Imagine you are standing just outside your home, surrounded by a dense fog, so thick you can’t see the other side of the street in front of you. You look to the right, then to the left, but you cannot see more than fifty feet in any direction. You are surrounded.
How much water do you suppose it takes to create that blanket of fog that has completely isolated you from your world?
Before you read on, think about this for a moment. Don’t worry if you’re not good at math or have no background in physics. Just take a commonsense guess. How much water do you think it took to create this fog that surrounds you?
Now, are you ready for the answer?
A few ounces.
The total volume of water in a blanket of fog one acre around and one meter deep would not quite fill an ordinary drinking glass.
How is this possible? First the water evaporates, and the resulting vapor then condenses into minuscule droplets that permeate the air. In that one-acre block of fog, one drinking glass’s worth of water disperses as some 400 billion tiny droplets suspended in the air, creating an impenetrable cloak that shuts out light and makes you shiver.
This is exactly what happens with certain painful or difficult experiences.
Human beings are remarkably adaptable. Most of the time, when negative events occur, we are able to learn from them, shrug them off, and go on with our lives. The experience simply evaporates, leaving us a bit older and wiser.
But not always.
Sometimes, especially when we are very young, we have experiences that we cannot shake. Even if they seem insignificant — no more substantial, you might say, than a glass of water — when these upsetting experiences evaporate, they then condense into billions of droplets of anger, fear, self-doubt, guilt, and other negative feelings, surrounding us with a suffocating blanket that suffuses every aspect of our lives for years to come.
We call this the fog of distress.…
The above is an excerpt from the introduction to a brand new book, coming on April 3.
Coauthored with two remarkable psychologists, the book does three things.
It explains what that fog of distress is and where it comes from.
It explains what it takes to make it go away.
And then it walks you through doing exactly that.
I can’t wait to share the whole book with you!
Next Tuesday, I’ll tell you about my coauthors, reveal the book’s title, and the cover, and the mystery celebrity who wrote the foreword … and also share the story of a weird lifelong psychological malady I suffered from myself—until the good doctors relieved me of it in a matter of minutes.