Choosing Perspective

choose

Image by miki** via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #225 – If you can’t choose a better perspective on your own, it might be time to choose it via a medical route.

Feeling trapped?  Overextended?  Used and neglected by others?  It might be true.  But why do we get in these impossible places?

In the Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle, towards the end of the story we find ourselves in a room with Charles and It.  Charles is trapped by It.  He has disconnected from his own thoughts and has given himself over to the control of “It.”

Charles’ sister, Meg, comes in and reminds him about Love and that changed the perspective of everything.  It reminded Charles about why he wanted to choose for himself, to have his own thoughts, to love and receive love.  And then, with that, Charles was reconnected with himself again, whole and sharing space with Love.

The changing perspective turned what seemed an impossible bondage into freedom.

When we feel disconnected from our personal journey, impossibly overextended and trapped, remembering our freedom to choose, freedom because of Love can make all the difference.  The perspective shifts.  The impossible becomes possible.  Magic.

Sometimes, choosing is thwarted by brain disease.  When we can’t extricate ourselves, when guilt plagues us, when we feel like things are about us that really aren’t, when the emotion jarring us is inappropriate to the context – we need to use that as a cue to choose to get “free” via medical help.

Questions:  When have you felt trapped?  When you did feel trapped, how did you find your freedom?  Please tell me your story.

When Someone Is Afraid Of You, You Don’t Have To Be Afraid Of Them. Just Be.

Self-Care Tip #131 – When someone transfers negativity on you, just be.  Be a friend to yourself.

Reading up on the woe’s of Harry Potter, Sam did not let his children near those books.  He’d read “what they say” which shows that when kids read books like Harry Potter, it was the same as inviting the devil into their minds.  “Kids can’t tell the difference between fantasy and truth,” he said.

Sam had a friend.  A best friend named Matthew.  Sam was very afraid for Matthew who didn’t guard against this kind of attack.  Sam said, “Did you know…?”

What was Matthew’s response?

There are 2 terms we’ve used in psychotherapy since before Freud and Jung were around –

  • transference – putting our feelings on the therapist.  For example, say my therapist is a man who looks like my father.  I will transfer on him my feelings about my father and subconsciously think my therapist is like my father.
  • countertransference is the opposite.  The therapist thrusts her own memories and associations on her patient.

These can be positive or negative.  Of course they don’t stay on the couch.  Transference and Countertransference happen between all of us all the time.  Often it is healthy.  It helps us grow, model others, fantasize and move towards fantasy’s long enough to make them true.

In Sam and Matthew’s case, Sam was transferring his fears of immorality on Matthew.  But what was Matthew’s reaction?  What was Matthew’s countertransference?

I have often been guilty of negative countertransference in situations like this.  I remember feeling dirtied by people’s prejudices and fears.  Almost like I needed to bathe afterwards.  The truth is though, we don’t have to.  When people are afraid of us, we don’t have to be afraid of them.  We don’t have to despise them.  We don’t have to be angry, irritated, or feel “soiled.”   We can just be with them.  Let it be about them and not run away.  Just be present.

Matthew, wonderful best friend Matthew had heard this song from Sam before.  When Sam started in on it again this time, Matthew was able to sit back, listen to his fear rather than worry about what words shuttled it.  And Matthew was better for it.  Maybe Sam was too.  But the gift Matthew gave was first to himself.  By just being with Sam in his fear, he was able to just be with himself too.  Quite friendly.

Question:  How has transference and countertransference played out in your life?  How do you, “just be,” when you are inclined to “countertransfer” instead?  Please tell me your story.