In How Our Words Make Us Stuck And What To Do About It I described how we have a tendency to turn the fluid processes of life into solid mental objects.
Just a few words can transform a challenging process into an unchangeable problem. For example: by turning how we are relating into our ‘relationship’ we freeze the process into a thing.
Many of these frozen processes, constellations of thinking, feeling and behaving, have familiar names: depression, frustration, disorganisation etc.
It is often convenient to encapsulate the fluidity of experience into a single word, but it is easy to forget that the label is not the same as what is being labelled.
It seems like such a small change, but what was previously a fluid interplay of factors has been turned into an object. We talk about ‘my depression’, ‘his frustration’, ‘her disorganisation’ as if they were things they owned, but you can’t buy depression at a store or sell your frustration on eBay.
It gets worse.