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|Unlocking the Emotional Brain - Page 8|
"No. No, I don't," said Jason.
I commented, "I'm getting the impression that 'Thou shalt not reverse a choice' isn't feeling true and compelling to you right now. Is that right?"
"Yeah," said Jason matter-of-factly, "it is."
After a successful juxtaposition experience, something that's had a nameless, paralyzing power, a choke-hold on a person's life, suddenly no longer has that power. What previously felt horribly real now seems like no big deal. When we ask clients to try out responding in the old way, they often say it seems silly or really funny to imagine.
Jason then surprised me by revealing that he'd decided to become a special-needs elementary schoolteacher and had submitted an application to a teaching-credential program. Was this just his next short-term adventure or a real shift? To find out, I crafted a sentence for him to try saying out loud: "Being a special-needs teacher is what I have decided upon as my choice of career, long term." He said it once, then again at my request, and then I asked, "How does it feel in your body as you say that?" I needed to know whether any fear could still be evoked by this.
Jason answered, "Kind of like a sense of relief."
I asked, "Is there any uncomfortable sense, anywhere in your body that actually choosing this career as your long-term pursuit means you're walking into the same death trap as your father?"
Jason reflected for a few seconds, said "No, actually," and then explained that "playing by the rules of the career game" no longer seemed like a prescription for meaninglessness, as it previously had.
When I asked, "Shall we do any more sessions?" without hesitation he said, "No. I'm good."