Apr 5, 2010

If I could be an element I'd be water

When I was a kid there was a period when I was terrified of firemen. My mom finally asked me what the problem was and it turned out that I assumed that because the appearance of firetrucks often correlated fairly exactly with fires (I am sure I did not use the word correlate), I believed that firemen were the ones actually starting the fires. So whenever they were blazing down the street with sirens running, I assumed this was what they were heading off to do, which was scary.

Of course, I was just a child, and children often come up with conclusions about how things work that turn out to be wrong. But it makes me wonder if maybe adults do this too, just about things that are vaguer and less likely to be talked about, and that therefore never have the opportunity to be corrected. I guess, now that I'm thinking about, this is sort of what therapy is all about. Except that when you're an adult, discovering that some essential belief that you've been basing your life around is actually a misunderstanding isn't enough to get you to let it go.

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