What draws you to what you read? I found myself pondering this with my nose stuck in Alexander McCall Smith’s latest 44 Scotland Street novel. The books are quiet, winding stories around 10-12 characters who all live in Edinborough, Scotland. They offer escape by allowing the reader to lose him or herself in the small-scale dramas of a “stolen” teacup or lying little girls in the schoolyard. Problems and complications abound, but so do growth, restoration, and eventually solutions.
The book creates a calm and warm space, allowing a respite from the many true evils and tragedies in our world. This is increasingly necessary due to the barrage of information our world daily places in front of us. Even social media, which once revolved around sharing photos and connecting with friends, has become a highly efficient way to spread information about causes, issues, and seemingly unsolvable problems. I would guess that for many, this barrage leads to anxiety and sadness over an overwhelmingly complicated world.
At times when anxious and depressive thoughts begin to well up beyond what is manageable, it is helpful to remember that the world is always full of pain and anger and you can choose how to engage. Taking a time-out from the things that breed those thoughts does not mean that you don’t care or won’t do something in the future. Be free to shut down facebook/twitter/Pinterest, etc. for a day or two and do something renewing. Read a book with a happy plot, journal, go for a walk in nature, play with a pet, watch a funny movie. Find what gives you encouragement and strength in order to re-engage with the realities of a broken world.
For me, engaging in a story that I know will eventually lead to (most) all being right with the world helps me build a space for quiet and renewal–what will your space look like?
Well, I hope that you enjoyed a little light-heartedness for April Fools! Sometimes laughter is as good as any medicine or therapeutic technique. Thankfully the Sesame Street Intervention Gang retired after yesterday and we return to just enjoying the show. We’ll be back to business as usual later this week–I think I promised additional Hunger Games postings!
Hope your April is off to a happy and healthy start!
I am glad that you have found your way to my blog! Blogging is everywhere these days and as I began forging my way in the world of counseling I wanted to offer a blog as a way for individuals to obtain helpful thoughts on life and relationships. I soon realized that this was great–but every other counselor was writing about the same thing! As I put down the book in my hand to think up a solution I realized that my love of literature might indeed be the answer. In the world of counseling we often suggest books and movies to our clients that we anticipate will either bring help or illumination to a concept. I think sometimes people are more open to the lessons of stories because they come to them to find escape and entertainment and then accidentally find help, whereas they may be closed off to other voices of wisdom surrounding their situations. So, I bring to you my thoughts on life lessons within books, articles, movies, and more as I encounter them, with the hope that you will learn and grow from these observations. This is not a blog where you will find the “5 steps to better ____” but the lovers of the bullet point may skip to the end of my posts for the provided summaries! For the story lovers, this blog is designed to bring together my love of literature and my desire to promote healthy relationships both with self and others.
I hope for this to be a place for both depth and fun, so feel free to smile or laugh when you think you should! Look for posts about once a week (initially), and I hope that you will follow along on this journey!