Bert’s therapy (#15): Predictable

 

bert 1

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So, you’re married?

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Yes.

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And her name’s Felicia, you said.

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That’s right.  But I call her Babe.

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Bert and Babe.  Cute.  And you have a son?

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Yes.  Bud.

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And a daughter?

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Brittany.

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Sensing a pattern here.

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We have a dog, too.

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Named…

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Bonzo.

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Of course.

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Excuse me?

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Just curious.  Favorite color?

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Brown.

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Favorite sport?

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Baseball.

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Favorite music?

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Blues.

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Composer?

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Bach.

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Holiday?

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My birthday.

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Favorite meal?

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Burgers.

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Favorite coal?

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Bituminous.

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(Sigh.)

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What’s wrong?

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Has anyone ever described you as predictable?

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Bite me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * *

Want more?

Once you have a character, you have developed a rigid system.  your behavior becomes petrified, predictable, and you lose your ability to cope freely with the world with all your resources.  You are predetermined just to cope with events in one way, namely, as your character prescribes it to be.  So it seems a paradox when I say that the richest person, the most productive, creative person, is a person who has no character.  In our society, we demand a person to have a character, and especially a good character, because then you are predictable, and you can be pigeonholed….

From Gestalt therapy verbatim by Fritz Perls.

* * *

On the difference between control and power:

 

No, they’re not the same.

In some ways, they are opposites.

 

One difference: power is possible, but control is usually an illusion.

 

Another: seeking power can set you free, while seeking control can make you crazy….

 

Control looks outward, mainly at other people, places and things. Power looks inward, to your own feelings and needs. So control-seeking pulls you away from yourself, away from self-awareness and self-care.

 

Control operates paradoxically. The more control you need, the less in control you feel. Which means if you depend on getting control to feel safe and happy, you don’t feel safe or happy most of the time. Chasing control is a lot like chasing a train you can never catch.

 

Power, though — rooted in healthy, intelligent self-care — is a real possibility.

From Have yourself a healthy power trip by me, published in Together magazine.

 

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One response to “Bert’s therapy (#15): Predictable

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