Friday, June 8, 2012

A Matter of Discipline

Reflecting during his time in the psych hospital in St. Remy, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo, “Where I must follow rules, I feel at peace.” Though he was an incredible artistic genius, Van Gogh really struggled with relationships, emotions, finances, and the overall handling of his own life. In the confines of a safe place where he was being cared for, where expectations were clear and limits were set, he flourished. That is true of our psych patients today. At work we often discuss how people whose lives are utter chaos "on the outside" do better in the structured environment we provide. As in the case of psych patients, some people need others to define the structure or rules; others not so much. But whether internal or external, we all need to have some discipline imposed on us. I find that when I make a “to do” list, i.e. set up some goals for the day, which are sort of like my own little daily rules, it helps the day go better. Vincent was filled with insight.

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