I am your therapist.
I listen to you in a way that you cannot hear yourself. I accentuate patterns that say “I keep doing this.” I listen to your way of being in this world. And to what you aren’t saying, and what that “says”. I remember your triumphs when you over-focus on your blunders. I shift our attention together to the unconditional, the accepting parts of you which you neglect, or even abuse. I point out your fearfulness and source your shame. I label hurts by others so you can harden them and pick them off like scabs, revealing skin still wanting to grow. I steal back self-care from "stop being selfish," rescue speaking out against harm by modeling it for you. When crap happens I call it crap so you can smell it as crap and realize who it belongs to. I draw your attention to toxic people, often those who claim to love you but who have not grown up themselves and hardly care about your hopes, dreams and goodness. I remind us both, in the midst of the cruelty, that laughter is like signing grace quietly with our hands in a room of yelling narcissists. Together we relearn to love all we’ve disavowed. And that sometimes our words bury the truth. I teach you that abuse comes from fear, that mature love takes nothing from us, that addiction numbs us from fully living. I encourage you to take risks, to hold to your best self, despite what others might think. And about thinking, I show you that you are not your thoughts, or even your feelings, you are the one experiencing them and how you experience them determines your habits and your destiny. Your thinking is what transforms pain “this saddens me” into suffering “I am not enough”. With courage, we look into and toward instead of away. Your depression and anxiety is a nervous system trying to forget traumatic injuries, but forgetting only reinforces. These injuries are often called dysfunctional parenting. Perhaps all hurts are attachments gone wrong. What I might not tell you is that all healing is spiritual, that we must kill our egos and stories so we might grow. Together we figure out what we’ve clung to we might be free of, if we let go, and that sometimes we let go when we should fight (usually for ourselves). We see that we’re never “just” angry, and that the underlying loss or fear of loss is the reality we must face. I will believe your words but only when your body is telling me the same thing. I assess whether your love is healthy, or an addiction, if your dependencies are chosen or were born from insecurity. I make sure your fear of failure - that new career or big decision - isn’t actually fear of succeeding (meaning if I do this, I may not be the same me ever again). I am not my story, my past, or what has happened to me, if I was then there would be no great people in the world, no heroes. And there are many. Maybe every hero starts by simply shouting, “Enough.” I want you to fail, but in bigger, scarier ways. You are what remains when everything else falls away…