We Build A City


We Build Our Cities From Within

Every city on the earth begins with a need.  It begins with an observation.  Someone has a thought and acts on that thought.

When we look within, we’re cities ourselves.  Cities of thought, observation and needs that need to be met.  We are the beginning of our societal constructs because individually we are brilliant and complex constructs that spring from thinking, from action, from direction.

But when our thinking isn’t quite able to build strong houses, we can’t build skyscrapers.  We can’t build mighty pyramids.


It All Begins With A Blueprint

You can’t build anything without a blueprint.  The important instructions that remind yourself how to do it make construction possible.  It’s the same with mental health.  You have to build on solid ground, on a firm base, on bedrock.  You can’t risk all your hard work ending in a heap of dust.

Where do we begin?


One  Brick At A Time

When you’re attempting to build a great big building, you have to begin with a single brick and go from there.  It doesn’t matter what you’re building.  It begins with the simple act of making a decision to place the first brick.

Of course, you can’t even place that brick until you’ve prepared the site.  It is therapy, it is reality, it is work to get your site prepared to take that first brick.  Remember, building begins with a decision and the first decision to make is where do I put my construct?


First You Have To Be Able To Get There

So you find a spot but unfortunately with all construction, there’s usually some sort of problem.  You can’t get to your site.  It may require building a road so that you can drive that first load of bricks to your new site.  And do you feel able to do all the difficult things it takes to make that road possible?  It takes so many things: felling trees, blasting rocks, leveling land, pouring cement, asphalt — why, the list of jobs just to get to the site seems endless, but if you have the right people that know their jobs and understand where you want to go, then the jobs you have to do get a lot easier.

You’re making commitments and decisions.  You’re the foreman.  You’re the one who’s responsible for this project and you’ve got a lot invested in making this happen.

Think of the people that help you.  They’re professionals.  They’re interested in making this road get there so that construction can continue.  And they know how it should be done.  If you don’t know how to do all the jobs to get there, then you need them.  You need professionals to show you how it’s done right the first time so that you can get things done.


You Need A Surveyor To Show The Way

Consider the surveyor.  A surveyor plans out all the dimensions and distances that you’ll have to work within so that your road is properly placed.  They set the boundaries so that you aren’t building in the wrong place.

That first step is critical.  When you need assistance so that you aren’t confused and making initial mistakes that have consequences later on, a mental health professional that understands what you need to do can help you set those boundaries so that you’re making the most of your efforts.


There’s A Reason For Traffic Fines In Work Areas

Taking it slow.  Making sure there’s not a problem with traffic flow.  Allowing for trucks, cranes and other necessary equipment to be able to reach the construction project.  If you can’t take it slowly in the beginning then everyone that’s associated with the project aren’t able to do their jobs properly.

Making sure that things happen in their appropriate time and within a schedule is the single most important function of the foreman and remember, you’re the foreman.  So you need to understand the project very well so that bottlenecks don’t happen.  You have to make sure everyone knows what you need so that they can make it work.  And the most important thing when you’re in therapy is to know where you’re headed, what you need and what it takes to get there.


Following The Plan

Sometimes plans change and the foreman needs to follow a new and altered plan to get there.  When you’re building a highway to get to your destination you might need to have a bridge that can span a creek, a river, a mighty seaway.  When you need a bridge, you get a bridgebuilder, not a pavement professional.  You need to know how to get over that obstacle and get to the other side.

Again, that’s why we have professionals that can help us follow the plan.


What To Build?  Cities, Or Ruins?

It’s easier to make a pile of rubble than you think.  All you need is a pile of bricks, no plan, no help, and no idea of what you’re doing.  That’s the easy path.  After all, it’s a lot easier to give up on a construction project than to put all that work in and make it happen.  Maybe you’re not interested in building a mighty city.  And that’s perfectly all right.  But putting all your building materials into a pile and then crying over the fact that you have no finished building is totally your fault.


You Can’t Stop Once You Start

Oh, lordy, it’s so easy to get halfway through construction.  Everything goes swimmingly.  You’ve made it to the site with the help of your professionals, you’ve begun making the project work and you feel good about where it’s going.

And then you have a bunch of people go on strike.

You can’t move the project along when your workers are out striking.  They want more than you think.  They want attention.  They want all of your attention.  So they’re out there preventing every single other element of your construction from reaching you until you meet their demands.

In therapy it can be easy to begin, and seemingly impossible to make any headway once you do begin.  It’s not always you: it can be outside influences and situations.  It could be anything.  So getting on track again is critical.  You have to address whatever it is that’s preventing you from moving forward and usually that’s something you’re not quite prepared for.  It is absolutely critical to work with your team to overcome whatever it is that’s causing the problem.  And usually, the problem is something that you either fear or misunderstand.  But once you’re back on the path and reviewing your plan — and have worked with whatever caused the ‘strike’ in the first place — then you’ve got things back on track.

So, just what are you building?


Building Your City Takes Time And Urban Planning

Time is something that few foreman have very much of.  And a foreman could certainly use a whole lot more.  But when you’re building a great cit, it just makes a great deal more sense that large-scale planning takes precedence over the small.  It’s more important to make well-planned smaller steps that lead to your result than beginning grand buildings all over the place without a plan.


What If A City Is Simply Too Much?

Cities are many things.  Beautiful.  Ugly.  Filled with museums or urban blight.  Dreams of the future and obvious failures of the past.

If you’re not sure about a city, then what about a country house?


Being Comfortable With The Small

I don’t personally like the grandiose anymore.  I certainly used to.  When I was manic, when I was out of control, I loved the idea of bigger is better.  But that’s changed.

If you’re a foreman on a smaller project, you’re still a foreman.  You still have plans to follow, experts to consult.  You are still in charge.

But a city can begin from the placement of a single building.  As a matter of fact, that’s how they all begin.

If you’re responsible for a small building, you get a gift in the sense that rather than worry about size and ostentation you get to do the small and meaningful.

Simplicity.  Elegance.  Who knows where your therapy will eventually lead?  No one knows.  But when you have a simple plan that’s executed with complete understanding and commitment from everyone involved, you have the beginnings of a great city.  But until then, you would be content to live in a place where you — and your dreams — can grow.  And that’s how you eventually build a city from a single, internal and wonderful beginning.

Listen to your experts.  Find and build the right road.  Make small leaps and make small progress and eventually you’ll come to find the dream realized.  Or at least dreams that are not in ruins.



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