“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
--Carl Gustav Jung quotes (Swiss psychiatrist, Psychologist and Founder of the Analytic Psychology, 1875-1961)
Listen up. The daddy talked about going through the normal mental process of adjusting to a crisis (Lesson I) and, as a part of coming out on the other side of it, coming to see that there are positives and negatives to a crisis situation (Lesson II). Today, the daddy is feeling the idea of developing perspective on a crisis.
Let's say you have just broken up with your boyfriend. In the midst of the confusion from this sudden situation, in the midst of trying to grapple with the implications of living without him, without the fond memories, without the excited anticipation of seeing him, without the loving idea of having a loving, understanding soul-mate for the rest of your life, you find it difficult to rationally deal with what this all means. What should you be doing, sitting around waiting for him to call? What should you be thinking, that he'll come back begging and pleading, saying he'll do anything to be back into your arms (or bed) again? Here's what the daddy says:
1. Know that, no matter how grave, no matter how anxious you may be right now, that there are positive as well as negative ways to view a situation. Yes, the daddy said that before, but this time the daddy is saying "know" it as in believe it with all your heart. And, yes, the daddy knows it is easy to SAY it but much more difficult to do. But you must know it deep in your heart.
2. Figure out a way to step back from the site of the "drama," the final incident or episode that caused either you or he to leave, and the mind-shattering confusion that ensued thereafter and now keeps you from thinking rationally. Yes, this is easy for the daddy SAY but much more difficult for someone to DO in real life.
So you're saying, "Daddy, this is just counselor talk! When I had a tough break-up with my man, I was too mad to think rationally or get some kind of perspective. I just wanted to get back at him!" Well, that's why you need to figure out a way to get perspective. How do you do it? Here are few tips that might help:
1. If possible, get away from the scene of the drama. Can you get out of the house for the weekend? Go on an early vacation? Stay overnight at a friend or relative's house (one who will not pestering you with questions about him)? Take a long ride out in the country and sit by a lake to think? Walk along a beach?
2. Once you get alone and where you will not be interrupted, use imagery. Imagine yourself slowly moving out of your own body, rising slowly and steadily until you are finally above yourself.
3. Speak in third person to yourself. Words are important. Speaking in third person to yourself, coupled with the image that you are speaking outside you could help you to feel that you are thinking and speaking to yourself but as a third person, like an elder or wise woman.
4. Now do some self-talk. Imagine a third person, say, a wise woman, saying something to you like this. "Chile, I know you're in a tough spot right now. You must be feeling real bad thinking that, after all this time, after all you did for him, he treated you this way. But I want you to know that you come from a strong stock. Honey, the women in your family been through times so bad we can't even give names to em. But thanks to Jesus and our strong constitution, we came out on the other side. You're strong one; and you got a good mind. Some men don't like that. But believe me when I tells ya: you're gonna make it to the other side." Okay, substitute your own words, but you get the idea.
Note that, through speaking third person, you are already beginning to analyze your situation more rationally. Though this idea may appear unnecessary, even silly to others, it can enable you to relax a little, step back and gain a better perspective on your situation-- see this relationship in a more balanced manner: see the good that was there, see the bad that was there, and begin to come to grips with the implications of getting back with him or staying away from him, at least for now.
Note too that the daddy is not saying try these four things as a substitute for counseling. He is only saying these types can be an invaluable aide to help you gain a better perspective on your relationship in the midst of a crisis.
Have you ever used imagery and self-talk to help you get a better hold of a crisis situation?