All the Ways We’ll Beat the Winter Blues This Season – The New York Times

When you live in Omaha, NE – or the surrounding area – dealing with the gloom of an overcast sky or the drama of dodging the potholes on the roadway are a part of life we all understand. And, mostly, we deal with it, knowing that milder weather, sunnier days, and repaired streets will all come our way in due time.

However, some of us suffer a lot more. Not exactly hibernation – but a withdrawal from life. A deeper sadness, a lack of energy, maybe even a sense of despondency that weighs heavily on us – and our relationships. The question, then: what to do?

The linked article will bring lots of ideas – I especially like the idea of bringing home a plant. Maybe that’s why, every year, area events like the Cathedral Flower Show and the Omaha Home and Garden Expo are so well-attended. Can’t make those? Lauritzen Garden or the Doorly Zoo will fill the gap nicely.

Need more help with depression? Please give me a call – let’s talk it over.

Source: All the Ways We’ll Beat the Winter Blues This Season – The New York Times 

10 Fundamental Truths That Will Change Your Life

Life goes a lot smoother once you let go of grudges and forgive even those who never said they were sorry. Grudges let negative events from your past ruin today’s happiness. Hate and anger are emotional parasites that destroy your joy in life.

Source: 10 Fundamental Truths That Will Change Your Life

It’s a rare person who never has to endure a rejection, a failure or an unexpected setback. Virtually everyone will grapple with regret, anger, even impulses for revenge.

If not dealt with successfully, this can hurt you and your most valuable relationships.

Sorting it out in therapy can be a way to bring a kind of closure and personal growth. Need help with this? I’d like to help.

What’s your ‘Catch 22’?

Catch 22 – revisited

I recently revisited the 1970 film Catch 22. I like older movies. They often offer more than today’s films, I think. Complexity of plot, character development, great cinematography, and very little computer generated content. I had seen the film a long while ago – I think perhaps it was when I was an undergrad at Creighton University. That dates me, I guess!

If you find the links to ‘external reviews’, you might click over to read Roger Ebert’s assessment. He was disappointed with the adaptation of the book. You have to love Ebert – tells it like he sees it. I wish he was still around to review more films. Perhaps that will be another blog post, on another day.

Inescapable

What is a ‘catch 22′, you ask? Wikipedia has a nice explanation. Essentially, it represents rules that create a sealed system. You can’t escape. In the film, pilots are flying dangerous bombing missions. You can ask to be evaluated to be grounded – but that just never works out. The inescapable environment, and the convoluted labyrinth constructed to maintain it is both laughable [at times] and tragic [all the time].

Limiting ideas

All this got me to thinking about the ideas that we carry around with us everyday – the ones that trap us from enjoying life and striving for the growth that we dream about. I suspect that most of us have a few. Perhaps it’s part of our development – we get feedback from our family of origin, teachers, coaches, friends, co-workers, intimate partners – just to name a few. Maybe there’s some value in taking a look at them, and deciding whether they are accurate or useful.

What’s weighing you down? Any of these sound familiar?

  • I’m not enough
  • I missed my chance
  • I’m unlovable
  • Everyone else has got it together
  • I’ll fail

Common Themes

The common theme of almost every self-limiting belief is that it:

  • Probably originates a long time ago
  • Came from someone else
  • Makes us miserable
  • Gets in the way of taking action and seeing a better future

What is therapy for?

One might say that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of the purpose of psychotherapy. Okay, fine. But consider this: maybe it’s all about examining the beliefs that we carry around with us – figuring out if those are helpful, or merely a source of pain, clarifying how we came to those ideas, and leaving them behind.

That’s what Alan Arkin’s character did. At the risk of spoiling the ending of a 40+ year old film, Arkin realizes that he must take action in order to escape the web he felt stuck to for so long. When he hears that another pilot successfully did so, he grabbed a life raft [nice metaphor!] and started paddling. All he needed was to know that one other fellow had done it.

WHAT WOULD HELP YOU TO START PADDLING?

Please share your thoughts on self-limiting beliefs and what helped you – in the comment section below.