Restoring Range & Wholeness to Your Identity

In the beginning couples are attracted to the differences in each other. This is because, somewhere deep down we know that two sets of differences make up a greater whole. This is why Charlie Brown and Lucy spend so much time together in the comics. Life will be more interesting because more possibilities can emerge from a bigger pile of differences.                                                                                                                                                                         images

This same principle applies to us as individuals. We all are lopsided in aspects of ourselves. One of the goals of therapy is to increase range to who we are, to expand our unused muscles and develop the parts we’re not so good at. So if being careful is something you’re good at then expanding your possibilities in being able to take risks would make sense or vice versa. The more fullness of range we have within us, the more choiceful we can be. Choicefulness is what makes you mentally healthy, not having the “right” answers. It’s deciding in this situation I’m going to exercise more caution and in this circumstance I’m going to be bold. It’s habits of avoiding risks without being choiceful that are problematic, or habits of impulsiveness without being choiceful.

It’s so easy to think of all our negative qualities. So make a list of 10 and then ask yourself what would be the opposite. Notice what patterns emerge and play with some ideas of how to have greater range. If you feel you are selfish then think of ways to be generous or thoughtful to others. The more you can be all of those things, the more interesting and choiceful you can be. You will always have your nature, your lopsided self is what you will be best at, the idea is to stretch yourself to increse your range. If you’ve spent your life taking care of kids and partner, consider the idea that it’s time to be more selfish and define some goals that are about you. If you’re secretly afraid you’re boring then decide to be more interesting and take up glass blowing or scuba diving. Explore, expand and experiment with your idea of yourself.

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