Posts Tagged With: healing in groups

Day 1530: Obscure Sorrows

Earlier this year, I wrote a post referring to John Koenig‘s Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which is “a compendium of invented words” “to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.”

Yesterday, in my therapy group  (where  I’m always on the lookout for obscure sorrows and other feelings), one of the members brought in three entries from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.

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While some things in those photos might be obscure, people in the group last night noticed that two of those obscure words were real and only one — Altschmerz — really belongs in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. People did not obscure their appreciation for the relevancy of the real word Weltschmerz:

Weltschmerz is the depressing feeling you get when comparing the actual state of the world to the picture in your head of how the world should be, and knowing that the picture in your head can never exist.

We also discussed the obscure sorrows created by the cognitive distortion of comparisons, especially when we compare ourselves to how we used to be or how we think we should be.

Do you see any obscure sorrows in some recent pictures in my head (and in my iPhone) that can exist in this blog?

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I feel self-compassion as I admit that I sometimes obscure sorrows with lots of pictures.

Here‘s John Koenig giving the TED talk “The conquest of new words” (which was in an link obscured in the first paragraph of this Obscure Sorrows post):

Are there any obscure sorrows or other feelings you’d like to share in a comment, below?

I will not obscure my thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — no matter what obscure feelings or thoughts you’re having, here and now.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1521: No need to apologize

Whenever somebody apologizes in group therapy, I automatically say “No need to apologize.”

I don’t apologize for that response, because my experience is that people apologize too much, especially when they’re feeling anxious or self-conscious. And in my therapy groups, I observe people learning to break the habit of apologizing for  being themselves and for being human. No need to apologize for that kind of progress.

But what if there IS a need for somebody to apologize?  Should I still say, “No need to apologize?”

No need to apologize for my asking more questions about the need to apologize:

  1. When is there a need to apologize?
  2. How do you apologize?
  3. How do you respond to apologies?
  4. Is there a need to apologize for taking only one photo all day yesterday?

 

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No need to apologize for sharing the song “Apologize” by OneRepublic.

No need to apologize if you have some thoughts and feelings about the need to apologize. No need to apologize if you leave or if you don’t leave a comment.

There IS a need to apologize if I don’t express my gratitude to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being here, now.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1509: What pisses you off?

Last night, people in my therapy group (who do not piss me off) were pissed off about several things, including the weather, politics, useless meetings, insensitive people, pain, greed, and technology that doesn’t work right. As a result, we made lists of “What Pisses You Off?”

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What pisses you off?

It pisses me off when I don’t take photos of people I love, including my wonderful college roommate Marcia  (who met me for dinner last night after my group).

Is there anything that pisses you off in my other photos from yesterday?

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For some reason, this song pisses me off:

It pisses me off when people don’t express gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to my readers — of course! — who never piss me off.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1467: Why should anybody care about me?

Yesterday, I heard somebody ask

Why should anybody care about me?

I then witnessed several people caring enough to try to answer that question.

Have you ever asked

Why should anybody care about me?

I have, many years ago.

When people ask

Why should anybody care about me?

they are also asking “Why should I care about myself?” and “Why should anybody care about me when people who should have cared about me didn’t?”

Why should anybody care about my photos from yesterday?

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Why should anybody care about my blog?  Whatever the reason,  I’m so grateful you care, it makes me want to sing this song.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1445: What’s in store?

What’s in store for this blog post?  The usual new photos stored on my iPhone,  some thoughts and feelings  being stored in the here and now, and music that’s stored on YouTube.

What in store for the next four years?  What’s in store for this moment?  What’s in store for the moment after that?  Only everything.

People in my therapy group yesterday did not know what topic was in store for them, until we decided to write and draw about the concept of “home.”

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This present was in store for me at work:

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All these things were in store for me during the rest of the day:

 

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I didn’t know tears were in store for me, but here I am, crying, as I create this post.  Those tears were probably stored up  from my  recent open heart surgery, the additional surgery I had to undergo soon after that because of a recalled pacemaker battery, and the U.S. election.

The message that was stored on the teabag that was in store for me last night stores the truth:

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By listening you comfort me.

Here‘s the music in store today (which I listened to twice, yesterday, for comfort):

 

I wonder what comments are in store for me?

Stored up thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — whose appreciated presence was a present in store for me today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1412: Veterans

Yesterday was Veterans Day in the USA, so  I visited a special place in my birthplace of Boston.

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I’m a veteran of witnessing war from the safety of my home, thanks to the veterans honored there and elsewhere.

Because I’m a veteran blogger, I woke up this morning with this thought:

We are all veterans of life’s challenges; therefore, we will make it through the challenges facing us today.

Because I’m a veteran group therapist, I had this thought:

In the past, I have  felt alone with my pain, disappointment, and fear.  Today, I know I am not alone.

If you’re a veteran of this blog, you know I like to share photos from the day before.

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As I look around with my veteran eyeballs, I see lots of beauty.  When I listen with my veteran ears while walking through gardens, I hear music like this:

I would like to thank all the veterans who helped me create today’s post and all the veterans reading this, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1340: What you need to know

What you need to know first about this post is that it was inspired by this patient publication from the Mayo Clinic, which I was reading yesterday:

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What you need to know about me, right now, is:

  1. I’m having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic later this month.
  2. My only son is leaving for a five-year program at Edinburgh University in 10 days, and he wants to watch certain movies with me and my boyfriend Michael before he leaves.
  3. I am a group therapist who recently facilitated two groups where the members chose to focus on the topics “nature” and “appreciation.”
  4. I saw my cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, yesterday, and he was very encouraging about my future health.
  5. I am not particularly looking forward to open heart surgery, especially because it will definitely incapacitate me from blogging daily, as I have every day since January 2013.
  6. I don’t like being incapacitated.
  7. A person I greatly respect used the words “delightful,” “brilliant,” and “resilient” to describe me yesterday.
  8. I’m very glad to know that I’m resilient, since that implies I will recover relatively quickly from open heart surgery.
  9. I like cats.
  10. I have to watch what I eat and avoid too much salt.
  11. I have handwriting that can be difficult to read.
  12. I took lots of other photos yesterday, if you need to know:

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What you need to know is that I always try to make a grreat choice for music in my blog posts.

