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“If you lived honestly, your life would heal itself.”

In one sentence, David Viscott sums up an entire canon of modern self-help literature. In three decades as a psychiatrist, he says that every therapeutic breakthrough he’s witnessed has been in some way the result of someone accepting a previously concealed truth.

It seems people don’t really have a problem with their feelings – they have a problem with honesty.

The fundamental point of Viscott’s work is that we do not know how to express pain the moment we feel it (especially not consistently or healthfully). The result of this is a slow imprisonment as our true selves become caged by suppression, denial and eventually shadow-selves. When we fear our inability to cope with our own emotions, we avoid triggers, and when we avoid triggers, we avoid our lives.

As Alan Watts says, you cannot only numb one…

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