What lies past these strange, unprecedented times? A beautiful future, according to songwriting psychologist, Dr. Thiessen.
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Despite the darkness and negativity that surrounds us now, a beautiful future awaits according to Dr Thiessen.
Dr Thiessen, a licensed clinical psychologist, specializes in the psychology of music and considers music an invaluable tool in the prevention and treatment of psychological disorders.
In addition to being a highly-respected practitioner, University Instructor and
skilled writer, Dr Thiessen, aka, Dr B.L.T., is a songwriter whose songs have aired repeatedly on independent radio stations worldwide whilst he himself had a cameo on MTV-award-nominated, top hit music video for Cake’s Short Skirt/Long Jacket.
Dr. BLT has been publicly praised by artists from P!nk to the late Buck Owens, who compared him to Johnny Cash. Dr. BLT starts every morning by writing 3-minute songs in 2 minutes, on the spot, and in multiple genres.
In these strange, unprecedented times, we need a sliver of hope that we will see a rainbow at the end of the storm.
This Friday, let Dr BLT’s method of infusing the positive with all the power we could muster give you a vision of a beautiful future that we all badly need.
Optimism in the face of uncertainty
I don’t know
where I’ll be
in a year or two or three or four
I can’t say where I’ll be
in a day—-day or two or maybe more
tomorrow is comin’
I think so but I don’t really know
if you’re there and I am there
let’s make this a future to behold…
Future to Behold
original song by Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT © 2020
While one can certainly prepare for the future, there is no way of controlling the
unpredictability that accompanies the passage of time. What will the future look like, in a post-COVID-19 world?
As a self-proclaimed silver-lining-seeker, the world I imagine is a beautiful, if not, perfect, world. My vision comes from an imagination that I deliberately feed with best-case scenarios.
It’s not that I willfully elect to ignore the possibility that bad things could happen. On the contrary, I go out of my way to look for “problems” and “potential problems.”
It’s just that I regard them as challenges and potential challenges, and I approach them with a confidence that we, as a society, will find the resources to address every challenge that comes our way.
The Prophet of Bloom
Imagine a song
that has never been sung
imagine a bell that has never been rung
it ain’t so hard to imagine
‘Bin doin’ it for years
imagine a world where there will be
no more tears…
Imagine a Song
original song by Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT © 2020
In addition to being a self-proclaimed silver-lining-seeker, I am a self-proclaimed Prophet of Bloom.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself a true, bonafide prophet in the literal, biblical sense of the turn. But it’s my way of distinguishing myself from the many “prophets of doom and gloom,” content to stare at dark clouds and make bold, stark predictions that amount to worst-case scenarios.
Once again, it’s not that I ignore the reality that bad things can happen. But I choose to elect, as my focus, a cautiously optimistic perspective—— the same one I encourage and wholly support in my mental health patients (whom I prefer to call mental health athletes).
A Prophet of Bloom plants flowers of hope that blossom and bloom in glorious ways, because of the power, and the contagious quality, of positive energy.
Stressful events in and of themselves cannot kill hope. But when we add to those events, the automatic adoption of worse-case scenarios, we supercharge them. When we employ negative thoughts, we add insult to injury, and otherwise bearable burdens become unbearable.
Our automatic incorporation of worst-case scenarios can be likened to weeds that invade a garden and threaten to overtake the flowers of hope that have been planted.
As a gardener in my own garden of hope, I carefully attend to the garden in my mind, grooming it, and pruning it of negative, self-defeating, self-destructive thoughts. In doing so, I participate in a positive synergy. I encourage my patients, and people, in general, to do the same.
Life is anything but predictable
To be clear, neither you nor I can possibly know the future. After all, life is anything but predictable.
Life can, at times, begin to look predictable, but that is an illusion.
The minute we begin to get comfortable in what appears to be a predictable set of circumstances, a surprise happens. Sometimes it is a pleasant surprise, and sometimes it is an unpleasant surprise.
Sometimes the surprise is so unsettling that it pulls the rug right out from under us. We struggle to find an equilibrium in such cases, and when that process begins to seem elusive, a sense of hopelessness and despair settles in. Underneath the mountain of despair lies a little seed of hope.
Looking for a silver lining, and finding that seed, in such cases, can be extremely difficult at best.
There have been times in my own life when I had to struggle harder, and dig deeper into my soul than usual to find the hope. But optimism is necessary for psychological survival.
It is in there somewhere. It is in all of us and it requires nurturing. I have to tend to my seed of hope, so I can offer hope to others in my role as a songwriting psychologist.
Fear and anxiety have a paralyzing effect on each of us. At times, we feel we cannot even walk, let alone, dance. I know that you and I can do both. I will leave you with this promise: You will dance again.