标签: 心理 博客 生命 | 发表时间:2011-10-07 14:53 | 作者:草白 beta4better

译者 草白


No matter where you go, there you are.




In 1989 at a recovery meeting, I was stunned when I heard the term “geographical cure,” as it summed up so much of my life. It refers to the illusion that life will be better when we get somewhere else. So we expectantly wait until we get there and “there” is somewhere, anywhere other than where we are right now. We think, “I’ll be happy when I climb that hill. When I go on vacation. When I am at the beach. When I live in that kind of house. When I finally visit that country or state.” We wait to be in the “right” place. We wait for that place magically to change what’s wrong in our lives. What we forget is that we take ourselves and all of our baggage with us wherever we go.

1989年,我在一次康复会议(recovery meeting)中耳闻了“地理疗法”这个术语,当时的我如遭震雷,因为这正是我过往许多岁月的浓缩。地理疗法指的是一种错觉,即他方的生活更美好。所以我们在期望中等待,等待终有一天可以到达那个地方,到达那个非当下所处的任何一地。我们这样认为,“当我登上那座山峰,当我外出度假,当我在海滩享受悠闲的时光,当我住在心仪的房子里,当我终于能够去游览那个国家,那么我就会感到快乐。”我们等待自己身处于“正确的”地方,等待那个地方可以神奇地改变我们生活的不如意,但我们却忘记了,无论走到天涯海角,我们的自我与心灵的包袱都会如影随形。

Certain places are magical, wondrous, and desirable. Who doesn’t think about their own insignificance when viewing the magnificent expansiveness of the Grand Canyon? Religious sages went to majestic mountaintops to commune with God. Throughout history, pioneers explored uncharted territories such as the western United States with hopes, visions, and dreams of creating something better.

有的地方神奇、壮观、令人神往。目睹大峡谷(the Grand Canyon)的雄伟与广阔,谁能不联想到自我的渺小与微不足道?宗教圣人去往巍峨的山巅,感受与上帝之间灵的沟通,而纵观历史,无数的拓荒者谁又不是心怀希望、理想与对美好生活的梦想,去探索诸如美国西部这样的未知领域呢?

Places help us see our place in the world, if we let them. Places can help us grow, and learn. However (as was my tendency), we can look at them as one more thing outside ourselves where the answer lies.


A geographical cure “fixes” problems by changing where we are, moving our location, or shifting things around. This way we can avoid looking inside to the source of our problems and their cause. Sometimes our problems go away temporarily, but inevitably they return.


You can’t put a jackass on a plane and expect it to get off as a racehorse.But try we will. This is the false hope of the geographical cure.





Mark, a salesman, tells the following story: “My father was in the army, so when I was growing up, we moved constantly. Just as I was about to settle in, we would move, and I would once again say goodbye to my friends, teachers, and home. But I didn’t even know what home was. I vowed when I was able to decide for myself, I would put down roots and never move again.


“When I got my first job after college, I picked a town and set my sights there. For the first year, it was great. I knew everyone in town. I spent weekends doing yard work or hanging out with the neighborhood guys.Then I started to get uneasy. I found myself being short-tempered and annoyed with my friends. I started reading travel magazines and hung pictures of different places throughout my home. Soon, I put my house on the market and moved across the country. Shortly after moving into my new house and town, I dreamt I was packing to move again.


“The next morning, I had an epiphany: I couldn’t be with myself! I wasthe problem. Not where I lived. I had never gotten used to the quiet of my own company.”


Mark, like many of us, tried to escape from his unhappiness by moving. But until he unpacked his own baggage, he couldn’t be happy anywhere he went. Until he sat still with himself, he was doomed to keep waiting for his happiness and his life to begin.





I attempted to escape by leaving the East Coast and heading to the foothills of the Colorado Rockies for college. The allure of the meditative sage on the mountaintop always appealed to me. I fantasized about finding peace and freedom from myself in the mountains. I hoped that by living “up high” I would have the perspective I needed to straighten out my life. Colorado seemed like the right combination of “far enough away” and “different enough from home.”


My love affair with climbing hills began in 1982 when my father introduced me to the West. We took a trip to a small guest ranch in Wyoming. Something inside of me expanded as I stood in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by towering peaks and vast acres of national forest.


At the ranch, it was easy to forget there was another world out there. As we exited the pavement, I left many of my concerns behind and began the bumpy ride on the rutted dirt road to paradise. Days were filled with swimming in frigidly cold high mountain lakes and streams and lazy rides on the horses. Of course, my favorite experiences were the long hikes to the tops of various peaks where I could view the world from a different perspective. I found quiet and serenity for a brief moment, and I craved more of that.


For many years, our Wyoming vacations provided a constant for me amid a life of much change—back and forth between households, off to college, my many ups and downs. The ranch served as my anchor, holding passing memories of magical times. No matter how sick I felt, I always found a sense of tranquility during my Wyoming visits.


When it was time to choose a college, I headed west. Although Colorado itself didn’t fix me as I had hoped, I still fell in love with it. When I left for treatment, I was heartbroken. I would hear John Denver singingand cry—it reminded me of all I had missed.



And the Colorado Rocky Mountain high


I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky


You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply …



In recovery, I realized that although I had looked to Colorado as an escape, it also provided me with an experience of life that I loved. It allowed me to connect with myself in profound ways.





