What Am I Supposed to Be Doing With My Life?Posted By Tina Dubin, Ph.D. on August 15, 2013 at 12:55pm | General, Tina's Musings
This existential question comes up a great deal in therapy as though our destiny is written somewhere and we just need to figure it out. Rather than the idea that it is up to us to devise and decide what becomes of our lives. Who really knows? I was very taken by the answer put forth by Ernest Becker in his book The Denial of Death which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1974. (I shall alter it for the female gender)
“This, after all is said and done, is the only real problem of life, the only worthwhile preoccupation of each woman: What is one’s true talent, her secret gift, her authentic vocation? In what way is one truly unique, and how can she express this uniqueness, give it form, dedicate it to something beyond herself? How can a woman take her private inner being, the great mystery that she feels at the heart of herself, her emotions, her yearnings and use them to live more distinctively, to enrich both herself and (wo)mankind with the peculiar quality of her talent?
In adolescence, most of us throb with this dilemma, expressing it either with words and thought or with simple numb pain and longing. But usually life sucks us up into standardized activities. The social hero-system into which we are born marks our paths for our heroism, paths to which we conform, to which we shape ourselves so that we can please others, become what they expect us to be. And instead of working our inner secret we gradually cover it over and forget it…”
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Posted by Tina Dubin, Ph.D.
I received my doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1977. I completed my post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling Center. Since then, I have been a research associate at the Institute of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Texas, a founding associate of Family Eldercare, and have been in private practice with my husband, Dr. William Dubin, at Psychological ARTS since 1980.