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The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. – Reinhold Neibuhr, 1934

The Gestalt Prayer

I am I, and you are you. I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not  in this world to live up to mine. If by chance we meet, it’s beautiful.  If not, it can’t be helped. – Fritz Perls, M.D.

The Key to Mental Health

Settle for disorder in lesser things for the sake of order in greater things; and therefore be content to be discontented in many things. – Anonymous

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I came across this website set up by a psychotherapist. Now I’m always a bit of a sceptic. I find Psychology very interesting because I have, over the years, learnt about my strengths and weaknesses, but there’s always this thing about Psychology where I go “Surely not… That is just impossible.” The thing is, something drew me to it. Something about the article, or study, or whatever. It obviously attracted me because it was about something that touched me or someone I know in a very deep way. Then I read it and you know, Psychology reads like a novel to me sometimes. It’s about theories. Someone came up with those theories about how people think, how they live, etc. and then decided to conduct some experiments to see if their theory holds water in real life circumstances. Just like a scientist does, right? But in Psychology, it can get messy. People’s minds are really quite complicated. And correlation is not causation, even if we think it is. Just ask anyone hit with a mental illness. I think one big problem with Psychology is how to prove the causation deduced from the experiment was real, and when as a human, no one can possibly ever really get into the mind of another and totally understand it, how do we know say, in such and such psychological experiment, the candidate did something because of such and such reason? Even if the candidate claims that he/she really believes he/she did such and such because of such and such reason, tell me this – can we always believe what we think is true or accurate? No, right?

And that to me, is the problem of Psychology. I read an article or research, describing some Psychological theory behind it. Sometimes the theory is really beautiful to me. Then I often find myself feeling like I’m waking up again from a dream and that it was just something nice to read but perhaps not really reality.

You’ve got to believe something will work in order for it to work. Most of the time, that’s it. Same with therapy, religion, and all that. Someone on a forum said something interesting to me – he said he thinks psychology is like the opiate of the modern masses. In a way, it is, but I prefer it to religion because Psychology never tells you “you must” – it tells you “try this, and see if it works.” Sometimes it says “try this, but believe what you’re doing is absolutely the right thing, and see if it works”. Hmmm… I find it very hard to believe something and then see if it works, so I end up not believing to save myself the heartache.

Ah ha… but this is why I am drawn to this website in the first place. I did the checklists and well, shows I’m pretty fucked up from childhood events that my parents unwittingly did, thinking they were doing the best for me, because they didn’t know any better.

For the next few weeks, I’m gonna follow this self-help course on the website to see what it leads to. It seems good, from what I’ve read so far. I’m quite impressed. It also helped answer some of the questions I’ve always had about some other people I’ve known, even though I’m still a bit sceptical about the theory, because it may or may not be true, it being Psychology you see.

Oh but yes, I do tend to rationalise too much and not put trust in things easily, and I am critical… and according to the site, this is a sign I’m fucked up by childhood already! Well, fair enough. I am trying to learn to be a better person, and that’s why I stumbled into this website. But I’ll see what I’ll learn from it. I am such a Psychology addict. Oh yes and those verses up there? They are gold, they are. If anything my life leading up to now has taught me, it is that the wisdom in those verses are pearls. I could not have truly grasped them without having gone through about half of my predicted lifespan already. I do wish I was more receptive to such pithy sayings in my younger days so I wouldn’t do stupid things, but I truly believe nowadays that we are all at the place where we’re meant to be. (Re-reads verses again)…

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