Mother, mother tell your children
That their time has just begun
Bon Jovi- “Keep the faith”
Therapy is a good step… Indeed finding a good therapist is a crucial step in the direction of healing and overcoming any negative long lasting feelings. A therapist will ask questions and you will answer those questions and sometimes you will be surprised by your own answers–I was!
The mind has a way of bottling up and holding on to things which no longer can be changed, and, or, may have nothing to do with your life anymore. Finding out what those things are and fleshing them out allows you to take control of them and tag them as relevant or no longer relevant. Obviously, it is not possible to change the past.
There could be something which happened in your past which you blame yourself for. Guilt is a very powerful force. Finding out why one harbors feelings of guilt and even shame is very important. Adders are famous for harboring guilt and shame; however, just about everyone does this to some degree. Sure, we might act tough and deny any wrong doing, but, that does not mean it’s true inside of our subconscious. Honest self-awareness is crucial in this process. It may come to light that your feelings of guilt were warranted at some time and yet the past is the past, it is time to forgive yourself and move on. Without sincere self-forgiveness or forgiveness of others, your inner subconscious will not let it go.
In my upcoming book “One Boy’s Struggle: A memoir” I discuss therapy in more detail, and what it did for me, the amazing therapeutic affect it had on me and the sincere self-confidence I gained from realizing, analyzing and at last, understanding what my inner mind obsessively fretted over. I believe therapy could help anyone to some degree.
A therapist has the training to help you redirect your negative thinking to positive thinking. By sincerely looking at past situations your therapist can help you find the positive details. It is very important to tag positive details to past experiences. By tagging positives to past situations your present feelings and mood can change from anger and frustration to understanding, relief and even joy.
Positive redirection is not only good for past situations. Positive redirection can be used every day in every situation. Actually, I did not know my therapist had been using positive redirection until I met my wife:
Joan and I are very dynamic people and there were times we clashed or came at odds, this was more frequent our first two years together. We would go head to head, each of us thinking we were right and it could get fairly dramatic. Many times I would get stuck on repeating myself and continuously rehashing a situation that was already resolved. Finally, Joan stopped arguing with me and started redirecting me with questions: Why is that? What about this situation makes you believe this or that?
As an Adder I was frequently distracted and she did things which were very dramatic to get my attention. I was previously married and my distracted nature eventually led to separateness and then divorce. My ex-wife took the approach of trying to tell me what I was doing wrong, gave me rules to live by and frequently told me what I was thinking or what I was doing. The last thing you want to do with an adult Adder, or probably anyone, is give them rules and or directly tell them what he or she is doing right or wrong. Adders usually live lives of criticism, either from self or from others. We will rebel or avoid criticism at all costs, especially from those closest to us.
Joan first took the approach of doing the extreme to get my attention, when that backfired she tried another approach she had frequently used as a mother. When I would get distracted she would ask me what I was doing. I would tell her and she would find something of it to complement and the next thing I knew we were both involved, doing whatever together. This worked so well that I started asking her advice and wanting her to be involved. Whenever I came home and I was feeling grumpy or I could not let a situation go she would ask me a very simple question to change my mood. That question was: “what is the best thing that happened today?”
I was so surprised that everyday had something good in it, no matter how bad the day was or could be, something of a good nature always happened, even if it was for an instant. Joan would get me to recall that good moment and then we would start to discuss the not so wonderful moments and before I knew it I would find good things in the moments I thought were bad! The thing about me was that my mind would hyper focus on bad situations. We did not know why, but, it did. The process of redirecting my thoughts and experiencing more joy gave me willpower to change and eventually, we started to see a trend and I decided to talk to a doctor.
At first a thyroid problem was suggested and tested, and then a full exam followed. I was perfectly healthy! Fortunately, there was something about my symptoms that my doctors were still considering and therefore they decided to research my medical history and asked me many questions about my experiences with school, even questions about my relationships with friends and family. More medical tests followed. The final diagnoses came back as ADD.
Positive redirection is a very powerful tool, so powerful that it can be life changing! Like attracts like—just as I explained that negatives attract more negatives, so too do positives attract more positives. More to come…
(I apologize for any confusion between the ‘Positive Thinking’ articles and the ‘Power of Positive Thinking and Redirection’ articles. These are separate. The Positive Thinking follow up articles will be posted once a week—usually on Monday’s. The PPTR articles are 3 parts and will be released in a shorter period of time.)