Clients come in for therapy because something (or several somethings) isn’t working. Yet, on an entirely different level (and the point of this book)—the real issue is not what isn’t working. The real issue is that they don’t understand that solving their issue requires that they behave differently.
There is an internal battle going on in each of us, between the seductive siren song of staying stuck in the “way I’ve always done life” and the orderly discipline of doing things in another way.
Most people waste their lives doing everything they can think of to get others to do things differently. There is a considerable emotional investment in this effort. (Let me be clear about which effort we are talking about: the effort of trying to get the world to cooperate in making you happy. Now, “the world” can be a boss, a partner, one’s parents or kids, your friends… or even the person serving you a double fat-free latte.)
The first step toward wisdom is to understand that you can’t manipulate others or the world to make you happy.
In a sense, all that I ever “teach” clients (and all I ever remind myself) is this: I am responsible for me, and I am responsible for how I choose to approach my life. Nothing else is going on. This is such a simple point that it flies directly over the head of 95 per cent of the population.
You will learn the practicalities of living a full and rich life:
Notice what would happen if we understood that the world actually is phenomenal, that it is a series of unconnected and non-meaningful events. We would have to admit that a thing is a thing is a thing, until we make meaning about it. To do this requires a leap in our understanding. The leap is summed up this way: the meaning I make about the essentially meaningless is meaningful only to me.
In other words, healthy relationships are physically expressive relationships. If I am avoiding physical contact with my partner, I am in effect saying, “I refuse to make contact with you.” The refusal may seem to play out physically, but that simply represents what’s going on at all the other levels — emotionally, spiritually, and in the couple’s “couple-ness.”
I’d like to suggest to you that life is meant to be an ongoing developmental project. This is a concept we accept at work — we “gladly” train and retrain, looking for improvements, efficiencies, other, newer, “better” ways to do things. I suspect we were meant to be on a similar walk in our personal lives, but somehow forgot.
At the end of the day, this is the reality of life. We are born and die alone, and the rest of life is a solo job in a crowd. This is either terrifying or freeing. I’ll scare myself with it precisely to the degree that I refuse to accept responsibility for my life. I will free myself precisely to the degree that I allow myself the personal satisfaction of paddling just a little more efficiently and effortlessly each day.
And here is the point!
In the end.. you’ll find yourself living out your life in a conscious, present, honest, and curious way. You’ll take what comes without judgment and decide what you choose to do next. You will be consistent and clear. And you will be that most unusual (yet not special) of all humans- a self-responsible person, engaged in living life to the fullest, while extending an invitation to others to join you in the paddle, the dance.
Available formats, This Endless Moment, 2nd edition
* Paperback: 226 pages ** Kindle edition ** PDF download
* Publisher: The Phoenix Centre Press (January 30, 2017)
* Language: English
* ISBN: 978–0-9877192–9-4
Paperback: $20.00, Kindle edition $2.99,
PDF download $4.00
Purchase paperback from Createspace
Purchase paperback from Amazon.com
Purchase Kindle Version from Amazon.com
Buy the PDF as a download