Psychotherapy is invaluable in uncovering our deepest feelings and catharsis is crucial in temporarily releasing our pain. These psychological techniques prepare us for the journey of healing, but they often are not enough to lead us through the deeper way of transformation. Healing without transformation risks re-living negative patterns over and over, in the wrong hands even reinforcing them by repetition, rather than truly putting them behind us.
What psychology does well is help us understand how we feel. However, it doesn’t always provide the solution, the how to, I still remember the frustration of having a counsellor tell me what I needed to let go without showing me how. Einstein once remarked that significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of the thinking which created them. Only by rising to a higher or deeper level can an ultimate solution to psychological problems be found.
While we can most definitely achieve healing through awareness and catharsis, our lives may be determined less by past events than by the way we remember them and our cognitive faculties need to catch up with the healing. Memory can be either disabling or enabling. Dr. Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning wrote that
“…everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s
What we think or imagine in fact is our reality, both individually and collectively. Healing and transformation is possible only through changing one’s perspective from within. It is by making meaning out of memory that true healing and empowerment can occur. What story are you living? How do you choose to remember your story?