“Therapeutic” – Gain insight into your Actions [sometimes called ‘behaviors’] and how they may be functioning as a direct result of Thoughts and Feelings


Let’s start our session this month with a piece of literature I came across.  It is an adaptation from a publication in the New Yorker by Brenda Shaughnessy.

Backward Circles

I have a time machine

It travels into the future at a rate of one second per second


This seems slow to the physicists and to the grant committee, and even to me.



I manage to get there time after time, to the next minute and to the next.

Whether I want to or not.
Because you see – I can’t turn it off.
Or slow it down.

And if I try to get out of my Time Machine, open the latch and just jump,

well I’m quite certain I will fall into space, unconscious, then desiccated.


And I’m pretty sure I’m afraid of that.

Sure enough to stay inside.


I have a window, though
It shows the Past.

It’s like a television and a fish tank all rolled into one.

But it’s never Live streaming and the fish swim in backward circles.


Sometimes, it isn’t a fish tank at all,
But a rear view mirror
Offering another chance to see what I’m leaving behind.
Why is it that we can’t make up our minds about whether or not we want [need?] Time to go faster or slower than it actually does ?
Why is it that we have so much trouble just being okay with where we are at?
Did you know that desiring to be in a different moment than the one in which you find yourself is the source of anxiety?
Think about it …the whole notion of anxiety is grounded in this sense that you are unsettled – what is more unsettling than finding discomfort in the moment in which you are?
And then not being able to hurry up and get to a different moment or slow down a nice moment to make it last longer?
Ah! Stress!
It’s really that basic.
Think, too, about how sometimes it feels like you CAN manipulate time…you know how there are some people in your life who, when you spend time with them, time seems to either drag or fly by ?
Or, what about when you are going on a vacation – the difference between how long it FEELS it takes to get there versus how long it takes to return? You traversed the same miles, did you not? So how can it feel longer or shorter?
The truth of the matter is that it is related to anxiety.
Think about , the angst of wanting to arrive at your destination makes it feel like it will never get there …you are desiring to be in a moment different than the one in which you are.
Similarly, most of us wish our vacations could last longer, and we are in no hurry to return to reality [i.e. work, etc] and it seems like the plane must certainly have flown at vortex speed…
Again, we are desiring to halt time to avoid the next moment. But we can’t.
So maybe we even feel a tinge of depression alongside our angst?
Now, sure, we Americans have loads of pharmaceuticals we could shove in our mouth to make us not care about anything I just wrote about, or perhaps we could try to stay present.
We could meet ourselves where we are at daily, by the minute, by the second.
Don’t wish for a Time Machine.
Don’t try to make one.
Time is the one thing that no matter how wealthy you are, you can’t get more of.
Do what you can to find peace in your moment and smile when you look in the rear view mirror.
After all, it wasn’t meant to steer you forward, it was meant to help you see a bigger picture  and arrive safely at your next moment.
And so it is with your Past.


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