I had a client the other day who spoke unconsciously but succinctly about what had brought them to counselling. She said “The ‘cataclyst‘ was…”
It was an exquisite, yet unconscious, joining of the words catalyst and cataclysm. Indeed there was a cataclysm going on in her family. I doubt any of us could join words together so succinctly if we tried. It just reminds me of what a colleague once said: “There is no such thing as a throw away line”.
Even our throw away lines say something about what we are experiencing, often outside of our awareness. Take the line, “Couldn’t be better.” Of course it is meant to be a pithy, meaningless statement – even sarcastic. However, it also has a literal edge to it as well. Often the person saying it actually feels that they couldn’t be better – encapsulating the sense of hopelessness and lack of vision forward that they feel but are not articulating.
The human mind is a marvellous expresser of our emotional state.