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How to Soak in Divine Brine

Why? Because we’re always pickling in something…

Illustration Credit: Andrea D'Aquino

Sometimes I get a little wacky in my psychotherapy office. Occasionally, I ask patients to imagine a big garlic pickle on my couch. “What do you want help with?” I ask the pickle. “Well, doc,” it says, “everyone tells me I smell and taste like garlic all the time, and it’s just getting unbearable!” So I ask the pickle, “Uh, well, do you suppose your problem has anything to do with the fact that you are always floating in a garlic-flavored brine?”We are all constantly soaking in some sort of brine: the brine of our culture. Our attempts to deal with the great questions of being human—What is happiness? What is love, and why is it often so difficult? What is my true purpose? Am I succeeding in life?—are so confusing because our lives are immersed in such a confused culture.Here’s a simple analogy: I live in the Toledo, Ohio, area where, in the summer of 2014, algae blooms contaminated Lake Erie with a toxin called microcystin that can cause liver failure. One possible response to the problem would have been to treat each affected individual for liver damage, but that obviously wouldn’t make …

Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. is a psychologist and marriage therapist. His latest book, The Inconceivable Surprise of Living: Sustaining Wisdom for Spiritual Beings Trying to be Human, is available at Kevin can be reached at [email protected].

About the Author

Kevin Anderson PhD, Psychotherapist

Kevin Anderson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, poet, and writer who lives in the Toledo, Ohio area. His two most recent books are...

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