Over elmine

Making more impact on fewer people through storytelling.

The other blog

Ever since I started this blog, I neglected my other blog. As that is my professional website, neglect is not the message I want to send to potential clients who accidentally visit my website. Therefore I made myself a list what to blog there. The real challenge is execution as I really, really prefer writing on this more personal blog.

Door |2020-05-27T17:07:43+02:0027 mei 2020|flow|0 Reacties

The story we tell ourselves

I came across a very interesting passage in The Storytelling Animal: how stories make us human. It explains the Lake Wobegone Effect, the effect that we think of ourselves as above average when it comes to positive qualities. Like being a good driver (which for a matter of fact I am). In the book the author makes a link to depression.

Depressed people have lost their positive illusions; they rate their personal qualities much more plausibly than average. They are able to see, with terrible clarity, that they are not all that special.

Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: how stories make us human (p.174)

He then refers to psychologist Shelley Taylor, who said that “a healthy mind tells itself flattering lies. And if it does not lie to itself, it is not healthy.”

This is a perspective I hadn’t taken on depression before, but it makes a whole lot of sense. As someone who is on the realistic side of self-assessment I can tell you that it is indeed an unhealthy state to be always doubting your self. It would have really helped me sail through life if I had more self-esteem and a less realistic view on the world.

Because, as the philosopher William Hirstein puts it, positive illusions keep us from yielding to despair:
“The truth is depressing. We are going to die, most likely after illness; all our friends will likewise die; we are tiny insignificant dots on a tiny planet. Perhaps with the advent of broad intelligence and foresight comes the need for…self-deception to keep depression and its consequent lethargy at bay. There needs to be a basic denial of our finitude and insignificance in the larger scene. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah just to get out of bed in the morning.”

Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: how stories make us human (p.174)

Gottschall goes on to describe the role of a psychotherapist as someone who helps you to rewrite your life story. To give you a story you can live with.

A psychotherapist can therefore be seen as a kind of script doctor who helps patients revise their life stories so that they can play the role of protagonist again – suffering and flawed protagonists, to be sure, but protagonists who are moving toward the light.

Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: how stories make us human (p.175)

Spot on.

Excellent read by the way.

Door |2020-05-26T10:45:23+02:0026 mei 2020|flow, gelezen|2 Reacties

New skills that come with having a daughter (146)

As a kid I never grew long hair. I preferred short hair, just like my brothers. Therefore I never learned to braid my hair. Daughter is very much unlike me. She likes her hair long. Like her mother has (I grew longer hair as a student. Much cheeper as it requires less visits to the hairdresser). Daughter got spoiled by one of her caretakers, because whenever she requested an ‘Elsa-braid’ she got one. In the past three months I pushed myself to learn it too. She would soon start in school and school teachers don’t have time for braiding. And then two months of daycare closure followed. Slowly but surely I got the hang of braiding. This morning I could even finish one before heading to daycare. Mommy power skill unlocked.

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Door |2020-05-26T13:53:56+02:0025 mei 2020|366, deze dag|1 Reactie

Watching a movie together (145)

When Daughter became a toddler, walking about, making sense of the world, asking questions with her excellent use of language, I projected her and me in a few years’ time sitting on the couch watching movies together on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Today that projected future is here.

It was a Sunday morning. The rain started falling halfway through the film and indeed we cuddled on the couch, covering ourselves with the MacAuslands blanket the Man and I bought in 2008. Not in a million years did I envision this future when we brought home this blanket from Prince Edward Island.

We watched Frozen (1) together. It was a test, as she finds a lot of stories too scary to watch. But as she has been watching the songs on Youtube a lot, we read a book with the storyline a lot, she was well enough prepared for the scary bits. Daughter watched the whole movie beginning to end. Some bits she hid herself behind the blanket and some bits that I expected to be too scary she leaned forward to the screen.

A wonderful way to spend a lazy Sunday morning.

Door |2020-05-24T12:52:28+02:0024 mei 2020|366|1 Reactie
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