First, I'd like to thank everyone who responded to last week's post regarding the biological clock. I received so many fascinating responses! You can see some of the responses on my Facebook page. I have considered the question of whether I want children in therapy, which happens to be my topic for today.
A year and half ago, I thought I was on the right path. I was dating a guy that I considered marrying and had landed a new job at a photography company. The future looked bright! However in one big swoop, my boyfriend broke up with me, a few months after the job started I was let go, and my landlord told me I could no longer live in my apartment. Distraught, I decided to see a therapist for the first time ever. I'm not exactly open with my feelings and felt nauseous going to my first session. But I went, and again the next week, and the next week, and the next, basically I've been going ever since. It has been a great blessing and provided me with miraculous shifts. My therapist has helped me examine my life and I thought I would share some of what I have learned.
1). Recovering from a breakup is not easy.
Healing from a breakup is a very personal process and the time it takes can also depend on the nature of the relationship itself. My therapist reassured me that there was no deadline. This was incredibly comforting to hear, especially because I wanted to talk about it, even when I thought, judged myself in fact, for not being over it when I thought I should be. Also, she helped me see that not only was I grieving the loss of a person, I was also mourning the loss of a perceived future.
2). Life is not a bunch of shoulds.
Observing my thoughts has been part of the therapy process. I've learned to watch out for the shoulds. "I should call that person..." "I should go out even though I feel like staying home..." "I should take on that job, even though I don't want to..." My therapist and I started talking about the word should. Should means I don't want to do something I think I have to do. On a deeper level, it signals that I am denying myself the truth and smothering my voice. Should thoughts put me in a position of being angry at myself. They also devalue my time. It has been a process, but slowly, I've started eliminating the shoulds. It feels damn good.
3). The truth is a relief.
Therapy has shown me what a relief it can be to speak the truth, even if it is difficult. In one session, I spoke about how tired I am of the photography grind. It felt so liberating to talk about my career, that I struggle with it, don't feel like hustling for it, that I feel I have other gifts to share. I felt a weight off my chest when I revealed all these bottled up feelings . It feels good to speak the truth and it is so much easier than denying, hiding, and lying.
I think if everyone went to therapy, we'd all have a bit more compassion for each other. I've realized how much pain we carry around, untold, unreleased. Some of my bad behavior that I evaluated in therapy was a result of unchecked pain. When I saw that in myself, I could recognize bad behavior in other people as a sign of their pain and forgive them for it more easily.
I continue to go to therapy and now look forward to my weekly sessions. I've gained so much insight from the process and hope to share more via this blog.