I’m using the Forest for the Trees metaphor to suggest that humans have become exceptionally myopic. The only reason I know what myopic means is because after defending my Master’s Thesis a professor proclaimed that I was very myopic – meaning I had a terribly narrow view of the question I had asked and answered. I thought I was being pretty broad and was a bit hurt by his statement, but I also understood his point. I could have taken a ‘bigger picture’ approach, but by the time I realized that I was too far along to expand my view.
Anyway, I realized recently that myopia was again affecting my life.
During the decade I spent in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy I didn’t really change. And I knew I wasn’t changing, but couldn’t understand why. Sure, I learned a lot, but my problems stayed the same. At some point I realized that I understood what I was doing, and how to fix it, but only in an analytical way. My mind understood the logic, but my behaviors, attitudes, and habits weren’t changing.
I was still anxious although I understood how irrational many of my fears were.
I still believed I wasn’t good enough despite understanding where those beliefs came from.
I was still angry about many things, though I knew that energy didn’t solve any problems.
I understood why I was the way I was, but I’ll be damned if I learned anything about changing.
Until I realized I was looking at the trees.
In my metaphor, and maybe in yours, my logical, analytical brain was a tree. And it’s all I saw.
Recently, I came to understand I was not only a physical body and an analytical mind, but also an emotional and feeling body with equivalent mental and spiritual elements.
And my anxiety, depression, feeling not good enough, and angry parts were spread across all of these different trees – and together formed my forest.
In order to heal, I had to form a real forest, and not just a bunch of trees.
Paul Gadola calls this Integrity – and I needed some.
A stand of trees does not a forest make. They must integrate. Together. With all parts having meaning. And seeing and feeling each other.
In the context of the Are vs. Should Problem, the analytical mind and the physical body are where a lot of the Shoulds are aimed. The Shoulds bully us into forgetting about the Ares, which lie within our other parts. Our Ares are whole. We used to be whole. We are becoming quite splintered. Myopia is stealing our wholeness.
But we can get it back. We can resist.
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