Friday, January 7, 2011

Nobody can tell you how. Not really. Over time, a good therapist may be able to give you the tools for you to come up with your own solution, but that’s not the same as saying therapy is the answer.

That’s why this shit is hard. You gotta do the work yourself, one shovel full of crazy at a time.

from dearcoketalk

I think this is part of why it can be hard for me to describe what therapy is or what I do as a therapist. Because the one thing we really want - someone to tell us *how* - is the exact thing I can't actually do.
I have tools that work for me, ones that didn't work for me, ones that are interesting but i haven't tried yet, ones I know about from other people's use - a pretty extensive repertoire, really - But I have no idea what the process will be like for someone else and even if we can come up with a bunch of great things to try *you* still have to go back into your life and *do* it. In my estimation any good therapist is clear on that - that there's a big difference between a therapy session and doing the work in your own life - so what's the point?

Well, she says it: This shit is hard. Fucking hard. Self awareness isn't anything like the 'think happy thoughts' spirituality permeating our culture. And it's not genuine if your sense of yourself is just based on general psychological theory or smart things other people said. Spirituality and psychology can be useful diving off points but it's always hard to look at yourself with the glamour and sparkles stripped away. It's hard to strip yourself down to the bones and then stand there still long enough to notice something useful. No matter how familiar you might be with the concepts of selfishness or cruelty or pain and other undesirable human experiences when you see them attached to you, it hurts.

There is a clear difference for me between doing it and not doing it. Being committed to self awareness and not being committed. Talking about it isn't enough. Being interested isn't enough. But it takes just as long sometimes to figure out what committed really is for you and what it isn't as it does to actually then proceed with the nitty gritty. It's unromantic. And i'm not even talking processing trauma or being emotionally stunted or dependent. Just plain, everyday life done consciously - pursuing self awareness is overwhelming.

So why do it alone?


Tammie said...

Living life consciously is a wonderful stance. My sense is; what overwhelms us is when we avoid true feeling. I am not suggesting getting lost in emotions and emoting, but feeling and becoming intimate with ourselves inspires something more grounded.

Unleashed said...

Ultimately, I agree. But I know the initial transition from avoiding feeling to turning into it can be really intense. I wouldn't have persevered without a community or a wise heart somewhere that had already found themselves on solid ground by way of choosing awareness.

When we trip that crazy, panic moment and look around for confirmation and find someone feeling perfectly calm, maybe even amused, certainly not freaking out - it's so much easier to let drama and overwhelm go and learn something.

Although, it's not always in the form of an actual person. Your pictures and words have that grounding effect. Which has transmitted to me the grounding effect of paying attention to the details of the natural world. In a similiar way, words can ground or light me up or that ecstatic and dynamic combination of both.

Unleashed said...

Which reminds me of my original thought - living life consciously can manifest in endless, endless ways - the uniqueness of each person is so alluring to me as they unfold. that it can be fierce and simultaneously delicate (like the little prince's rose)- and deserves to be attended to - but not by being told how to do it - prescribed to - which is suffocating and eventually stifles - but by being celebrated, supported, empowered by having a witness and grounded by knowing yourself and how you are not alone.

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