On a Dog Lead

Mirabelle Maslin

I am a therapist of many years' experience. I have written this collection of essays, short stories and reflections as my contribution to helping any reader to see more clearly what is happening in daily life in his or her immediate surroundings. The subjects in this collection of writings are drawn from a broad range of human experience, and they touch the daily lives of most of us, whether or not this is apparent. In our society, we are mostly helped to see what we are meant to see. But each household, be it single person or more, has much that is hidden from view, and society itself (the collective version of the household) shares many tacitly-agreed 'blindnesses'. Those who comment openly upon secrets and blindnesses find that they have a mixed reception. "The Tale of the Emperor's New Clothes" is far from having lost its relevance, and of course, we all accept that the world is not flat! Much of our understanding of life is programmed in us by what we have seen and experienced around us when we were small. Unless we make considerable efforts to find ways in which we can view this original patterning in an objective light, we are likely to continue to enact the habits and belief systems which we absorbed during our early years. Such causal links might not be obvious to those who live life without looking sufficiently beneath the surface, and the consequence of becoming aware of them can at times provoke feelings of denial and shock. However, we must accept the fundamental truth that full or partial obscurity only serves to enhance the power of the links and their consequences.

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