Book signing at Barnes & Noble
Directions in Life for the Occasionally Confused
by: John F. Elliott, MFT, author
(197 pages, self-help psychology)
Over one hundred original metaphors, fables, analogies and more
directive instructions are offered here for everyday life. Each written
piece contains symbolism and imagery specifically designed to generate
personal identification and change. Directions integrates concepts from
object relations, psychodynamic and system theory as a guide for personal growth.
Chapters of the book mirror the conflicts
and resolutions for the various stages of individual development. The
audience is presented with a wealth of information to be read
sequentially or randomly scanned for specific problem areas.
I. Using this Book, where the reader is prepped on learning how to learn;
II. Hope and Trust, which explores dealing with grief and pain of all kinds;
III. Gaining Power and Control, which examines the constructs of strength, shame, and causality;
IV. The Secrets of Identity, describing the process of how an adult self can be created, and pitfalls to avoid;
V. Caring in Relationships, which identifies healthy intimacy and engagement, as well as the necessity for distance;
VI. Becoming Competent, which deals with our struggles to be
industrious and capable without loosing the benefits of a
“beginner’s mind,” and finally;
VII. Faith In Spirit, which explores the limits of intellectual
understanding and the more expansive types of knowing from intuition.
If our theories of human behavior are to be effective in promoting
growth, they must also generalize into simple and ordinary language.
They must preserve the security of belonging with others and the
freedom of self-direction. Directions is one attempt to accomplish this
task, with humor, clarity, and compassion -for all of us.
As far as topics go, Here are a few:
Learning How to Learn.
Why thoughts are like maps and most of us drive blind by taping them to our windshields.
How pain is important to experience and equally important to ignore.
The significant difference between power and control and how to gain both in your life.
Why forgiveness is seldom a one-way street.
How the mandatory condition for courage is tremendous fear.
That confusion is necessary for discovery and innovation.
Why thinking that you’re “more” messed up than anyone else may be really a problem of arrogance.
That self-respect and self-esteem as an adult can’t come from anyone else but yourself.
- How the conflicts between freedom and security are mirrored
in the daily strife of our relationships -and how they can be resolved.
How happiness doesn’t have a point as much as an arch, -which does explain why smiles are curved.
Here’s another way to look at using advice... from anyone. Me included.
Rulers and Maps
When I was just a kid, I
could never draw a straight line. So I used a ruler. A ruler is really
just this little stick you use to
measure. With the ruler you could say that I had a "guide" line.
Eventually, some of us learn to draw fairly straight lines without
Of course, that's just one
kind of ruler. Another kind is the king, queen, president, pope,
younameit type of authority. These rulers draw the lines all by
Inside of all of us, well, I
believe that we still carry rulers. These help us to be straight, (or
gay, depending on your biological imperative). Rulers provide a
continuity, associating one point to another, and give us something to
measure ourselves by. Or the ruler can rigidly dictate our path of
action. We call these ruler "values," or "principles." When you give
your word to yourself, and/or someone else about a future action, or
even about a past one, you are defining yourself as a certain kind of
person. In a way, you are drawing yourself and them a map of who you
are for wherever and whenever.
The difficulty arises in how
we are use the map. If we let it dictate to us, period, then, we
certainly can feel secure in knowing that we always know the way. So
the map says we cross the bridge there to get to our destination.
But when there becomes here, and we see that the bridge is washed out,
well, some of us drive straight off the cliff. Our ruler was in command.
Perhaps we need to remember
that the ruler, value or principle is actually just a hired guide or
You see, no matter well we think we know the lay of the land, it's
always changing. And there are always those areas that have never been
mapped. So we don't know always. We can only know sometimes.
We don't have to throw the map
away. We also don't have to tape it across our windshield so that it
obstructs our vision. We do this at times, and then we think we can see
everything. So we drive off with the map completely blocking our view,
get into accidents, and blame it on the map. Then we try to get a
"better" map, and tape that one up next.
Perhaps it's best to keep all maps to
one side and consult them when we are feeling lost. Perhaps it might be
good to have enough room on them to be able to chart new territories
found only when we use our common senses.