Science and Sensibility

A psychological potpourri

Mental Magic

Pearls of wisdom from poems and proverbs

I hope that your journey through life will be long and prosperous. However, you’ll surely find traps, bumps, and troubling times along the way. Atlanta Georgia artist and psychotherapist, Ed Garcia, has some thoughts for you about loving, growing, and changing while you are on this journey. You’ll see some unique ways to use rational emotive behavior therapy to get past hurdles as you stretch for meaning and fulfillment.

Dr. Albert Ellis made a profound contribution to the psychological health of millions by pioneering, developing, and disseminating a rational, emotive, behavioral (REBT) method to help people with anxiety, depression, and other disabling conditions lead healthier and happier lives. REBT has long been recognized as a major conceptual therapeutic force grounded in empirical evidence. This is the foundation system for numerous cognitive-behavioral forms of therapy, some of which are richly supported by the scientific research.

Ellis’ direct style and famous ABC therapeutic intervention helped countless individuals to do and to get better. However, Ellis’ therapeutic style was uniquely Ellis. The REBT system is often known for its founder’s unique style. Nevertheless, through books, workshops, and therapeutic interventions, different people with different personalities have effectively used the REBT method in a way that fits with their style and in a way that is helpful to others.

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Within a REBT context, I found that the use of quotes, proverbs, folk tales, metaphors, poems, and similes could have a profound, positive, impact. For example, when a quote strikes a chord, I find that people use it repeatedly in problem situations.

I’ll share a few quotes that I found useful in helping people develop functional new perspectives about matters that once plagued them. Once past these barriers, happiness is within reach. Let’s look at quotes for nurturing love, growth, and change.

Using Quotes To Guide Your Thoughts

A story or quote can stimulate you to think more critically about your beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. This reflective step can make a big difference when it comes to shifting gears from automatic negative thinking and behaving to giving yourself an enlightened self-direction.

Love Quotes

Love may be a many splendored thing, but not if you don’t give yourself and someone else a chance. Here is a phrase to promote love over ego: “It is better to lose your pride with someone you love rather than to lose that someone you love with your useless pride.” (Johnny Depp).

Here is a poem on love attributed to a famous ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu.

What is Love?

The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real,

If you focus on the name, you lose the substance.

So, can Love be defined?

No, if we live it.

And yes, for all other purposes.

Here is one on the differences between being responsible for or to another: “People who love are responsible to each other, people who need, believe they are responsible for each other.”  [Ed Garcia]

Growth Quotes

Psychological growth is sped by paying nurturing attention to yourself. This process also takes stripping away barriers that get in the way.

Some people look for quick answers to questions about how to gain relief from tension. Here is a phrase that can help change perspective from looking for magical answers to finding real solutions:  “A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place, but a seed to be planted so it may bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of ideas”  (John Ciardi).

You may have doubt whether your friends truly accept you with your imperfections. Here is a phrase that can help put that matter into a different perspective. "A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked." (Bernard Meltzer)

People escape from life in many different ways. Social networks create illusions of friendships among strangers, and for many, this is a buffer from facing up to, and resolving a social phobia.  Drinking and drugging can temporarily assuage tensions from depression and anxiety. Here is a phrase that can help put this avoidance and escapist behavior into perspective: “You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living until the escape becomes the habit.” (David Ryan)

Millions suffer the emotional pangs that result from low frustration tolerance. Here are two quotes that can help get past this barrier:

1. “The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master.”  (Kahli Gibran)

2. "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult." (Seneca).

Change Quotes

Change. People want it and fear it. Here are six thoughts about change:

1.” Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” (Tolstoy)

2. “Our only security is our ability to change.” (John Lilly)

3. “If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.” (Kurt Lewin)

4. “Some people change when they see the light, others, when they feel the heat.” (Caroline Schoeder)

5. “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” (Carlos Castaneda)

6. "In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." (Blaise Pascal)

Use your own creativity and explore new ways to look at life. On this journey, you’ll find that wisdom comes in many different ways, from many different people, and from many different places. Take the journey. You’ll love it.

Here are two free podcasts that I’ve done for you: The Art of Living Part 1The Art of Living Part 2.

This is an Albert Ellis Tribute Series blog. For more information on his REBT system, visit his only official website at REBTnetwork.org.

Special to this blog: Impression PhotoArt image by Dale Jarvis, AreaOne Art & Design, Fayetteville NC.

© Ed Garcia, MA. Licensed social worker. Former Co-director of Training, Institute for Advanced Study in Rational Emotive Psychotherapy 

Bill Knaus, Ed.D., is the author of more than 20 books; one, "Overcoming Procrastination", was co-authored with Albert Ellis.

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