Reprinted from a poem written for a friend in residence at the Brattleboro Retreat in Vermont. This poem repeated itself in my mind for the entire two-hour ride home where, to my relief, I found paper and pen.
Cognitive distortion is used to describe a pattern of thinking that shifts events into a negative framework; leading to feelings of sadness, anger and hopelessness. There are many forms but one is the all-or-nothing or black-or-white of extreme thinking where there is no middle ground.
There is a terror of the mind that clouds reality and gives shape to lie. Black, dim emptiness hangs heavy like a veil to filter out the truth. Evil throbs in tune with bleak despair to magnify the rage. Retreat a bit. Wait a bit. Let the soul begin to heal. When mist is blown aside the radiance within forms first a tint of gray. That bright-striped rainbow is pulsing deep within to bring color into life. Light is there. Good is there. Allow your joy to spread. Erase the error of the mind that clouds reality and gives shape to lie. -- Marilyn Paluszak
If there were anyone who could understand cognitive distortion I think it would be one of my favorites, the Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali (1904-1989).