(Excerpt from Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons from the Therapist’s Couch)
Many things have happened throughout your life. Some of those situations have felt “wonderful” and others have felt “terrible.” Like most people you probably believe that life events and personal interactions are either “good” or “bad” and then respond to them accordingly. You might feel delighted, lucky, or grateful when “good” things happen, and angry, scared, cheated, or victimized when “bad” things occur.
But what if these events and experiences were mostly “neutral?” What if the way in which you reacted to them was rooted more in the Meaning that you consciously or unconsciously attached to them rather than the experiences themselves? I realize this can initially feel like a radical idea. Surely there must be some life events that by everyone’s standards are just plain “bad” or “tragic” or “wonderful.”
And yet as a therapist I’ve witnessed people reacting in ways that seem to directly contradict how the world would think about and label certain experiences. It’s not uncommon for 10 people to witness or participate in the exact same experience and react in 10 different ways. It has made me realize that it’s not … Continue reading..