Louis C.K. brilliantly, hilariously and barebones-honestly nails the competition we all have going on in our heads between good thoughts and bad ones:
I have like the thing I believe, the good thing, that’s the thing I believe and then there’s this THING. And I don’t believe it, but it is there. It’s always this thing, and then THIS THING. It’s become a category in my brain that I call “Of course…but maybe…”
Recently, I read Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain by David Hanscom, a spinal surgeon who thinks a key to overcoming pain, stress and a host of other difficulties is to write down all our dark “taboo” thoughts, by hand on paper, without editing or analyzing them: no matter what they may be, or how ugly, or how “not what you believe” they are.
Then you tear them up and throw them away. You do it every day. He sees the daily practice as a kind of release valve that helps to diminish stress and tension (which in turn can cause pain and a host of other ills). He goes into the reasons why, along with a few more stress/anger reduction strategies in the book.
I decided to try it, figuring it might help with some “other ills” I’ve been working on.
I let myself scrawl whatever came to mind (surprised at times by what I wrote), in pen on paper.
…I didn’t judge it. I just ripped it up…
…and threw it away.
It does seems to have a calming effect, which in turn releases stress. It echoes an idea that John Sarno – also a back doctor — pioneered many years ago: that a good deal of illness and pain comes from repressed emotions and thoughts. And even just acknowledging them, which Louis C.K does in such an amazing way, can cause them to lose their power. (Reading Sarno’s Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection years ago STOPPED the chronic lower back pain I’d had for years.)
Stay-tuned for a full report on the effect of writing the dark side, and throwing it away.