Touching Grass in Round Top
Recently, my friend, “Jammies,” invited me to the largest antiques show in the United States, which took place in Round Top, Texas. I figured it would be an interesting opportunity to touch grass and give space between the recent focus of my attention to worldly events and reality that occurs in my immediate vicinity.
Therefore, on October 23, 2023, I touched grass in Round Top. According to one source, “Round Top has a 2023 population of 99.” I enjoyed the scenic drive from Austin to Round Top and upon arrival to the small town I was reminded of Gilmore Girls, because Round Top has an atmosphere which I found cozy.
Not an antiques enthusiast, I found it interesting to hear what Jammies, her family members, and her friend expressed in regards to their appreciation for vintage items. Much of the memorabilia I saw reminded me of my youth, as I experienced pleasant emotions with my beliefs about the days of yesteryear.
For the majority of my day, I spoke with Jammies’ dad—a man of whom I’m quite fond. As he practices open, honest, and vulnerable communication, I was able to speak with her dad about my practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) without wasting time on idle prattle.
In particular, I was gratified to have found an individual who’s interested in purpose and meaning, discussing existentialist concepts without irrational belief-driven emotions. As people around us sifted through trinkets of various sorts, Jammies’ dad and I talked about the inevitability of death and what it means to lead a life worth living.
I found it interesting that, much like the aged knickknacks available in Round Top, our conversation about personal responsibility and accountability (“ownership”)—and how neglect of these elements can impact one’s level of contentment—was far older than either of the people discussing the matter.
In particular, I was able to present REBT techniques relating to demandingness and unconditional acceptance, as I could see Jammies smirking while she rummaged through a number of heirlooms. I chuckled to myself, because I know that Jammies has heard so much about REBT from me that she likely could’ve competently articulated these concepts on her own.
Delightfully, her dad was able to draw a comparison between the issue of human fallibility and sinfulness. I like when people are able to relate REBT elements in a way that makes sense to them.
Although one definition of sinful is characterized by wicked and immoral behavior, Jammies’ dad and I—both from religious backgrounds—learned a more compassionate description of the term. Simply put, sinful can mean faulty, flawed, imperfect, or fallible.
Whereas a human makes mistakes, G-d is conceptualized as incapable of error. As REBT tends to favor humanism, I find that people from both religious and secular backgrounds may appreciate this psychotherapeutic modality, because it focuses on personal ownership.
As an example, 2 Corinthians 5:10 states, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” An individual associated with Judeo-Christian faith is likely familiar with this lesson.
However, those who are areligious or irreligious may not appreciate the verse. Nonetheless, REBT uses a similar premise. Even if not judged by an external and celestial being, each of us will experience the consequences of what occurs within the body (process of the mind) and this experience determines what is healthy, unhealthy, or otherwise—versus good, bad, etc.
Jammies’ dad was able to connect his spiritual understanding with the humanistic practice of REBT in a way that made sense to him. Wonderful! Conversations such as the daylong discussion with Jammies’ dad are well worth touching grass for.
Still not fully convinced about the value of antiquing, I place significant worth in discussion of concepts that may lead to improved functioning and quality of life. To me, days like yesterday are what a purposeful and meaningful existence is about.
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—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging 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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