There was a show I used to watch as a child called “The Littlest Hobbo”. It was a story of an Alsatian dog who had no home. Each week the story revolved around this brilliant canine finding his way into people’s lives, hearts and homes and helping them resolve whatever issue that was going on for them at the time. He was there for a short period of time, yet the connection he made with all the different characters were so real and profound. When his job was done, he would leave them. This tore at my heart each week as the tears poured down my face with torrential force. “Why can’t they stay in contact forever, I would scream incredulously to my mother. “He has other people he needs to help”, would always be her response to try and console me. Every week I would put myself through the bittersweet experience of witnessing absolute connection the dog made with the families and then absolute heart break as they parted ways.
Many years later, I have a similar feel when I part ways with my beautiful clients who vulnerably and courageously open to me so together, we can explore their old programming’s and find ways to introduce new ways of being so they can live in alignment with their true being. This is a humbling and profound experience for me, and I am so honored to be trusted with parts of people that they are often too scared to admit, even to themselves. Together we walk through the uncharted territory until the client is safe to walk the rest of the journey themselves and we part ways.
They leave a big part of themselves with me. It is a treasured voyage to go on. The vulnerable person comes into therapy thinking they pay me to pretend to love them. The fact is it is my job to teach them how to love themselves and there is nothing more powerful than seeing someone step into their light with unconditional love for themselves. I am super blessed to be offered such a space to bear witness to the unfolding of a beautiful alchemy.
In the beginning is often a different feel all together. I often feel like people’s dirty secret. A shame they carry with them as if they are committing a sinful act. How often I hear the words “my husband, or my mother, or my wife, or my children, or my friends do not know I come here”. I am a deep hidden scandalous secret. I never book clients back-to-back because I never want one client bumping into another one in case, they know each other. I often do feel like the existential prostitute. People’s guilty pleasures. The taboo around therapy is very real!
I wonder why personal trainers or dentists do not have the same shameful anxiety around visiting them? No one ever whispers in hush tones that they are going to the gym or the dentist. Why then is it so hard to admit to going to a therapist? If there was ever anything good to come out of COVID-19 it might be that by and large, people are breaking down the mental health taboo a little. Maybe because COVID was a leveler. We are all fighting the same storm, however, many of us are on different boats. Some boats were more anxiety driven then others, however whatever boat you are in, you can understand the anxiety of your fellow sailors because COVID-19 rocked everyone’s boat and led them into turbulent seas. COVID-19 has illuminated the sentiment that I have been saying all along. There is no such a thing as a mental health issue. I believe if you are human, you have a mental health issue, it is called LIFE! Now that we have all been exposed to the real uncertainty of life and been exposed to this truth at the same time, we can all understand that life is pain……suffering however is a choice and therapists are there to help you to endure the pain without suffering it.
Is this too Taboo for you?
Life is chaotic. None of us get out here unscathed. We are all going to be faced with some challenge in our life. Loss of a loved one, divorce, health scares and real-life threatening diseases, job losses, arguments, fall outs with people we love, rejection and so much more. It can be a cruel world.
As 2022 is creeping up, I want to invite you to be bold and embark on learning how to build your resilience. Yes, resilience is a skill just like learning tennis or any other craft. I would implore you to accomplish this whilst your life is going well so that you have a bag of tools to draw on when adversity hits, because it will hit, it is that thing we call life. Reach out to a therapist or a coach and drop the dreaded taboo of the “mental health” stigma. Speak freely about your concerns and invest in the most important thing……. YOU!
In an interview I heard, they asked Warren Buffet what his best investment he ever made was. Now I was thinking some property or other monetary investment. He said his best investment he ever made was investing in himself by going to the Dale Carnegie course. You do not have to wait for crises to hit to see a therapist. Make 2022 the year you choose to invest in your personal development. Make 2022 the year you invest in YOURSELF.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that I have been in contact with this year for adding so much value to my life. It has been a real pleasure taking the journey with you into the uncharted territories that we all found ourselves in. I am hoping 2022 is a year of self-discovery, and wonder. I will not wish no adversity to you because I know that is impossible and I also know that “sometimes you find yourself in the middle of chaos, and sometimes in the middle of chaos you find yourself”.
Wishing you a wonderful silly season ahead. Stay safe, stay grateful, stay kind. I look forward to connecting with you in 2022.