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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

You're Gonna Die Someday


In a blogpost entitled You Gon’ Die: The Existential Window, I stated:


“In 2010, when attending a graduate-level counseling course entitled Group Counseling with Adults and Children, a professor introduced me to the concept of existentialism,” and, “The professor would often greet the class by saying something like, “Good morning, class, just a reminder before we get started—you are all going to one day die.”


When attending the class, I found it interesting how some student’s beliefs about the professor’s words caused discomfort. After all, my dad regularly reminded me of my mortality for as far back as I can recall.


As a child, I wasn’t lied to about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Cupid, or the Tooth Fairy. Rather, my dad introduced me to truth in regards to life. Often, the experience of childhood under my dad’s instruction was uncomfortable.


Even during times of distress, when I thought the world was crashing down around me, my dad didn’t offer nonsensical words of comfort like, “It’s gon’ be all right,” or, “It’s gon’ be okay.” Regardless of what I may’ve wanted to hear, my dad couldn’t have known whether or not my circumstances would improve.


This morning, when working out, I was reminded of both my counseling professor and my dad. My music shuffled to the song “You’re Gonna Die Someday” by Blu & Exile, from their album In the Beginning: Before the Heavens.


The song begins by stating, “This song is about you, your moms, your granma, too, your brother and your homies.” Every single person you’ve ever known, currently know, and ever will know—yes, this includes people you don’t even know—will eventually die.


The song’s hook states:


Please don’t tell me it’s gon’ be all right, like it’s gon’ be okay (‘cause it’s not), ‘cause we don’t see these things the same way. Please don’t tell me it’s gon’ be all right (it’s all fucked up in this world), like it’s gon’ be okay, ‘cause we don’t see these things the same way.


How on Earth could anyone giving you words of encouragement during difficult times, telling you that it’ll be all right or things will be okay, possibly know your future outcome? To what knowledge are they privy and to which you have no access?


Are you the sort of person who finds comfort in a lie? If so and I told you that the Great Pumpkin was real, would you blindly believe my deception as long as your belief about my message evoked joy or pleasure?


From a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) perspective, using the ABC Model, I understand that beliefs lead to consequences such as unpleasant emotions, uncomfortable bodily sensations, and unproductive behavior. Given this outlook, what assumption might you maintain about your inevitable death?


Do you self-disturb by demanding that you shouldn’t, mustn’t, or oughtn’t to die? If so, why do you deceive yourself when the one indisputable truth of your existence relates the fact that your life will one day end?


Are you frightened by belief in the mythological Grim Reaper coming to collect your soul? Or might it be the assumption that you are the one person throughout all human history who mustn’t ever suffer the irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain an organism until you’re first prepared to die?


If so, upon what are you basing your irrational belief? I suspect that if people are willing to betray themselves about death, it makes sense that they would also mislead themselves about life.


Do you suffer as a result of your beliefs about love, politics, work, sports teams, traffic, or other circumstances? What might you tell yourself about these and other matters over which you have no control and little influence?


Would you like to learn about a psychotherapeutic technique that may help you reduce needless anguish about life and death? I assist people not by telling them that things will be all right or okay, though by encouraging them to tolerate and accept reality. If this sounds like something in which you’re interested, I look forward to hearing from 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 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:


Bandcamp. (n.d.). In the Beginning: Before the Heavens. Retrieved from https://bluandexile.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-beginning-before-the-heavens

Blu – Topic. (2017, October 19). You’re Gonna Die Someday [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/K-2uTHqsLq8?si=HnHE9nyKh3e1-lzk

Crowell, S. (2004, August 23). Existentialism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/

Fanpop. (2014, August 28). The Grim Reaper fan art: Grim Reaper [Image]. Pinterest. Retrieved from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/484770347369647319/

Hollings, D. (2022, May 17). Circle of concern. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/circle-of-concern

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

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. (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, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth

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

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 9). The ABC model. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-abc-model

Hollings, D. (2022, December 25). The B-C connection. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-b-c-connection

Hollings, D. (2023, February 16). Tna. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/tna

Hollings, D. (2022, September 3). You gon’ die: The existential window. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/you-gon-die-the-existential-window

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Blu (rapper). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu_(rapper)

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Exile (producer). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exile_(producer)

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