What you need to know is that when I  first understood, four months ago, that I needed to have heart valve replacement surgery performed at the Mayo Clinic, I created this YouTube video about that and shared it in a previous blog post:

You need to know that I’m more reconciled to heart valve replacement surgery today than I was when I first sang that song on May 31.

Anything you need to know or to express, here and now?

What you need to know is that I appreciate every one who helped me create today’s post and  you — of course! — no matter what you need to know, today.

Categories: adult congenital heart, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1263: Voices

Here’s what my voice wants to voice about “Voices” today:

  1. I’m trying out for The Voice in New York City this weekend.
  2. When I’m in New York, I shall hear the familiar voice of my son Aaron and also the new voice of a blogger whose voice I cherish on WordPress.
  3. 49 beautiful voices were silenced, too soon, by gunfire in Orlando last weekend.
  4. This week, I’ve heard many voices in therapy discussing the mass shooting in Orlando.
  5. Many voices joined together on the U.S. Senate floor yesterday, crying out against gun policies in my country.
  6. On September 21, I’m having open heart surgery in Minnesota, which will most likely interrupt my voice here on WordPress. However, my boyfriend Michael’s voice will continue my unbroken streak of what will then be over thirteen hundred consecutive daily blog voicings.
  7. Today,  there will be a phone call containing the voices of my long-time cardiologist Dr. Deeb Salem and the Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Carole Warnes — both of whom hold my heart in their hands.
  8. Yesterday, I heard Dr. Salem’s voice say this at Boston’s Tufts Medical Center: “You’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a truck” after September’s valve replacement surgery — a voicing I appreciate much more than all the voices I’ve heard lately downplaying how invasive this operation actually is.
  9. Sometimes I’ve judged my own voice as too soft, too loud, not strong enough and not good enough. I feel more secure in my own voice, every day.
  10. Judgment squelches voices.
  11. I value authentic voices.

Yesterday, I heard many voices at two different hospitals, near Fenway Park,  and at a PetSmart.  Can you hear any of those voices in my photos?

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Do any of those voices resonate with you, here and now?

Here are some voices evoked by this post (on Youtube here and here):

WTF!  I hope I hear many of your voices in comments about my blogging voice today.

I shall now voice my gratitude towards all those who helped me bring together all the voices in this post and to you — of course! –for your valuable, authentic voice.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1236: Your Core

If somebody asked you to write, draw, craft a poem, or otherwise express yourself about “Your Core,” what  would you core-ageously create?

Here are my core creations  from a therapy group last night:

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Because confidentiality is a core value of any therapy group, I will not reveal what others expressed about their cores. However, I will tell you that a core member of the group shared this from her core, as we were rounding the last core-ner of the group session:

The universe is more generous and gracious than we think.

That got me, to my core.

In my core, I believe synchronicity is a core force in our generous and gracious universe. Here’s a core photo I coincidentally took two hours before last night’s core group:

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Do any of my other photos from yesterday connect to your core?

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Music inspires me to the core, so I’ve been singing more, lately, from my core. Tonight, I’ll be joining a core group of 25 singers for  Piano Karaoke. (If you want to get to the core of how Piano Karaoke works, click here.)

Here’s my core list of possible songs for tonight:

Mad World

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Cry Me a River

Blue Bayou

It Had to Be You

Crazy

Mack the Knife

Lush Life

You Are Too Beautiful

Pretty Women

Michael from Mountains

They Can’t Take That Away from Me

 

Over the core-se of three hours tonight, I will sing about a half dozen songs from my core. Do you have any core suggestions of which ones I should perform?

Of core-se, I’m going to share some music in this core post. Here’s the tune that’s touching me to the core, here and now:

Watching that YouTube video, I notice even more core synchronicity. Tonight, my  18-year-old son Aaron is giving somebody a prom core-sage. And, he’ll be wearing his first tuxedo, as elegant as Fred Astaire.

Here’s something they can’t take away from me.

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I hope, to my core, that my core readers know that gratitude is a core value of this blog.

Many thanks, from my core to yours.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1234: Travels

As my eye travels over the title, above, I notice that my daily blogging travels have brought us to a particularly interesting number.

1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … Ready for more travels in this post?

The people who included my therapy group in their travels yesterday chose the topic “travels” as the focus of the work of the group. The group traveled to that choice after traveling to many other important issues, including family, being present, depression, anger, comfort, discomfort, comfort foods,  connections, being alone, difficult people, optimism, fear, finances, delays, luck, judgment, letting go of judgment, what we can control, and time.

During the time of that group, my mind traveled to all these places:

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I hope you don’t feel lost as I share other photos I’ve taken on my recent travels.

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When my boyfriend Michael, my son Aaron, and I traveled to Starbucks last night for coffee and no cookies, my traveling iPhone took these pictures of Aaron with the New York Times:

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Because Aaron has never picked up one of those before in his travels, Aaron is asking Michael, “How do you operate a newspaper?”

How about a little traveling music?

At this time next week, I’ll be traveling around  the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, to consult with another cardiologist about my rambin’ and traveling heart. My heart hopes for many more wonderful travels ahead.

Good travels to all who helped me create this traveling post and to you — of course!  — for including this blog in your travels today.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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