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We do this by firmly establishing our conscious awareness deep within our true being: the heart of who we truly are. Being a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst is my day job, and from that realm I can assure you there is no formal diagnosis for being a Clot, or for the associated constellation of symptoms that manifest as what I call Clottery. Yet, still, I cannot tell you how many of the problems I treat clinically and therapeutically have to do with my clients acting like Clots, being mistreated by other Clots, or some combination of the two. In fact, I've found it's often a cyclical, ever-shifting dynamic whereby a person perpetrates Clottery in one instant and is the victim the next. It can be tempting to attribute being a Clot to circumstances such as city living. In the twenty years I've lived in New York, I've recognized times in which there was some positive benefit to acting like a Clot; I felt like I righted some terrible injustice, for example. But these were always short-term gains and usually resembled reactions to my own insecurities. In this sense, being a Clot amounts to a survival tactic. However, the more I've explored this behavior, the more I see it as an epidemic condition. In fact, rather than a tactic or skill, being a Clot is often the biggest mistake people make, and they make it every day. These were the tears that came from a deep shame of feeling so dissatisfied with myself, despite having all my t's crossed and my i's dotted. These weren't unfamiliar feelings. In fact, grief had been an undercurrent in my life, though it seemed to come on with a bang at least once a year, often during the fall season. If we have to name names, we could call it depression. In my youth, I had tried antidepressants to change the way I felt, but I found that not only did the pills take away my sadness, they also took with it my joy and inspiration. Much to the dismay of my family and doctor, after several months I had to scratch that idea. By the time I hit my twenties, I had learned to just go with it, to ride the waves of my moods as they came and hope that one day I would find a cure that worked for me. Staying busy was one of the ways I learned to cope with my depression. When I was twenty-one, I took a college class that shattered every preconception I had developed about my depression thus far.

It was called The Psychology of the Five Elements, and I only took it because of a friend's recommendation, having no idea what the class was about. And the pumps are not the last line of defense either. If the antibiotic evades the pumps, the bacteria also have enzymes that act like big cleavers that chop up the antibiotic, rendering it harmless. The antibiotic works only if it is intact. One of the most well-known cleavers is b-lactamase. It attacks and chops up beta-lactam antibiotics, which is one of the largest and most widely prescribed families of antibiotics. Penicillin and its derived compounds are in this family, and they are useless if they are chopped to pieces. The bacterial defense mechanism has another strategy as well: it can make an antibiotic impotent by loading it up with additional cargo. It adds chemical groups to the antibiotic molecule itself, which makes the antibiotic too big to pass through the crevices and crannies it needs to navigate in order to reach its target, the nucleoid zone. Antibiotics need to be a certain size, shape, and form to reach their targets. Think of them as small missiles that need to land deep inside a fortress to access an unguarded area before they explode. Of course, self- esteem is not the only term that suffers from this problem. In fact, the issue of defining what one means by a key term is quite common when people try to understand human behavior. Imagine, for instance, the damage that could be done in the following scenario depicting another definitional failure. Let us say that as a psychologist, I found a treatment that works very well for helping my depressed clients. Then, I go on to write about this new method in a scientific journal and other clinicians begin to use those techniques with their clients. Let us also assume the practitioners take great care to follow each step and do so correctly. However, later we are all shocked to find that although the suicide rate for my depressed patients was zero, the rate for these other practitioners' clients had tragically skyrocketed. The important question is, of course, what went wrong here?

The answer is deceptively simple. It is there that we discover the core values and principles upon which our life is built. For years, many of us have searched for the answers to life mastery outside ourselves, looking for foundations to give us strength, resilience, confidence and certainty. Many people turn to science and psychology to provide explanations to solve their problems. Now, however, people are awakening to the realization that there are some mysteries that remain beyond the scope of these disciplines. We have to look elsewhere. Something more is required: something that doesn't change, is powerful, and has stood the test of time. Something timeless indeed. By following this timeless wisdom, we discover something universal, unchanging and all-powerful within us. This is the real source of our confidence in this ever-changing world. Through this unchanging source within ourselves, we realize how to live happily, peacefully, abundantly and successfully. Romance, finance, parenthood, and work life are all fertile grounds for Clottery. It's my belief--hard-earned through the painful experiences of many clients, couples, families, communities, organizations, and my own life--that there's no quicker way to make life difficult than by being a Clot. This article is for anyone who notices that their behavior tends to backfire, leaving them feeling alone and uncertain as to why their seemingly warranted behavior consistently has poor results. If you're constantly using the refrain, It's not me, it's them, whenever something goes wrong, I'm here to tell you that it is, in fact, you. But that's good news; if these troubles are your fault then there's something you can do to reverse the behaviors that cause them and enjoy a happy, fulfilling life. You may have bought this article for someone else, but it turns out you're the one who needs it! One pervasive focus in therapeutic and lay psychology is narcissism as a trait we should protect ourselves from at all costs. The Most Popular blog post on PsychologyToday.

