Make Friends With Your Weirdness
Dr. Liz Margoshes styles herself "the ironic therapist,"
practicing out of an office in the Flatiron district. She says, "Ironic people often have trouble with the hyper-earnestness of traditional therapists.
And they really don't want their slant toward the world analyzed away as a defense. People have the misconception, often,
that their peculiar slant on life is causing the problems. And that they'd better give it up or they'll be miserable forever.
But look at Harvey Pekar-a miserable-seeming person, right? His miserableness produced terrific comics (that people relate
to especially because they identify with his miserableness-isn't art, after all, about communicating truths that are hard
to communicate, relate to, and identify with, in interesting and challenging ways?) and gave him a way to connect to people.
Should Pekar have tried to get rid of his slant on life? Or do we actually admire him for being who he is?"
But isn't detachment something
that gets in the way of love and experiencing life fully?
"Ironic people," says the
Brooklyn native, "are not detached. We stand back and observe, but that's our way of being involved! It's the writer's way,
the artist's way."
How does the irony affect the therapy? Is the therapy itself ironic?
"No. It's just like a language
that I speak, and it's often the language of certain people who can't find a voice in the mainstream community where therapy
resides. What's most important is that you feel the therapist has the ability to understand you, to 'get' your experience.
And that's why I seem to do well with clients who regard life with a slightly cocked eyebrow.
"People are afraid of
being humiliated, of feeling ashamed, so they hide from themselves and others, but by hiding they also hide the best parts
of themselves, the odd, exciting, freaky, underground parts-the parts novelists write about and painters paint about. I think
the ability to have relationships in the world and do interesting work is a matter of feeling good enough about who you are.
It's not the contents of your personality that determine how 'OK' you are, it's how you feel about the contents!
is a particularly useful stance in therapy. Seeing the world with ironic detachment is similar to what the Buddhists tell
us to work toward-a giving up of attachments or rigid beliefs that get in the way of directly experiencing the world. Irony
is a wonderful tool for examining things. You can stand back and watch yourself feel and think. Gradually you change from
believing that there is an 'objective,' immutable 'reality' (e.g., 'I'm shy,' 'Men don't like me,' 'I'll never get out of
this dead-end job,' etc.) to seeing how your beliefs and attitudes are really just thoughts-and thoughts can be changed-and
that it's actually your own subjectivity that's getting in your way! Once you see that, you start to see that actually there
are no limits to what you can think, feel, and do." -- Elizabeth
Zimmer in the Village Voice
A friend of mine has taken huge leaps of faith,
and it's inspring to see someone step out of their fears and desire for control to face the unknown that terrifies us in silence.
A running leap,
Your wings are spread.
I see you soaring high above.
How proud I am of you for not worrying
about the ground.
You deserve to float on the wind
And drift nonchalantly with the angels of the sky.
deserve to flirt with the sun
And make the moon long for your affection.
You rhythm, words, and mind
Are the fuel that will ignite your passion
They will help you determine your direction in life
And give you strength to persevere.
You mind is spread.
I see it soaring to greater heights.
proud I am of you for being you.
You'll never fall.
Search for Inspiration
first factor in the revolution of consciousness is the mystic death of the ego- the death of negative thinking, negative personalities.
We must purify the soul of the inner enemies. Every time a defect manifests- envy, gluttony, anger, lust, whatever-that impulse
to the heart. Ask, `Do I really need to invoke this?' And then honor the heart." ~ Willaru Huayta, Quechau
strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It's the one that stands
in the open where it is compelled to struggle for existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun." ~ Napoleon Hill
"Men who are resolved to find a way for themselves
will always find opportunities enough; and if they do not find them, they will make them." ~ Samuel