course is the  step. Doing something different from what you are used to: being less critical, skipping a fight, forcing yourself to have social interactions, walking away from an attraction and, in some cases, admitting that the drama of playing out themes is exhilarating and keeps you going.  Long or short, we all have our lists. And change is challenging. I think this is especially true in the narcissistic age in which we live when external change is so highly valued and internal change not so much. Graciousness, patience and generosity are boring words compared to the ever present "sexy."  Who needs character when you can have a six-pack?

To get those abs you may have a trainer, but ultimately you, and you alone, have to do the heavy lifting.  Same is true for psychological change.  A therapist can help you gain insight, but you alone have to practice new behaviors. Not easy and many people never try but, in my book, it's worth it. Hard abs will never bring the happiness that good relationships have to offer.


Anonymous said...

I like the Two Step post.
Changing has been very difficult for me, but I am getting better at it. Wish I had been wiser way back when, but better late than never.

Bridget said...

I think you have lots of're so right about better than never. People can change any day of the week they decide to do so. Thanks for your post.