I love my job.
Imagine: a client comes to my office with a universe in his hands, plops it on the floor, unlocks the little door, and asks me to have a look because something doesn’t seem right and can you please help me figure it out? And my travels begin.
I have always loved to travel, but not for the sightseeing, architecture, or museums. What excites me most is realizing how different people’s lives can be: their ideas of what is normal and what is not, their expectations, their reactions, the amazing variety of the ways they feel, think, and interact. The more different worlds I see the richer I become, the more understanding, creative, and liberated I am.
I love my job because now I can travel without leaving my office.
How can I make sense of those inner personal universes? Which laws govern the worlds that reside under the cranium? What to compare them with? Which terminology to use? I need to be able to answer these questions if I want to help.
My daughter Adina wrote this little essay about a real event that happened years ago. I still consider it one of my best therapeutic interventions.
I jealously watch my brother playing in the waves of the ocean. I am a ten year old at the beach, but my bathing suit is dry.
When I was little, I was afraid of everything. I had horrifying nightmares every night. I was afraid of the dark, and being alone, and spiders. And jellyfish.
At this particular beach, there were jellyfish everywhere. They were floating in the waves and getting washed up on the shore and flying above me in the sky in swarms, blocking out the sun.
My dad picked up one of the jellyfish from the shore and held it up to me, urging me to touch it. My arms remained firmly crossed over my dry bathing suit.
“What are you so afraid of?”
My dad thought for a moment.
“Maybe in your universe, they are scary beasts, thirsting for your blood?”
I nodded emphatically.
“But in my universe,” he continued, “ they are just tiny, squishy, pretty friends. Look how she’s gleaming in the sun. Isn’t it beautiful?”
He extended his non-jellyfishy hand to me.
“Come and live in my universe for a bit. Maybe you’ll like it.”
CUT TO: Young me, frolicking on the shore with the washed up creatures.
CUT TO: Young me, fawning over the alien beauty of the jellyfish in my palm.
CUT TO: Young me, joining my brother in the ocean.
That day, I learned that visiting other people’s universes helps put things into perspective. I haven’t had a nightmare since.
That day, I had stumbled upon the idea that would later make for the basis of my own understanding of how we think, feel, and understand each other. I have developed my intuitive insights into a theory and a method. Since then, I managed to help numerous people to understand and improve their lives in situations where every other approach failed.