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.“
I used to try to separate my brain into two parts: good (productive) and bad (neurotic). Until I realized that was simply impossible because the sensitivity that produces so much of my pain is precisely what makes me the compassionate person I am.
The Buddhist nun Pema Chodron says this:
Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness.
Take Disney’s TinkerBell, for example.
She didn’t like being a tinker fairy. So she tried to become a water fairy and carry dewdrops to large spider webs. Instead, she evaporated all the dewdrops already on the web. So she attempted to become a light fairy and supply all the lightening bugs with their glows, only to accidentally light up her rear end. And then she endeavored to be an animal fairy and help the little birdies learn to fly. But in doing so she attracted a large, nasty hawk who wanted to eat the baby birds.
The sad fairy returned to her workshop and resumed her boring work of fastening widgets and pounding nails and chopping acorns. Until, one day, she stumbled upon a curious collection of metal pieces and parts. Gradually she began to assemble them into a magical, musical box. And in that moment, she was proud to be a tinker fairy.
I’m an obsessive-compulsive manic-depressive addict fairy. We can perform all kind of unique tasks that the water, light, and animal fairies can’t. And while I used to frown at all my neuroses, now I am seeing that there are things only I can do. In fact, the French writer Marcel Proust once said that “Everything great in the world comes from neurotics.” Yah! That’s good news for me!