Sometimes, we get addicted to therapy; we fall in love with the process and lose sight of the destination… of why we initiated this process in the first place.
Journaling is a great tool for stress reduction, venting and self-examination. Yet, if all what we do is journaling, we are falling into the victimhood trap, we allow self-pity to engulf our lives and blind us from the real meaning of being alive.
However un-appealing or challenging our life is, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, we just need to keep walking.
With depression being one of the most diagnosed illnesses in our century, we need to stop and reconsider our approach. Journals, self-help books, and meditation CDs stack the shelves, yet they did so little towards reducing the rate of depression. People became addicted to therapy, to affirmations, meditations and hypnosis… Unfortunately, theses valuable tools became Band-Aids that cover the wounds yet rarely affect healing. They became symptomatic relief like the hundreds of prescription medications packing the shelves of pharmacies and drug stores. These tools sold the myth that life will somehow fall into place if we envision the happy ending and that the magic will appear if we just wave our wand… ‘Fly, and the net will catch you,’ they claim. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, this bumper sticker should be changed to ‘Fly, and the net might catch you!’ There are no guaranteed results. This is life with all its good, bad and ugly… with all its joys, sorrows, and challenges. We can’t pick and choose from the menu. We just have to do our part, keep moving, keep working, and most importantly, keep praying!
Surrendering the results is not always easy. I, for one, have really hard time embracing ambiguity. I need to know… Yet, ambiguity is part of the package.
For years, life seemed to remind me of this verse over and over again: “So that you do not fall into despair over what has escaped you, nor over exult over what you have been given” (57:23)
And, now that I finally got its meaning, I keep it in my heart all the time. It doesn’t ask you to supress your joy or avoid pleasures, nor does it expect from you to never experience sadness, frustration, anger or pain. It just lays a universal truth that we are not our possessions, belongings or entourage; we are not our achievements, successes, ranks or prestige… It is good to experience these; it is great to enjoy them. Yet, never let yourself be attached to them.
Life requires us to work and strive. It requires courage to keep going. It requires momentum. Meanwhile, it also requires patience, flexibility and bravery.
So, dear friend, don’t get trapped in therapy, whatever therapy represents for you… don’t let it blind you from real life. Go out there, do your part, strive, work and walk your path. And, whatever you do don’t sweat the little joys sent your way every moment along your journey.