Widening the view
Over the past month or so, I’ve had one client (just one, y’all) ask me directly if I see a therapist. I think a lot of clients want to know if their therapist sees other clinicians. They just don’t ask, which is why I greatly appreciated her question – which was met with a resounding YES, by the by, and I probably scared her a bit with my immediate response. But it has made me pause a bit longer, to do a self-assessment, if you will, on how my own therapy has been incredibly beneficial, especially this year in the midst of so much pain and suffering across this country.
Going into private practice is not for the faint of heart. Let’s be honest here, neither is any other life shift. That dream that you’ve been chasing is finally within reach. You’ve been sitting with the thought – for longer than you care to admit – that there needs to be a change of relationship status. Or, there’s been an unexpected hard left turn that just occurred in your career. All of these experiences require a lot of our energy, our time, and our attention.
I was recently schooled on something called resistant withdrawal. Before I admit that the schooling was needed and that I then needed to recognize that this idea had seeped into all kinds of crevices in my life, I first want to say that I truly believe that we make the best decisions we can, with the information we have at the time. I believe that with my whole heart.
Now, for my not so shining moment(s): from my perspective, the basic tenet of resistant withdrawal is rooted in rejection and also there in those roots is a subconscious, but sometimes intentional creation of distance from what you really desire. An example: you may be desiring more intimacy in your relationship (sexual, physical, emotional, intellectual, etc.). Instead of sharing that thought with your partner, you instead pull away from her/him/them, creating even more distance in the relationship. This can happen at work, within our family and extended family systems, in our faith-based communities and even in our neighborhoods.
Recently, I had a moment of awakening – my own a-ha moment – that I was actually contributing to not getting what I wanted. I had to let that sink in for a minute and was assisted by red wine and cookies for more than that minute.
The view needed to be widened. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in this pandemic year, it’s to step back, collect myself, put down the chips, take some deep meaningful breaths, and observe the widened view. The big picture. And myself within that.
Clarity comes when the view is widened.
A different, and often times, perspective comes into view.
A path becomes clearer.
Opportunities that were once blurred and unknown now come into view.