As Cindy describes it, “I never understood the appeal of the mountains until I moved to Colorado. During the summer, many of my friends climbed the famous Fourteeners throughout the state (Colorado has fifty-four 14,000-foot peaks). Although I loved the mountains, I always said no to their requests to join them. After a particularly persuasive friend asked for the tenth time, I finally said yes. It was only then that I realized how afraid I was. The group was kind and patient with me, knowing it was my first ascent. We started in the misty early morning, dressed in layers, carrying light packs and plenty of water. As we climbed, the clouds parted, the expansive view opened up, and I was moved beyond belief. In the silence of the morning, I realized why my friends were so eager to take this trek. In the vastness of it all, I saw the insignificance of my fears and concerns. Had I listened to my fears, I never would have had this moment. I then saw my thoughts were what kept me trapped in life—really they were my only limitations. I felt connected to this group of travelers, to nature, and to something bigger than all of us. I experienced the glory and power of it all, and at the same time I realized I could carry this knowledge with me wherever I went.”


When we stop and smell the roses, many of us can attest that being in nature gives us definite psychological benefits. It restores our mental clarity, provides us with an increased sense of well-being, and can reduce our stress levels. For others, immersion into the bustle of city life is just the ticket.


In a new place, we often gain perspective on our lives. Places assist us in finding ourselves in the microcosm of the macrocosm. They allow us to hear our inner voice amidst all the clamor and noise. Places can teach us to look inside in a new way, to find a sense of connection—not only to the place, but more importantly to ourselves.





No house or hill will save us from our own mind. At some point we have to stop running away and learn to enjoy our own company. Some people will spend eternity moving around to avoid being with themselves. Once again, we have an opportunity to find a balance. We may desire a place where we can put down roots, but we may also wish to seek, visit, and explore.


Often when I travel, I try places on. Sometimes the line between old behavior (the seeking of the geographical cure) and my inquisitiveness is faint. I wonder, “Would I like it better here? What would my life be like? Would I be happier?” I have even gone as far as spending the day with a realtor. Each time I go through this, I see hidden aspects of myself. Sometimes I discover that I am craving change. Sometimes I just don’t want to go back to work on Monday. Sometimes I think a different set of hills will do the trick. And most importantly, I discover that I don’t have to judge my process.


Each of us has the opportunity to examine this for ourselves—are we powerfully choosing, or are we looking for an escape? No matter where we go, we take us along. On the other hand, we can create a sense of home anywhere, and some places will always remain special.





Being Aware:


Stop and consider the places you have been. What have they taught you? Have you learned to be with yourself? Do you use a move or vacation to run from your problems or yourself? Are you waiting to find the right place? To live in (or visit) the right environment—and then you will be happy? Is this a pattern? Or have you achieved balance? What does that balance look like for you?





We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us.



Winston Churchill



The allure of the hills was what brought me back to Colorado. But by then I believed (even when I forgot) that the key to my happiness lies in the inner landscape, not the outer one.


Fortunately, my husband was willing to give up living by the ocean for our shared vision of a little house on the side of a hill. After some years in Colorado, we found our dream home: a magical little house on the side of a mountain at the end of a very long dirt road. The first time we visited the house, we ended up walking the length of the mile-long,Jeep-trail of a road, through a grove of shimmering Aspen, hearing the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze. It all felt so familiar and powerfully reminded me of the ranch in Wyoming. As we continued to walk closer, a dramatic view mysteriously and magically began to merge. A vast expanse of mountains, layered over other mountains, and cloud striations. The road ended at the sweet profile of a house perched on the side of the hill, looking out over the magnifi cent and awe-inspiring view. It was quiet. Utterly peaceful. We were home.


I’ve climbed my hill, settled in, created a home, and allowed my home to shape me. When I travel, I now consciously take all of me, including my restless humanity, on the journey.


“Coming Home to Me” by Patricia Moeller




I love where I live, but it wasn’t always this way. My valley (yes, I feel ownership for it in a way that is powerfully connected to all its inhabitants) is a source of support and comfort for me. Every time I return from vacation, I think, “Wow, thank God that I am home.” The thankfulness comes not from the dislike of other places, but rather from the comfort of knowing that I choose to create my future anywhere I call home. I grew up in Alaska and felt confined, wanting more than anything to leave and one day be free.


At twenty-three, I finally escaped and found myself sailing for a year and a half down the inter-coastal waterway to the Bahamas. Money being the deciding factor, I came ashore in Ft.Lauderdale,Florida, only to fi nd myself, six months later, skiing the slopes of Jackson Hole. I felt grounded in Jackson, at home—a feeling that I had never experienced. The Tetons became my higher power, like a motherly source of inspiration—constantly shifting and changing, although really always the same.


In what occurred as a stroke of bad luck, my boyfriend (now husband) needed to go back to Florida to continue his flight training. I reluctantly went with him, even though I desperately wanted to stay in the first place that really seemed like home.


After two years in Florida, two years in Maine, two years in Rhode Island, and two years in Colorado, I returned home to Wyoming. Strangely, my friends were all eight years older! Without the geographical changes and experiences, I would not be the person I am today. I have a master’s degree, two amazing children (born in different states), sobriety, and a spiritual completeness that comes from finding oneself and coming full circle. It is strange that I had to leave a place to be able to come back.


In the coming back, however, I found who I am.


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