I think we all deserve a pat on the back for getting through months of this pandemic, as well as other soul-sucking challenges that could easily break our backs.
Not to pat myself on the back too much, but my job as a group therapist for a major Boston medical center is important and also very stressful. I’m feeling more stressed than unusual today because I’ll be returning there in-person one day a week, starting tomorrow. In response to the stress, I’ve developed a new nervous habit — scratching myself on the back. This morning, I decided to transform that into a more adaptive habit: whenever I notice that I am scratching my back, I will consciously pat myself on the back instead.
Do you think I deserve a pat on the back for that helpful transformation or for any of the images I’m choosing to share today?
Patting oneself on the back takes practice, so I am now going to pat myself on the back for keeping several awesome friendships over the years.
Also, when I look at the National Days for today …
… I notice that several are related to giving pats on the back.
I’m also patting myself on the back for choosing to spend part of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday by listening to the uplifting score of Come From Away — themusical based on the true stories of the planes that were rerouted to remote Gander, Newfoundland after the Twin Tower attacks.
I think the creators of Come From Awayshould pat themselves on the back for transforming the pain of that day into such a deep, compelling, and healing work of art. Here’s a number from the show plus a recent interview on Good Morning America :
How can you pat yourself on the back, here and now?
Finally, I will pat myself on the back again for sharing my thoughts, feelings, and gratitude with wonderful people who have my back every day, including YOU!
1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.
3. the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story:
“Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.”
4. a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis:
“to rewrite the prevailing narrative about masculinity”; “the narrative that our public schools are failing.”
Because I’m a psychotherapist who uses narrative therapy, I’m going to add to the narrative here with a description of that.
Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The therapist seeks to help the person co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy claims to be a social justice approach to therapeutic conversations, seeking to challenge dominant discourses that it claims shape people’s lives in destructive ways.
Yesterday, I noticed some self-destructive, outmoded, and fixed narratives, including
The people at SoundBot are sharing the narrative, above, that every moment deserves a song. Here‘s a song — which intertwines lots of narratives — that I was listening to yesterday with my new SoundBot wireless musical earmuffs:
We all have a different, personal narrative of the events of September 11, 2001, but we all share elements of that painful narrative.
I look forward to the narratives in the comments, below.
I end every narrative here with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.