Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lesson 3: Develop Perspective

king's vanishing lines || canon 350d/ef-s18-55 || 1/125s | f7.1 | iso100 | handheld

“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?


Anonymous said...

This don't mean something to me. When will you stop this and do something on music or poetry?

judy said...

I was just reading about talking to yourself in the third person. One more reason to do it: We're often more gentle with others than we are with ourselves. That little bit of distance can sometimes be what it takes for us to take better care of ourselves.

rainywalker said...

Stepping back and looking at yourself really works and imagery has been working very well with veterans.

nicki nicki tembo said...

I'm absolutely loving this series daddy. You were the very first blog that I started reading on a regular and you remain one of my few favorites to date. I haven't commented lately but had to let you know that you are so on point. Again, as always, I appreciate you and your EVERY contribution.

The subject matters that you take on and how you deliver them calls to mind my late grandmothers favorite poem "The touch of the masters hand". Some may hardly consider it worth their while but you pick it up and play a melody so pure. And you know many concepts and ideas are auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd but keep doing your thing. You're touching souls.

Solomon said...

I love how you explain talking to yourself in the third person Daddy. I'll give it a try tonight when I get home from work.

I lve it when you are telling yourself you will make it to the other side, that is what the call a positive afformation, I use them all the time.

Anonymous said...

I think your advice is wonderful, daddy. How you talk to yourself is sooo important.

I think the quote from Jung is great, and I think I'll put it on my homepage on Facebook.


Anonymous said...

Daddy, I think your column applies to any kind of loss -- I'm thinking of all the lay-offs going on right now, and I think of how I felt when I was laid off. Your give sound advice -- whether it's a man, woman, German Shepherd or job you're parting from. Thanks!

MacDaddy said...

Anon: Thanks for your comment. But I like to think that I can write about subjects other than music or poetry. Are you interested in subjects other than music or poetry? I hope so. Blessings.

Judy: You said it so well. We are more gentle with others than ourselves. That's because we judge and blame ourselves too much. Talking in third person and using imagery tend to get a person away from that.

Rainy: I've had veterans (Vietnam) say therapists use this technique of imagery a lot with soldiers. They didn't say how effective it was. I'll ask them Sunday at the coffee shop.

Nicki: You humble me. I'm glad you came back. I miss your comments.

Solomon: Yes, self-talk can be very effective, especially in the form of self-affirmation. The problem is that some self-talk is not self-affirmation but self-denigration. Another problem occurs when general denigration turns inward. If dad continually calls mom bitch, black bitch or ho, the daughter may transfer this labeling from mom to herself and thinks that she is those things too. Then the parents wonder why the daughter ended up with a pimp, a gangbanger who got her pregnant or a thug with the street name "Bug." This happens quite often in black families. This is why we should never speak negatively of our husband, wife or partner around our children. No exceptions.

MacDaddy said...

"Daddy, I think your column applies to any kind of loss -- I'm thinking of all the lay-offs going on right now, and I think of how I felt when I was laid off."
Anon2: I agree totally. Thanks.

Stella said...

I am profoundly grateful for my job, despite the extremely busy 10- to 11-hour days, because I enjoy what I do.

After being unemployed and taking odd jobs for five months, it's hard not to feel compassion for others who are in the situation I just recently left.

I hope each person will view these difficult times as the old saw about God closing one door and opening a window, and that the window leads to a situation far better than the one s/he left.

Nun in the Hood said...

Thanks for this # 3 in your series...I have this to add: St. Theresa of Avila, a great Christian mystic and quite fiesty lady, had this to say about crises:
THIS TOO WILL PASS. In this entry, It think you implied that TIME is a great healer, so you are in sync with this great woman of prayer and mysticism...
P.S. If I were Annonymous, I would feel you were pushing my buttons!!!
Why don't you ask him/her to expound on what he/she is saying...Maybe we could learn something.

MacDaddy said...

Nun: Welcome, Sister. It's comforting to know my words are in sync with St. Theresa of Avila. As for Anon1, I have been asking her questions along the line you suggested for some time and she still hasn't come forth to teach us anything yet. Personally, I think she likes the idea of being able to make cryptic and sarcastic remarks while remaining anonymous. To each his own. Love you, Sister.

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Yep, all the time. I've always been a speak now, (often) regret later kinda person. I'm slowly but surely learning to step back from things I have very little chance of changing or are not fruitful or productive to me. Not an easy thing, but getting the right perspective on a number of issues has set me free from ongoing anger, etc.