Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights 31 December 2005The Help of Time
There’s an adaptability about human beings that is designed by Nature to help us cope, to help us heal. Intrinsic mechanisms are built into our mood systems to help us accommodate difficulty.
These coping mechanisms see to work against any of our contrived efforts to enhance our moods permanently. In other words, drugs, alcohol, rationalizations, pathological lying, profligate spending, as mood savers, cannot endure for long; more and more of whatever it is is needed, and addiction ensues.
It is our nature to get used to what is difficult in our lives.
We get used to the very good as well. Things that make us very happy to begin with, for example, organize themselves into our life and mood. But they don’t “live” at that value standard over the long term. –In short, we get used to them. And if they should disappear –those especially “happy” values-- we collapse to a worse state than when we didn’t have them in the first place. Then recovery through adaptation begins again.
Look at the “adaptability” of people in wartime; it’s not just creative expediency, it’s assimilation of duress. People can endure this way for years! Time marches on, and people change within it.
Look how people rally after illness, after losing a job, losing a loved one. Time marches on, and we change within that time. We learn to survive.
In the annals of psychotherapy, the phenomenon of people getting “better” without help, but with the passage of time, is enormously well annotated. It is so well established that some psychiatrists have suggested that the waiting list to see a psychiatrist could be seen as a form of treatment in itself! People are better off by the time they see the helper! –Celebrated psychoanalyst Karen Horney said long ago, uniquely and courageously at the time, “Life itself remains a very effective therapist.”
Within time, people talk to friends, to objective advisors (like astrologers) about their life situations. Things become clearer. Strategies emerge through others’ opinions. Time dilutes the intensity of emotions attached to events, to values. Time allows emotional distancing and objective perspective.
What is the punch-line of the oldest shaggy-dog stories?: “Ah!, this too shall pass.” --How often does our language support the advice?, “You’ll get over this!” “Time heals all wounds.”
Notice how clients may report adjusting their viewpoint on a crucial issue: “Well, I never heard one good thing from my father; he was never there, and when he was he was drunk, but I’ve worked all that out, and I know he really wanted to help me grow, that he loved me. He just had problems.” --Overall, that’s a workable viewpoint, a residually positive bottom-line management statement about an earlier, all-pervasive concern. Time was the therapist, and we astrologers must applaud that (while making sure that the statement is not simply assimilative wish projection).
We learn new behaviors; we express new feelings. Over compensatory measures become new routines.
Time also includes diversion.Within time, we are called on to make ‘other’ judgments and take ‘other’ actions. Everything in our world doesn’t come to a standstill because we are traumatized or hurting. –But if it does become fixated and stalled, when we can’t cope with even the smallest bit of tension day to day, week to week, we have lost mental healthiness.
The disease cancer is definitely linked to protracted depression. Even longevity suffers from protracted depression, from our inability to cope. --We must note that longevity is not a result of having avoided stress, but of having responded to it efficiently and effectively. It’s no medical secret that negative emotions affect everything.
But please know that, in the course of consultation work, we seldom encounter a dramatic state of mental unhealthiness. In the main, we see the coping mechanisms responding within the person; we see time helping with life.
So very, very often, a client is facing a major job change, adjustment, maneuver, often including a relocation. It normally will take about a year or year and a half to complete itself. It’s a major change in life. –And the client will ask, seemingly tangentially, “Well, what about my personal life? Will I meet someone ….”
Now the answer here is not in the planets, but in the reality that, during this major life adjustment issuing from the vocational focus and geographic displacement, the person him/herself becomes a different person. Just explaining that to the client is uplifting! The person will be looking forward to a fresh feeling of Self, a new identity, on top ofthe professional enhancement! The new person will give off a different “vibe,” a different set of life-signals, and therefore attract a different kind of person than usual! --Looking ahead with this clearly in mind brings those “meeting measurements” to the foreground, to life.
In a time of grieving, a client may be seeking freedom and rejuvenation answers from the planets. But time –its distancing and distraction—will be helping the client cope. We can point that out; we can see patience as prelude, as the opening of new doors to new development.
When a projected period of time appears relatively “empty,” think in terms of a time for adjusting life, for assimilating values, for planning anew … then focus the developmental concept on the first strong measurement guideline you see ahead. –There is almost always such a time-target within two years.
In this way, the astrologer is offering practical and rich meaning to time.
Next Update: January 31, 2006