Tuesday, November 3, 2009

truth... again?!?!

the paradoxical theory of change.

my topic of internal discussion today has been settling over time, creating a little village in my head, whilst it's properties decorate the insides of their houses and the tree-lined streets with season-oriented christmas lights. and while i may not exactly know where this dickens village of my mind originated, i do know that i didn't know that there was actually a theory to back it up.

thank you, reference.com. wikipedia, you can suck it.

so for the last couple of years, really, since i've been out of college and away from where i grew up, i have been outside looking introspectively in, watching this painful process of growth, although i never really labeled it that to begin with. when i was at home, i was who everybody else wanted me to be... i was a yuppie; i was an honor roll student; i had money; i played golf and tennis; i was a debutante; i was chaste. upon college, a little part of me pushed the envelope... i got a nose ring; i bought a ticket to california during the first semester back my freshman year to visit my then-boyfriend; i got a tattoo; i locked myself in the studio at night and danced to rock music instead of classical. of course, i was still a dean's list student, i still pulled my hair back in a tight bun for daily ballet classes, and i still obeyed my curfew when i went home to visit my parents, who were growing alarmingly suspicious of these almost non-existent rebellions. i pushed further when i graduated and moved to atlanta. i cut off all my hair, moved in with a boyfriend, and added to my tattoo collection fullfold. the waves of evolution grew stronger as i strived to become closer to who i really thought i was.

which of course, leads us to the question. i was pushing for change. change all around me, from who i used to be to who i wanted to be, to how people perceived me and my image. i look at it now, and what i had become was a caricature of what was inside me. i was so hell-bent on proving that i was this strong, independent, tough woman that i had completely glossed over who i really was. and when i would start over each time, in san francisco, on tour, in boston, in new york... i had less and less a grasp on who i was because the girl i'd become didn't have the support of her environment around her anymore. in proving i was strong, i had become weak with resistance to deny everything i wasn't.

that's a paradox like a motherfucker right there. i wish i would have known all this had a name. maybe it would have made it easier for me to identify with.

so here it is, for you to see. maybe you're going through it right now and needed to find a name for it, too.

Briefly stated, it is this: that change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not. Change does not take place through a coercive attempt by the individual or by another person to change him, but it does take place if one takes the time and effort to be what he is -- to be fully invested in his current positions. By rejecting the role of change agent, we make meaningful and orderly change possible.

The Gestalt therapist rejects the role of "changer," for his strategy is to encourage, even insist, that the patient be where and what he is. He believes change does not take place by "trying," coercion, or persuasion, or by insight, interpretation, or any other such means. Rather, change can occur when the patient abandons, at least for the moment, what he would like to become and attempts to be what he is. The premise is that one must stand in one place in order to have firm footing to move and that it is difficult or impossible to move without that footing.

The person seeking change by coming to therapy is in conflict with at least two warring intrapsychic factions. He is constantly moving between what he "should be" and what he thinks he "is," never fully identifying with either. The Gestalt therapist asks the person to invest himself fully in his roles, one at a time. Whichever role he begins with, the patient soon shifts to another. The Gestalt therapist asks simply that he be what he is at the moment.

and what all of this really boils down to, which i hate to say because i hate hate hate that everything in life seems to be based on this... TRUTH. you have to be honest about who you are. admit your faults while seeing the strengths, and finding beauty in them both.

why does everything have to be about honesty? is this life's karma repaying me for a lifetime of lying to people, from my parents to my teachers to myself? i mean, can't we just all glide through life allowing people to think we're from australia or that i'm famous for writing several novels under a different pen name? i know, i know. spiritual health and a clear conscience and all that bullshit.

all i'm saying is, the paradoxical theory of change applies to us only as long as we stop seeking out what we think we are. and the only way we can do that is if we cut out the bullshit.

and that being said, i wouldn't mind if i didn't find out exactly who i am. i thought that was the meaning of life. which is paradoxical in itself. oi.

chew on that, trebec.

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