This morning a friend posted some pictures on facebook of her recent trip to Florence in Italy. (used with permission) It sparked a number of thoughts for me. I instantly remembered my own visit to Florence about 15 years ago. I think of this trip often, purely because it is one of the few times in my life when I have truly experienced what I would call ‘a sense of awe’.
It was as I was walking down a street and caught my first glimpse of the Duomo Cathedral. http://www.visitflorence.com/florence-churches/duomo.html It was truly spectacular, I clearly remember going ‘wow’ out loud, I had never seen anything like it. I wasn’t expecting it and it stopped me in my tracks. The inside of the cathedral is beautiful as is the view from the top… however, neither could meet the impact of the marble and ginormous structure.
Those who know me or have read some other posts, you will know that I long for those moments of ‘awe’. I constantly look for those moments when I meet something bigger than me, those things that cause me to stop and wonder. You will also know that I also spend a lot of time fighting disappointment when those things don’t materialise. I wrote about my disappointment when I first started rehearsing at the Olympic stadium for the cermonies… I wanted to be overwhelmed with it, and I wasn’t . A trip to Mozambique was my attempt at finding something that would take me out of myself… it didn’t and I am still trying to process that. But the Duomo at Florence did… I was reminded this morning of that… and grateful for the experience.
It also reminded me of a recent article on http://www.blackdogtribe.com/news-features/awe-therapy-could-improve-our-mental-health outlining the importance of awe therapy in helping our mental health. I could so relate to the experience and it was useful to see what the academics think about it as well.
In DBT I have been exploring a Chain of Analysis regarding my disappointment with experiences like Mozambique and the Olympics. I haven’t really got there yet… disappointment spirals quickly into despair for me. But I choose to not give up looking for my awe moments… you never know I might get another Duomo moment. If I don’t open my eyes I will never see anything. This is a battle for me, but I choose to keep looking. My friend’s picture this morning reminded me that they do exist.
Thanks for listening.