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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Goin' Thru a Thang

 

A month after I graduated high school and had no idea what I’d do with my life, rap group The Dayton Family released an album entitled What’s on My Mind? that featured the track “Thru a Thang.” Its repetitive though catchy chorus stated, “I’m goin’, I’m goin’, I’m goin’ through a thang [repeat 8x].”

 

Because of nostalgia for that transitional period in time, I appreciate the raw message of a song that gave me the impression that although my life was difficult I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t a “misery loves company” effect as much as it related to the phenomenon of universality—realization that others experience similar thoughts, feelings, and issues.

 

Now, viewing the track through the lens of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), and having significantly improved my circumstances since 1995, I remain appreciative of The Dayton Family’s message. In particular, I’m grateful for the lesson on unconditional acceptance.

 

Take for instance the fact that I didn’t think I’d actually graduate high school and I had no expectation to live more than a couple years after that time. A combination of childhood trauma, self-sabotage in association with street gang activity, and a lack of purpose and meaning contributed to irrational beliefs about myself, others, and life.

 

Back then, I didn’t know about unconditional self-acceptance—acknowledgement that I was imperfect, had always been, and would always be. Therefore, I unhelpfully demanded more of myself than that of which I was actually capable.

 

As an example, when I received poor grades which barely allowed me to graduate, I unproductively believed something along the lines of, “I must be as smart as the other kids, because I can’t bear the idea of being stupid!” Now, I realize that I could’ve changed my belief.

 

I would’ve benefited by instead believing, “While I’d like to be as smart as other people, none of us are exactly the same as others and I don’t have to be as intelligent as my peers. Therefore, I’m goin’ through a thang when convincing myself otherwise—causing needless self-disturbance.”

 

Likewise, at that time in my life, I had no idea about unconditional other-acceptance—understanding that if I’m a fallible human being, other people also meet this standard. I’m not perfect, you are flawed, and everyone we’ve ever known or will ever know is fallible.

 

For instance, when I lived in a children’s home from seventh to ninth grade, was taken in by a family from tenth to halfway through my twelfth grade year, and was kicked out of that home and returned to the children’s home, only to age out of the children’s home, I unhelpfully believed others had wronged me.

 

I maintained a self-disturbing belief along the lines of, “Everyone who claims to love me eventually casts me aside, so nobody can be trusted with my affection!” The unfavorable overgeneralization I used was an exceedingly limiting belief.

 

Rather than narrowing my worldview in such a way, I could’ve believed, “Although I wish people would follow through with the security and stability they claim to offer, everyone has limits to their capabilities. Therefore, I’m goin’ through a thang while searching for a new home, and I’ve survived similar experiences in the past.”

 

Additionally, I didn’t have a clue about unconditional life-acceptance—confirmation that, much like with myself and others, life itself is a faulty experience. As such, I upset myself with rigid expectations of how I unhelpfully believed life ought to be.

 

For example, having witnessed a significant amount of death and violence by the time I was 18-years-old, I unaccommodatingly believed something like, “Life is awful, because for those of us who don’t have the good fortune of dying sooner than later, we have to suffer in this fucked up world!”

 

Rather than use of an inflexible prescription for life, I could’ve merely described what I’d prefer to experience by believing, “I may want things to go my way, so that I’m never inconvenienced by violence or death, though life doesn’t work that way. Consequently, I’m goin’ through a thang while here on Earth, so I may as well make the most of this experience.”

 

Viewing The Dayton Family’s song “Thru a Thang” using the lens of REBT allows me to learn invaluable lessons from my past, though filtered through the helpful perspective of unconditional acceptance of myself, others, and life in general. As such, I can apply what I’ve learned to life’s path upon which I currently travel and the journey that lies ahead of me.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

 

Fonger, R. (2018, June 8). Flint street signs could honor rap group The Dayton Family [Image]. Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved from https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2018/06/dayton_street_could_be_renamed.html

Hollings, D. (2022, November 18). Big T, little t. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/big-t-little-t

Hollings, D. (2022, August 28). Change ur beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/change-ur-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, October 5). Description vs. prescription. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/description-vs-prescription

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (2023, September 13). Global evaluations. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/global-evaluations

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2022, December 2). Low frustration tolerance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/low-frustration-tolerance

Hollings, D. (2022, June 23). Meaningful purpose. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/meaningful-purpose

Hollings, D. (2022, March 25). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2024, January 4). Rigid vs. rigorous. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rigid-vs-rigorous

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, December 1). Self-sabotage. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-sabotage

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, November 15). To don a hat. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/to-don-a-hat

Hollings, D. (2022, July 11). Unconditional acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, February 25). Unconditional other-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-other-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, March 1). Unconditional self-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-self-acceptance

VideKid. (2017, September 23). Dayton Family - Goin Thru a Thang (HD) | Official video [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/dBizquxGJ3U?si=r3Rl9-PQgxR41wYn

Wikipedia. (n.d.). The Dayton Family. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dayton_Family

Wikipedia. (n.d.). What’s on My Mind? Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What%27s_on_My_Mind%3F

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