I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.”
Here’s a piece of wisdom I’ve learned from the most spiritual guy on earth, my metaphysical hero of sorts, Mike Leach: you, and you alone are responsible for your happiness.
No one person, place, or thing can do the job for you.
I remember how relieved I was the first time he said that to me … as if my fate didn’t depend on picking the winning lotto number, or right relationship, or proper career, or on growing up in the perfect nuclear family where two stable, profanity-free parents would gather their emotionally nurtured, well-adjusted offspring around a cozy fire to discuss Homer’s the Iliad and the Odyssey … that I could be happy even in the midst of dysfunction.
Because there are lots of that where I live.
But the second part of this adage requires substantial perspiration and a love relationship with dirt. Because you have to dig deep, burrow into the compartments of your soul, and meet who is there. If she’s standing there naked with sagging breasts and a butt full of cellulite–with a pathetic vocabulary and low SAT scores–you have to accept and love her anyway.
I remind myself to “go in, not out” at least 67 times a day, because my first inclination is always to grab for something to make me happy. It’s easier to collect than to dig. But at the end of the day, you’re sitting in the midst of a bunch of crap that you’ve amassed, feeling empty with one more job to do: de-cluttering.