Last night, I facilitated a therapy group where people focused on the cognitive distortion of labeling (a/k/a name-calling):
Labeling or Name-calling.
We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” Labels are not only self-defeating, they are irrational, simplistic, and untrue. Human beings are complex and fallible, and in truth cannot be reduced to a label. Consider this: we all breathe, but would it make sense to refer to ourselves as “Breathers”?
The group did some great work letting go of negative, unhelpful labels.
I was so inspired by the group that, when I got home, I decided to let go my own labeling and name-calling, took a deep breath, and created another video of me singing.
This time, I really went all out, indulging a long-standing fantasy:
Singing along to a favorite Pat Metheny tune.
Here’s that video, posted on YouTube:
Now, some people (including me, at other times) might call that video lame. Why? Because:
- It’s REALLY long. That song goes on for over eight minutes.
- The sound quality sucks. I mean, I was playing Pat Metheny’s Third Wind on my laptop’s speakers and recording the video with my phone. Granted, I did record it in the one room in our place with better acoustics, but — for people with acute hearing and a well-honed critical sense of music — it might be painful.
- It’s recorded in the bathroom (also labeled the water closet, the loo, and many other names, in other countries). I mean, how lame is THAT?
- The visuals are very clichéd. I mean … ANOTHER CAT VIDEO??!!! Aren’t there enough of THOSE posted on YouTube?
- I did only one practice run-through, singing along to Armando Marcal‘s wonderful vocalizations for that fabulous, multiple time-changing tune and — believe me — I can hear how much better it could have been.
- My hand-held camera/phone-work might make you nauseous . As a matter of fact, after I posted that on YouTube, I got this message: “We detected your video may be shaky. Would you like us to stabilize it?” Even YouTube, which probably gets a lot of lame videos, labeled MY video “shaky!”
Anyway, what other kinds of visuals and/or sounds can I offer you today?
Here are some photos I snapped recently, which might fit today’s topic, too.
How lame are those things I saw in a pet store?
And how lame is it that the Red Sox went from winning the World Series last year to last place?
Also, here’s a version of Third Wind from YouTube that is the opposite of lame.
What do you think about the highs and lows here today?
To end this lame and/or not-lame post, I’m going to quote the last two lines of Eric Wilbur’s Sports Blog on boston.com (which I’ve now linked to, twice, in this post) (and how lame is that?):
This time, though, it’s different.
This time, we’re still having fun.
Thanks to the people at my therapy group last night; to Pat Metheny, Armando Marcal, Pedro Aznar, and all the other amazing musicians performing on Third Wind; to Oscar the cat; to animals doing their best at pet stores; to the Red Sox; to Eric Wilbur; and to you — of course! — for letting go of any unhelpful labeling and self-judgment, today.