Are things really so bad? A little perspective and hypnotherapy can help
Are we living in an era of extremes? Does it seem that history used to evolve in a predictable and uneventful line? Of course there were the occasional bumps in the road, such as a little inflation, a minor recession or the overthrow of a petty island despot?
We landed on the moon, defeated communism, doors were unlocked, kids played outside, priests were priests and High School kids smoked a little pot, but didn’t slaughter one another. Folks worked until retirement at the same company, no one thought about health costs and milk was delivered to your door. Life was different then. Or was it?
My 14 year old son has lived through 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, beheadings broadcast on the Internet, the Internet, the worst economy since the depression, Katrina, the 2004 Tsunami, Columbine, Driveby shootings, global warming, GM failing, China ascending, ad infinitum.
Does it seem to you that world history is quickening? That events are approaching the apocalyptic. The heroic outcome of Apollo 13 is now replaced with 2 Space shuttles exploding in the air. Babe Ruth is succeeded by Barry Bonds. Washington and Lincoln versus Nixon and Clinton . Are we the Mayans witnessing the end or Romans watching the Visigoths sack the eternal city? It seems we now accept things once thought unthinkable as normal.
But is this true? How do we compare the human nightmare of the Holocaust to 9/11? On a purely mathematical comparison of loss of life, WWII is the ultimate horror show. Can we compare the absolute poverty of the great depression to today? I suppose when we see Wall Street tycoons selling apples and cities filled with homeless mothers begging for food then we can compare eras. The human tragedy train is always in motion. Sometimes the train chugs headlong into a random confluence of circumstances causing unimaginable tragedy. Other times the train takes a small detour causing inconvenience. It all seems so fickle and unpredictable. Some ascribe it to cycles, fate, destiny, blind chance and butterfly wings fluttering in the wind. Things could be worse and or better. The universe inexorably grinds on.
When I think about it, during my life I’ve witnessed the assassinations of Kennedy, King and Lennon, the Cuban Missile crises, Vietnam, Watergate, Pol Pot, Manson and Jonestown. Previous generations experienced Slavery, The Black Death, The Inquisition, Antietam, The Somme, Auschwitz and Hiroshima. Are things so different now? I don’t think so. Rather, it is our perception and relatively short life span that tricks us into thinking history is unique and new to each generation.
We humans measure life in mere decades. A generation is about 25 years. Our collective memories are individual memories writ large. This myopic perspective applies to society at large. Reading history can only cast a faint shadow of actually experiencing an event. To put it simply, most of us only feel what happens personally to us. We intellectually empathise with others, but it’s what happens to you that has a visceral impact. The rest is news and words. We’re probably hard wired this way. Otherwise we’d be a collective basket case.
We think we worry and fret about the world at large when actually we’re afraid of the personal impact of events. Mass layoffs, foreclosures, crippingly debt and illness are important when they touch you . We need to put it all into perspective. If a 4,000 year old Bristle cone Pine tree could talk, I suspect it would shrug at recent events as just another unfortunate train wreck. Or a 65 million old rock would laugh at recent human calamities as trifles compared to the asteroid or comet that wiped out the dinosaurs.
So what does all this mean to your personal life? Simply put, nothing is as bad or as good as it seems. How we perceive and react to events is what makes them horrific or bearable.
Humanity has used many ways to alleviate emotional pain; meditation, drugs, alcohol, sex and spirituality to name a few. Hypnosis is another. I personally believe that hypnotherapy is a scientific application of the meditative state. We have discovered that the use of specific words and sentences applied during the hypnotic state is extremely effective at reducing stress, worry and crippingly anxiety. I use it daily to cope with life’s ups and downs. It works. I can teach you how to use it.
So if life, the economy or the prospect of another asteroid hitting earth worries you, contact me. But in the meantime, I suggest you forget the Dow Jones and the nightly news and spend more time enjoying your health, family and friends.