com is almost always a list of characteristics associated with narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, or bullies, along with tips to guard against such persons. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on a floor cushion, mesmerized, listening to my teacher, Marlow Brooks, talk about the season of autumn and its relationship to grief and depression. My ears perked up. It turned out to be a class on the philosophy underpinning Chinese medicine. Marlow explained that we have internal seasons as well as external ones. She was speaking about autumn as nature's expression of grief and how the season can bring about an internal sense of grief also. She said that learning to let go was something nature did in autumn and that we were invited to do the same at this time of year. My teacher explained that some people have a nature that is much like the season of autumn. In fact, she said, all people have a nature that could be likened to a season: a Summer type, a Winter type, and so on. I was intrigued and stopped her after class to tell her how much I related to the Autumn type. I wanted to ask how I would know, and what I could do about it. If you increase the size of the missiles so they can't reach their targets, you render them useless. That is exactly what some bacteria do. And there are other bacterial defenses that are even more striking: some antibiotic-resistant bacteria can change the structure or shape of the target. The incoming antibiotic, which is on the lookout for a certain shape and size, can't recognize the target--so it can't complete its task. Bacteria also enjoy a less visible benefit. They manage all of their evolving of ever more advantageous defenses and resiliency without laboratories, cross-nation collaboration, funding, or the luck of generations of scientists each furthering the advances and insights of the previous generation. Bacteria enjoy far simpler chains of decision making. The function of bacteria--put simply, to take in nutrients and replicate--depends on a chain of command. The bacterial DNA is situated in the nucleoid, the irregularly shaped region inside the bacteria.

11 The DNA has all the information needed for basic processes from replication to metabolism. By assuming that everyone understands de- pression in the same way, I neglected to tell readers that all of my clients were relatively healthy, young, intelligent, and moneyed college students who were a little sad because they had a weekend without a date or received a low grade on an exam. This population responds well to almost any type of intervention and these problems are minor ones. The problem is that if the other clinicians were treating clients who were severely depressed, economically poor, sometimes psychotic, and suffering a high degree of suicidal risk to begin with, using my techniques might prove completely useless or even harmful. If I had simply followed good scientific practice, I would have told my colleagues what I had actually meant by depression, which in this case was just feeling blue but being in pretty good shape otherwise. Then, as clinicians, they could evaluate the information more accurately and decide whether or not it was appropriate to try my techniques with their more seriously depressed populations, or at least to take appropriate precautions when doing so. In science, we call this basic step operationalizing a definition, which means taking care to define key terms precisely so that others know what we mean by them and then using those terms in a way that is consistent throughout the work. Taking the time to examine the three major ways that social scientists, therapists, and others may define self- esteem creates two advantages. First, it reduces the type of confusion I just mentioned. Second, it allows us to more clearly focus on identifying, discussing, and perhaps even enhancing authentic self- esteem. We can then embrace new opportunities that come with change and transition, and with a confidence and certainty that doesn't go away. Fortunately, an unbroken thread of conscious wisdom that stretches from the past to today is readily available to anyone who wants it. Wise men and women throughout the ages have formulated this wisdom for us. Their purpose has been to connect humanity with a universal source of timeless knowledge regardless of changing circumstances. The ancient and beautiful language of Sanskrit is one expression of this unbroken thread. Sanskrit hasn't changed over time; it is full and complete, and it retains its potency and the purity of its wisdom. People from all walks of life--from Hollywood celebrities to local cafe servers--have begun to find that Sanskrit holds out a promise of something powerful, new and beautiful. Perhaps it's the shape of the script, or the beauty of the sound, or a connection to the deep wisdom of a word, phrase or passage that wins their devotion.