The following is an excerpt from the “Heal Yourself with
Writing” on-line course. If you would like to enroll
in the course, click here.
We all know the value of psychology in uncovering our deepest feelings and the importance of catharsis in temporarily releasing our pain. Yet while psychological techniques may help prepare us for the journey of healing, they often are not enough to lead us through the deeper way of transformation. Healing without transformation risks re-living negative patterns over and over -sometimes even reinforcing them by repetition, rather than truly putting them behind us.
What psychology does well is help us understand how we feel. What psychology doesn’t always do is provide the way through. Einstein once remarked that significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of the thinking which created them. Only by rising to a higher or deeper level can an ultimate solution to psychological problems be found.
Our lives may be determined less by past events than by the way we remember them. Memory can be either disabling or enabling. Dr. Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning wrote that “…everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” What we think or imagine in fact is our reality, both individually and collectively. Healing and transformation is possible only through changing one’s perspective from within. It is by making meaning out of memory that true healing and empowerment can occur. What story are you living? How do you choose to remember your story?
Negative patterns sometimes evolve for a reason. A child growing up in an alcoholic and/or abusive environment may create a wall around him or her for protection. Such defensive methods may actually ensure surviving emotionally and physically through challenging and threatening times in our lives. Years pass, however, and though now safe, these walls and other defensive mechanisms may sabotage our personal and professional lives. The wall is no longer needed yet it remains. It has become habitual. The first step is to become aware of what we have built around us. What stories we continue to tell ourselves to fortify the wall. Stories from the past live on in us long after the cause or effect is gone.
For info on the author, www.wayofstory.com