In AWAR’s song “Reincarnation,” featuring Trox and from The Winning Team album costarring Vanderslice, AWAR highlights his metaphorical death and rebirth process. While I have no idea whether or not living beings actually begin new lives in a different form after death, I appreciate the hope offered by one’s ability to reform oneself in the current life.
This process is what I aim to assist others with achieving, using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Rather than offering a painless, easy, or pleasant metaphorical death, I challenge clients to endure discomfort, endure difficulty, and tolerate suffering as a means of reincarnating to a healthier, more helpful form.
This isn’t the same psychotherapeutic process that has been popularized by social media platforms. I’m not interested in helping people feel better, though I seek to help them get better.
As such, I’m not concerned with promoting the irrational belief that clients should, must, or ought to be able to change the world. Rather, the type of metaphorical reincarnation I offer focuses on changing the only thing a person is capable of controlling—yourself.
In “Reincarnation,” AWAR raps about having undergone the process of self-change. Viewing his reported transitions through the lens of REBT, here’s my perspective on a portion of the rapper’s verses—particularly as they relate to my own metaphorical reincarnation:
Chasing knuckle heads ‘round. New me got no time for it
Come correct, motherfucker, I’m trying to retire from this
I’m so tired of this shit, the old me might have lied a bit
New me only speaks truth with more fire in it
The old me might have lied about putting in work, as a matter of retaining freedom from incarceration. Though the new me tells the truth about beliefs regarding events I experienced and how I disturbed myself into unhealthy consequences.
New me realize this shit: We’re only getting older
Old me wouldn’t bury the hatchet ‘til it’s over
Old me was bullshit and kicking it with homies
New me grinds hard—you might be thinking I’m lonely
Fuck what you heard; I’m still the same old G
Only, I keep my distance if you jinx it from me
The new me doesn’t hide from the fact that the window of life is constantly closing. However, the old me was quick to form an action-consequence connection and promote dangerous activity that could’ve shattered metaphorical windows for many people.
The old me embraced nonsense and showed loyalty to a group of individuals with whom I no longer have contact. The new me focuses on maintaining a small business and helping others to see that nonsensical beliefs to which they are loyal don’t serve them well.
Despite all of my changes, I’m not quite a pushover. Though much like AWAR expressed, I keep healthy boundaries and don’t allow my beliefs about the actions of others to influence the condemnation of my outcomes.
Old me copped the TV from Rent-A-Center
New me is a clever investor when spending cheddar
Old me wanna bang on them debt collectors
New me learn life lessons and my credit better
Similar to what AWAR suggests, the old me spent frivolously. In my adolescence, I didn’t predict that I’d live past 21-years-old. The new me doesn’t shame my past self, though instead leans lessons of how not to behave and simply adjusts accordingly.
Whatever the weather, a message from the seventh letter
New me knows this game is chess, not checkers
Old me just assumed I’d be blessed forever
Old me was shoot first, ask questions never
AWAR acknowledges what Paul Wall once said, “It’s chess moves, not checkers,” in reference to life. Though some may have an impulsive approach with a simplified plan for success, the new me realizes that a slower and more methodical approach has led to lasting and effective change.
The old me assumed that good fortune was largely the result of some invisible force advancing outcomes for me. In a predestination-esque manner, I didn’t take personal ownership for my actions.
While the new me is agnostic about supernatural forces, I now take a humanist approach to life. I have agency for my behavior and I think it’s healthy to dispute unhelpful beliefs which impact how I interface with the world.
Old me was selfish, more ego-driven
New me is selfless, builds with the people—listen
It’s a bigger world, don’t get peephole vision
Second chance, cleanse my sins—please forgive them
Looking back, I hardly recognize the old me who as an adolescent was nicknamed “Tin Man,” because of his apparent lack of compassion and empathy. Fast-forwarding to the present, the new me helps others build purpose-driven and meaningful lives.
The new me uses perspective and wisdom to remember that circumstances in the moment—no matter how joyous or painful—will inevitably pass. With this knowledge, I keep in mind the prospect for a change in outcomes, as this provides me a hopeful—though rational—outlook.
Here I am, new me always gives his all
New me has hope, regardless the risk involved
Old me was dope but since then, the kid’s evolved
If old me can see me now, you wouldn’t want to miss it, y’all
AWAR highlights the encouraging attitude I’ve adopted since the old me was in place. While I unconditionally accept that I was as I was, I’m glad to have moved on with my life. Still, I suspect the old me would approve of my current position, just as I affirm that his actions led me to this point.
New me takes the blame—I know it’s all my fault
Old me hurt feelings—it’s emotional assault
The new me takes accountability regarding matters in life for which I’m responsible. The old me deflected criticism, irrationally concluded that challenges to beliefs were akin to assaults on his character, and wound up suffering from a belief-consequence connection.
Similar to AWAR, I’ve experienced metaphorical reincarnation during my lifetime. Though I can’t account for AWAR’s changes, much of my success is owed to the REBT technique.
I can understand people seeking mental health treatment with the expectation of a soothing process that guarantees expected outcomes. However, this isn’t what I offer people under my care.
As is the case with reincarnation, there may be an arduous end associated with the dying process. Nonetheless, metaphorical death of the old you is often required in order to transition to a new you.
This can be a challenging, uncomfortable, and insecure process for those who cling tightly to irrational belief systems with which they die a thousand metaphorical deaths. For those bold enough to see the process through, it may be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve ever encountered.
Are you prepared for mental, emotional, and behavioral rebirth? There’s hope for a new you!
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 a psychotherapist, and hip hop head from the old school, 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
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