Tuesday, November 24, 2009


From Psychology Grounded In the Feminine Principle by Barbara Stevens Sullivan:
We are taught in every setting that we should be in control of our lives and that our lives will proceed in positive directions if we control them properly. We are urged to refuse to give in to depression or despair, to think positively. In the face of the clearest, most consistent evidence, our culture insists upon denying the ubiquitous, inescapable fact of darkness and death and upon maintaining a fiction of the possibility of living happily ever after if we only manage our lives properly. The consequence of this attitude is not an increasingly widespread incidence of happiness. It is rather a situation in which people feel guilty about their depression and despair, exacerbating their pain by struggling against the legitimate suffering that life involves and that, when submitted to, ultimately brings wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful modern way to describe the essence of the Buddha's teaching.

    I would say that, to a greater or lesser degree, the majority of clients I see are in therapy because they feel like a failure for not having a "healthy" relationship, a Madonna-level workout routine, a disciplined and rewarding spiritual practice, a nicer car, a happier mood, exacerbating their pain by trying to avoid it, smothering the darkness with stuff, with obsessive love, with food or drugs or work or sex or "success" as defined by our culture's powerful media images forming our "values" without our conscious examination. And, trust me, I am no exception!

    It's hard to be human. In 2010, let's aim to be more compassionate towards everyone, and to give ourselves a break; to let go of striving and instead be present and alive as often as we can amidst our ordinary confusion.