Wednesday, January 20, 2010
What's Wrong with Traditional Therapy?
(A little reminder of Spring...can you smell that?)
Yesterday, I wrote about having a day when I wasn't feeling 100% inspired, and how, because I know this happens, I just show up anyway.
I did not always know that. (Understatement of the decade.)
Many years ago, I was severely depressed. Severely. Like, seek help severely. Willingly-take-meds severely. (The meds did not last long, but I was willing to try, which says a lot.)
I would never tell someone not to try talk therapy. There is a point to it, but you see, I felt like I came to the end of that point rather quickly, and I kept saying, "Yes, yes, but now what?"
Marcy and I decided to do it on our own and figure out that "now what" for me. Because, you see, the specifics of it are different for everyone.
I eventually figured out that "living my bliss" was the key. You know, doing things every single day that bring fulfillment. Bliss, as I keep saying, is not a feeling state. When Joseph Campbell said "live your bliss," he literally meant "GO OUT AND FIND THE THING THAT IS YOUR THING."
And then DO IT.
Every day. If you don't want to do it every day, that's sorta kinda a hint that maybe you are on the wrong path.
Not to say that you won't have hard days. Part of living your bliss is knowing that anything worth doing, anything you're really passionate about, is worth some blood and tears.
I have a point, believe me...
To sum up, knowing your story, knowing how you've ended up not so happy? That is totally important. You can't go forward without knowing where you've been. You can't live your bliss without really knowing yourself, because if you don't really know yourself, you can't begin to imagine who you could be, what you could do.
If you don't know yourself, you will constantly make bad choices based upon false information.
Okay. You've got that, right? Story is important.
But story will only take you so far, and finally, FINALLY, I am vindicated. (Evil laugh.) I was watching this TED talk the other day with one of the leading dudes in psychology and he wanted to confess something. (Beware: he is not the most "dynamic" speaker. Cough.)
He wanted to confess that traditional talk therapies, including cognitive therapies, fail in attempting to make people happy. They can't make people happy, actually.
He wanted to confess that those traditional therapies will take someone from a very depressive or anxious state, for example, to "zero," but they'll never get you past this state of "zero." ("Zero" being that place where you don't feel "sick" any more, where you don't think about dying...)
What does make you happy? What will take you from zero to fifty (in under thirty seconds)?
DOING YOUR THING.
Meaning and passion will make you happy.
Imagine that. Joseph Campbell can finally rest.