What’s the right path for you? Where are you going—in terms of your self-improvement and personal growth? And how are you going to get there? Is there only one way, or many?
Charting your own course
This is kind of how I think about psychotherapy, as a chance for each of us to chart our own course. To do this we need to take into consideration where we’ve been, what resources we have, what additional resources we need, where we want to go, and to what degree can we trust ourselves. Then the question is, “What’s the best way for each of us to get where we want to go?”
I was recently helping a client chart his course and he accused me of being “discordant.” When I asked what he meant he said, “You espouse ideas about how pretty much everything is subjective, everyone has to figure things out for themselves, but then you go on and tell me the best way to live my life as if you know what’s best for me.”
Guilty as charged
Basically my client’s criticism is valid. I am quite emphatic about how I think we should live our lives if we want to create certain results. And, I don’t often enough remind people that I’m always talking about my view of the world and what works for me—as well as many of the people I’ve worked with. I really should preface more of my sentences with statements like, “I have helped myself by . . . ” Or, “If you want your romantic relationship to be easy, Hannah and I have learned what works for us is . . . ”
So, let me set the record straight. I don’t think that there is one way or one path that is right for everyone. I think that part of growing up and taking responsibility for our lives is deciding for ourselves what practices to pursue, what workshops to attend, and what teachers to study. We each need to lay the bricks that create our paths.
I have another client who has recently made a remarkable and positive transition in his life. When I asked him what was most helpful, he said, “All the different pieces have come together for me—therapy, homeopathy, my Buddhist practice, my 5-rhythms movement practice, and the Live Conscious retreats I’ve attended with you guys.”
And what I realized as he rattled off these different methods is that each one built upon the others. The similarities in his different practices reinforced what he was learning, while the differences in the practices required him to explore himself more deeply and find his own resolution. As a result, he has charted a course that works for him.
This is what I want for all of us; to chart our own courses—that lead us toward health—emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.
What helped me the most
I want to practice what I said earlier, so instead of telling you that Perception Language will greatly help you, I want to tell you that Perception Language has greatly helped me—probably more than any other single tool. So, no matter what path you walk I hope you will explore using Perception Language as a complement to what you already know.
Why did Perception Language make such a difference for me? Because when I talk to myself or other people using ordinary language, I speak (at times) as if I’m a victim—without even realizing it—because that’s the structure of ordinary language. Ordinary language encourages us to hold other people responsible for how we feel.
Learning to use Perception Language helped me discover and own my feelings. And it helped me learn to have a whole other level of conversations with people—conversations that feel easier, clearer, and create deeper connections.