Of every type of literature I like biographies, memoirs and autobiographies the best.
I am reading In Search of Stones by M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist who rose to fame after writing The Road Less Traveled. I am at once irritated and fascinated by this mini memoir (actually, the book is large, but it covers only three weeks of time along with numerous life accounts along the way).
I am getting the impression that he is a psychiatrist, not so much because he is fascinated by people (I’m sure he is that), but that he is fascinated by himself and the lifelong journey that he has pursued in unearthing all that is within him. I relate to this, but he is just a little too self-absorbed. He is one of those people who I would say likes the sound of his own voice. This is okay. He has stuff in his life to deal with, he has been dealing with it for over fifty years, the stuff is ongoing. I guess he serves as an example. We all serve as examples of one kind or another. The wonderful thing about books is that they can take us right to the heart of other people. Writing does that in a way that talking can’t and watching can only do on a mere surface level. M. Scott’s voice is in my head and I’m okay with it being there. There’s insight directly from him and there’s insight from within myself projected onto the experience he is recounting.
I find people endlessly fascinating. I myself have been on a journey into my own soul over the years and I’m a big believer in dealing with the dysfunction in your life. Dysfunction during development leads to faulty brain chemistry and I would hate to be projecting my dysfunction onto the people around me, especially my children. I’ve just always hoped that I could make the fix quick, but it seems to take a while, and takes fortitude and looking at oneself objectively.
I’ve also found that dealing with my stuff has allowed my husband and I to grow closer because instead of me reacting out of dysfunction I can instead be objective about myself and think ‘now, why am I angry about this? Is it a reasonable thing to be angry about? Where is this feeling coming from? Why do I feel threatened right now?’. It means that instead of attacking him out of hurt or insecurity I can bring him on board to really understand where I am coming from and this, in turn has allowed him to do the same. It’s been incredible for our relationship to live in this state of honesty. It is in fact deeply healing.