karen header 3

Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

Musings on the Life Unlived

Though I haven’t read the book, here are a few excerpts from the prologue of MISSING OUT: IN PRAISE OF THE UNLIVED LIFE by Adam Phillips (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013). Although some of you may scratch your heads as you read—Phillips is a complex, deep thinker and philosophical writer—I hope you’re able to appreciate how you can use these concepts to help in resolving your eating and body image problems.

On it being okay to want and not have what you want: “What we fantasize about, what we long for, are the experiences, the things, and the people that are absent. It is the absence of what we need that makes us think, that makes us cross and sad. But we [also] learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like.”

On creating the story of our lives: “There is always what will turn out to be the life we led, and the life that accompanied it, the parallel life (or lives) that never actually happened, that we lived in our minds, the wished-for life (or lives): the risks untaken and the opportunities avoided or unprovided. We refer to them as our unlived lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us, but for some reason—and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find and give the reason—they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives. Indeed, our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. We become obsessed, in a new way, by what is missing in our lives, and by what sabotages the pleasures we seek.”

On the connection between frustration and satisfaction: “Missing out on one experience, we have another one. And then the comparisons are made. We choose by exclusion. The right choice is the one that makes us lose interest in the alternatives, but we can never know beforehand which the right choice will be. When we are frustrated, the unlived life is always beckoning; the unlived life of gratified desire returns as a possibility. Waiting too long poisons desire, but waiting too little preempts it; the imagining is in the waiting…Wanting takes time; partly because it takes some time to get over the resistances to wanting, and partly because we are often unconscious of what it is that we do want. But the worst thing we can be frustrated about is frustration itself; to be deprived of frustration is to be deprived of the possibilities of satisfaction…So before our satisfaction, it is our frustration we need to turn to.”

Don’t be shy about doing a second reading to let Phillips’ concepts sink in.

Reducing Anxiety
Do One Thing Differently to Promote Change

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

shelf new

EBProfessionalBadgeLarge

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy