Psychobabble, Therapy and Woo-Woo: What Do Our Attitudes Say About Us?

4개월 전

For me, one of the benefits of psychotherapy has always been that it not only offers me new perspectives, but because of the way the therapeutic process works, it tends to unlock old memories we have "stored away," often unexamined.

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This is a happy flower!

Over the course of my life (now 59 and counting) I have gone through a number of phases, in terms of how I viewed life — and my place in it.

In general, my views have been — you might say — less than optimistic.

In a conversation with my therapist, we talked about my "pessimism" and she suggested I might think of it more as being the approach of someone who truly sees life as it is... and I am merely more of a realist in a world that tends to medicate and therapeuterize anyone who is less than "happy."

Food for thought, to be sure...

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Camellia in bloom

Closer to Home...

This morning, Mrs. Denmarkguy pointed out that in my subheading/tagline on Farcebook (which I have probably not changed since they were introduced circa 2009) I describe myself as "an HSP suffering with 'Too Many Interests Syndrome'."

It a term we both tend to use to describe out particular combination of multipotentiality and ADHD.

But that wasn't her point.

Her point was the word "suffering."

"Are you really SUFFERING?" she asked.

We talked a bit and concluded that I actually am pretty content with my strange existence, even if I find it increasingly challenging, as I age.

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Macro shot of a calendula flower

Why Choose "Suffering?"

Later on, I sat with the word "suffering," for a while.

Actual suffering has really not been something that has been a major part of my life! So why choose to use such a term?

I cast my memory back to a spiritual self-development retreat I attended many years ago... maybe in the late 1990's. As was often the case of these events, it was heavily populated by (mostly) women 45 and older, generally affluent. As a late 30's male I was unusual, and the second youngest person of about 35 attendees.

The youngest was a superbly bright and wise-beyond-his-years young man of maybe 25.

Whereas he was extremely well-liked (adored, even) by the majority of the retreat attendees, he had trouble getting taken seriously. It was not because he was juvenile or unwise... it was because he hadn't SUFFERED enough, to earn people's respect.

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Raindrops on flower petals

Gold Medal in Suffering?

At the time (and ever since) it made me think about how we strangely "treasure" suffering, like it is some strange type of admission ticket to our true humanity.

Of course, the dark side to such a thought is that suffering tends to "dismiss" joy and happiness if it simply comes naturally to a person. Suffering says that you must earn the right to be joyful, through navigating extensive suffering.

Strange, isn't it?

But to answer my own question... I have often been like our young man at the retreat. Actual suffering hasn't been that frequent a guest in my landscape; but I made some stupid choices... one of which led to Mrs. Denmarkguy's observation, this morning.

I adopted a sort of "faux suffering" as a tool to allow myself to connect more readily with a Human Species that suspiciously eyes anyone who's content with little, and unaided by drugs or delusions. If I ware also "suffering," I thought, it would be easier for me to keep the company of other Humans, because we'd have some common ground across which to connect.

Which sounds plain DUMB, right?

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A happy baby bunny!

Agreed, it IS! But it's also alarmingly common how we choose to take upon ourselves traits and characteristics that are not truly OURS simply in service of trying to find meaning, connection, ways to reach people, healing, or whatever else.

So be mindful! Be mindful of how the things you say and "adopt" as "yours" send signals to the world about where you are in life, and in your head. It may not really be what you want the world to notice!

In my case, I have some to realize that part of the reason I so often find myself surrounded by people who seem to be suffering and in crisis is because I have chosen to telegraph to the world that "I am one of them." And that's the "Woo-woo" part: We tend to attract precisely what we ask for!

Thanks for reading!

(Another #creativecoin creative non-fiction post)

Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment-- share your experiences-- be part of the conversation!

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(As usual, all text and images by the author, unless otherwise credited. This is original content, created expressly for this platform.)
Created at 20200206 14:23 PST

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Seeing the world 'as it is', makes you 'a hater, in some parts...yes, seriously!

I was thinking about something similar yesterday, and one of my many (and probably incorrect) observations on people I know well (and myself), is that we try to forever reproduce the circumstances that correlate to the 'happiest time' we were as children.

So, even if you were in a screwed up family lets say, but the 'happiest moment' in your childhood was a time of people fighting and conflict ( not logical, I know), then oyu spend the rest of you rlife trying to recreate the circumstances that is your 'happy place'.

I've gotten a little off track here.
(I'm busy making a video with that 'happy time' model in mind - about george soros, and it fits very nicely).

The martyr complex fits nicely into the 'suffering mode' of life.
If you find yourself happy with your lot playing the martyr, does that then make the 'suffering side' of it, go away? Happy in suffering.
I dunno, I'm waffling.
I'll stop now. lol

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Seeing the world 'as it is', makes you 'a hater, in some parts.

