Friday, November 8, 2013

Life, is it how we see it?

Hermann Rorschach's 129th birthday celebrated with interactive Google Doodle and has inspired me to write today's post.
As a psychology student I have always been interested in the many ways we have considered, created and innovated various methods to understand humans. 

 It was in my 4th year Varsity that I did my thesis on Princess Margaret.  A psychobiography using Erik Erickson's theory to understand the various stages of her life, and what impacted her at each stage. Understanding her psychosocial development through each of the 8 stages from infancy to late adulthood and how she possibly dealt with each crisis was very interesting.  She lived in the shadow of her sister, she was always in a Royal scandal, from having an affair with the gardner almost 20 year her junior, to singing at the piano in nightclubs, she always found her self at a party and often in the gossip columns.  She still fulfilled her royal duties while everyone was focused on her sister, the Queen.

Court jester: Lord Glenconner kept Princess Margaret entertained
Princess Margaret
Unlike Freud, who was a id psychologist, Erikson was an ego psychologist and his theory shows how the ego develops as each crisis is resolved, distinctly social in nature.
As social creatures, Rorschach has used a range of inkblot test which covers a range of diagnostic issues.  His view was to understand disordered thinking which could be revealed through these inkblot tests.  I'm sure it's reliability and validity has been questioned over time.  I can however see, how having the conversation around what is seen would add some insight into the psyche of the person dealing with their issue.
Erik Erikson 
All of this is very interesting, and no matter what it is that you are dealing with: pain, heart-ache, sadness, anxiety, stress, depression, bipolar disorder, or just having a bad day, the best way to start solving the problem is without judgement.  

Keep an ear out for that inner voice, the beating stick, the voice that judges you so harshly.  The things you say to yourself, that you would never say to your best friend, or even a stranger in the same situation.  The truth is that life is for the living, and living means experiencing good times and tough times.  I invite you to observe your thoughts about yourself, to listen to the voice inside that speaks and thinks... and catch yourself in the moment... ask yourself if what you are thinking is true, or an old belief?  If that belief no longer serves you, then find another belief which is more positive and true about where you are in your life.  Are you really critical about yourself?  Be gentle with yourself.  Be good to yourself.  Don't let your thoughts take you away from your dreams and aspirations.  Most of all, keep it light and be curious rather than critical about managing your internal conversation when you're in a crisis or having an off-day.

Life will have it's challenges, but how we respond to those will determine how satisfying life is.  And of course, who knows you better than yourself?

If you want to see an overview of the Google Doodle,
check out the link on Slideshare

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