Here's something I've said often to patients in my therapy practice:

"There's nothing wrong with you, except for the fact that you think there's something wrong with you."

Put another way, I've distinguished psychotic people from neurotic people like this:

"A psychotic person is crazy. A neurotic person thinks he is." (See the definition of "crazy" below.*)

Okay, what's my point here?

Well, many people who are sincerely engaged in a process of "self-work" have adopted an attitude and approach to it that basically amounts to trying to fix themselves. (Two pieces on the origins of this attitude this can be found in the FPL "Truth About Everything, Part Two: ALL LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL" and in the Pathwork Guide Lecture: "COMPULSION TO RECREATE AND OVERCOME CHILDHOOD HURTS.") But there is a basic assumption in that approach to the self that is misguided.

You see, we don't need to fix ourselves, but rather, we need to become ourselves more fully. Even more accurately, we need to uncover ourselves. Like a caterpillar, our defensive character structures are the temporary cocoons within which we transform into adult, self-actualized versions of ourselves, like butterflies. Important to remember, though, is that we are not our cocoons, or our character structures. We are, instead, inside of them for a while, until it is the right time to dismantle them, and fly. That dismantling is a more apt way of describing an organic process of self-work that is aligned with our evolution.

This is one of my favorite quotes from famed psychoanalyst, Karen Horney, on what she calls the "tyranny of the 'shoulds":

"Inherent in man are evolutionary constructive forces, which urge him to realize his given potentialities, that man by his very nature and of his own accord, strives toward self-realization, and that his values evolve from such striving. With such a belief in an autonomous striving toward self-realization, we do not need an inner straight jacket with which to shackle our spontaneity, nor the whip of inner dictates to drive us to perfection."

[See also FPL's "THE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING, PART SEVEN: THERE IS NO ORIGINAL SIN!" and the description of "Full Permission Living" on the left hand side of this blog]


There is nothing wrong with you! 

Get it? 

For many reasons, stemming from past experiences of pain and suffering, and because we have egos that can question the validity of who we inherently are, we have come to believe in our "character defects" and "symptoms," to identify with them even, and to believe in the judgments we impose on ourselves to support those negative beliefs.

So, folks, stop trying to fix yourselves, and open up to being yourselves.

And listen to THIS!

*On being psychotic - continuing the caterpillar analogy, a psychotic person can be thought of as someone who has not grounded themselves in physical reality - i.e. - in the space/time continuum - enough to function here. Consequently, that person imagines themselves to already be the butterfly before the actual process of evolution has occurred, so they are out of synch with time and space, and therefore, to those of us who are grounded and living in the illusion of physical reality, they appear crazy.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brillant! I agree Peter, there is nothing wrong with us.....we are perfect the way we are made. I think what you are saying is we only have to realize this, but that distance as you say is the difference between knowing and being.


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