Funny you'd bring that up... elsewhere, I was commenting to someone that "for some people, the FACTS of a situation are interpreted as a personal attack."

And I mean that seriously, too. If I say "you missed your flight because you arrived too late to the airport," that is nothing more than a FACT. And yet, many will insist that it's a personal attack in the form of snide commentary on their tendency to run late.

Could be there's some veracity to your theorizing. My happiest times as a kid were those when the world left me the frak alone! My auntie (who raised me, in part) and I would sit on her back porch and simply watch nature go by. As an adult, I tend towards being a loner who prefers to just be left alone...

I think my (mostly past) tendencies to be interested in "suffering" were a result of too much time contemplating that something was wrong with me as a result of my loner tendencies... and my general avoidance/rejection of most mainstream life. And it seemed to me that most people connected and related to each other via various forms of suffering, so maybe if I "adopted" suffering, I could get to feeling more connected to people.

A bit sick and twisted, I know... but that was perhaps an apt description of my 30's. I'm pushing 60 now, and it no longer applies.

In many cases, I think we're motivated by neurochemical rewards... and some people (it seems) actually get their little dopamine hits from feeling miserable. Is that healthy? I doubt it very much...

So, a ramble to your ramble...

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for some people, the FACTS of a situation are interpreted as a personal attack."

It's the same people who think that the story is more important than the truth.
People who think there is no truth, only narrative to convince for personal gain.
Yes, truth can be subjective, but it can be objective also, like the example you gave above - it is both fact and true.

Could be there's some veracity to your theorizing. My happiest times as a kid were those when the world left me the frak alone!

My happiest time was seeing my Dad approve of me, while standing up to liars and deceivers (mostly my family).
Ergo.. being in conflict with my authority figures, standing up for truth, and calling out the liars and manipulators, was my 'happy' time - as twisted as that may first appear.

That explains quite a lot about me, doesn't it? lolol

It's all about recreating the environment that brought you the happiest feeling as a youngster.
If this hypothesis is any way near accurate, I can only see it as being an unconscious drive in the majority of people.

I think Soros said that the time he spent as a kid - under nazi rule - was the happiest time of his life (for whatever reasons).
So his 'happy time', was fighting the authorities by subterfuge, profiting by deception, and lying to survive, all while living in a world of wartime and thus social chaos......MMMmmmmmm....

Superb post my friend. One more of your epic ones.

So great, that I can't comment right away with the astonishing influx of thoughts that come to my mind right now as to be able, eloquent and coherent enough to bring a due and deserved reply/opinion on this serious subject through my poor mastering of english language. :)

I am still not sure that I can promise to comment later something that can be mildly understandable once I have arranged my thoughts in Spanish and can translate them properly into English in a coherent way. Maybe I never will.

But what is clear to me is that we for sure share many similar things in our way of being and our way of thinking. And for the same reason, I cannot afford to babble now about this important issue in the same way as I usually tend to do it quite often just for socializing.

Therefore, my only choice by now... It will be, ReSteem this post!!

Cheers!! :)

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Thanks for your kind words, old friend... I observe that sometimes I read things that impact me strongly, but there is actually very little to be said, at the end of it all.

And that is really OK.

Thanks for the re-Steem!

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Hahaha yeah. What reminds me that I must be one more of those eerie viruses whose 'inner content' load produce this sort of diseases of silence way too often. LoL

Life more often than not is suffering. I find that when I talk about life's woes, it helps me link and bond with other humans more deeply. In my interactions online, people open up more to suffering than happiness. I post cute pictures of my kid and animals on social media but usually comments are short and have no depth. When I talk about suffering however people are more likely to share how they feel the same.

I kind of like your description "suffering with 'Too Many Interests Syndrome'.""I don't take it that you are an unhappy person but a person with lots of knowledge or things that you do. If I were to read that without having read this article my first thoughts would be that I could identify with that person. I could list off all my hundreds of hobbies over the years and interests in response to find something in common.

Someone who suffers only from having too many interests and not terrible suffering might bring joy to someone with interesting and fun things to say which could lessen their readers suffering.

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The truism at the heart of Buddhist thought is that "PAIN is not optional, SUFFERING is." Which is what I aspire to, these days... yes, there's a world filled with misery and suffering out there, but I feel decreasing need to make it mine, by proxy.

As it turned out, I changed it from "Suffering from Too Many Interests Syndrome" to "Challenged by Too Many Interests Syndrome," which is really a pretty marginal change but definitely more accurate, as a statement of where I find myself, in my life.

Of course, it is also just a figure of speech... and sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in making things more serious than they really are.