When I went off to college at 18 I pursued a degree in Geology. In the course of all of those classes I developed a fondness for “incongruities,” “erratics,” and the differentiation between “igneous,” “sedimentary,” and “”metamorphic.”
In geology, an “erratic” refers to something that doesn’t fit, as a boulder that was transported by a glacier to a distant place. “Incongruities” are gaps that may be several million years of missing strata.
The rock grouping of igneous (volcanic), sedimentary (deposited), and metamorphic (altered by heat and pressure), were among the basics.
Yawn, you say, what’s this got to do with my drinking?
Bear with me for just another paragraph or so, please?
25 years later when I went to grad school in Psychology I noted that I still thought in geology terms. My favorite clients were the erratics who didn’t fit. Incongruities became those whose behaviors didn’t match their thoughts, values, self-images, and so on.
Then I got around to classifications. Igneous clients were the angry erupters. Sedimentary clients were those who just sat there.
Ah, but the metamorphics? There you are. Those who have been changed by heat and pressure until you are becoming the marble from which great sculptures are made, as are interesting lives.
And the point?
Igneous people, whose only forming force is anger and whose only coping skill is aggression, aren’t going to change nor are they coming to see us.
Sedimentary individuals will sit, like shale on the sea floor, but they won’t be knocking on our door either.
But those of you who have absorbed the heat and pressure and begun the process of change to become something more and better? You are the metamorphics in process and we are the permission givers who tell you, yes, it’s okay to become more, not less. And that what you’ve been through can transform you positively.
No, you aren’t dumb or diseased. You are on the brink. Will you step up? Or away?
Yes, it always comes down to choices, but you are fully capable of making good ones. Isn’t it time to do so once again?
“Hail to You”
“Hail to you, for you are often as conscious of others as of yourself. For you feel the anxiety of the world, its limits and its false assurance… For your awkwardness, for your creativity and your ecstasy. For your immense possibilities not yet actualized…For what is unique, original, intuitive and infinite in you. For the solitude and the oddness of your paths. Hail to you.”
As if I weren’t tossing out enough curve balls this week, here’s another which is my favorite affirmation and I believe that it applies to virtually all of our clients and to those of you who will become clients, who refer clients, and who seek to understand clients.
We use Dr. Jane Loevinger’s model of “Ego Development” – essentially emotional and psychological maturity – throughout our work. It crops up in our newsletters, website, assessments, and planning. It also indirectly helps you to decide whether or not we’re a good fit for you.
If what you read on the website and in these newsletters appeals to you, then you are either appropriately mature for your age or “older”. You would also have some of the attributes noted by Dr. Debrowski above in 1970.
That’s as opposed to those whose maturation stopped before puberty, the conformists and con artists of the world, who actually are AA/12 Step material. All the” little boys and girls who never want to grow up,” as my uncles described AA members way back in the 1950s.
Again we applaud and work with your strengths, interests, abilities and uniqueness, not rail against them. We seek to help you gain a better understanding of yourself, your choices, your life, and your future options.
Yes, we empower and expand your horizons, not demean and diminish you.
Want more, not less? We thought so.