This year has been such a washout! It’s been a challenge. It’s been many challenges. Huge ones, little ones and in between ones. Some days have felt so heavy and long, yet as this year is winding down, I’m also baffled by how fast it’s flown by!
Back in March when lockdown hit, I went into overdrive thinking “how can I help everyone in this difficult time?” I looked for ways to extend myself to people and make myself available so that no one would suffer alone. Luckily, after taking some time out to reflect on what was happening for me, I soon realised that this was a knee-jerk response and a deep rooted part of my conditioning, that comes up when I feel stressed or challenged. Being “strong” and being a helper is what’s got me through difficult times in the past.
Knowing this about myself and understanding, from a rational point of view, that I can’t possible help everyone, I took the opportunity to slow down and really tend to myself and my own process. It’s not easy changing lifelong patterns of behavior. For me to put boundaries up around my time and protect my energy levels felt scary. “Who will I be if I’m not the one who’s there for everyone?” but I also knew that me doing this work would ultimately lead to me being more present to myself, my family and my clients.
What I’ve witnessed this year is a total stripping away of our defenses. As every part of our lives have been threatened; our health; safety; work; lifestyle and even our most basic rights of living, we have all been forced to really sit with ourselves and all that is unresolved within us. This has not been easy, and for many it’s not been welcome. But for me personally, there is some gratitude for this opportunity. It’s well known in therapy that most people will not choose to change or address what’s really going on inside, unless the burden of living becomes so painful or difficult that carrying on seems impossible. In a way, as much as this year has taken from us, it has also been like a huge mirror, held up to show us all the things in our lives that aren’t working, all the unresolved longings of our inner selves and all the ways that we run, hide and distract ourselves from life.
The challenges of this year have been an invitation for me to go deeper, to learn to be more present and to allow the inner unfolding in a more conscious way. One part of this has been starting an experiential course in Compassionate Inquiry with Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian trauma and addiction expert, who’s approach to therapy and healing is nothing short of groundbreaking. I’m only 2 months in to the year long program and I’m already blown away by the depth and powerful effects of this model. I’m very excited to see where this learning will take me, personally as well as professionally. I am also rediscovering my love for poetry, as a means to express what’s on my heart, in succinct and meaningful ways. As the world is closing more and more doors outwardly, I am opening and going inwards to bring forth more of what is real and true. Is it easy? No, it’s really hard work. Brutal at times. That’s how I know it’s worth it.
How has this time been for you? Has it brought up unresolved feelings from the past, niggling longings or discomforts? Good! Consider these unpleasant feelings gifts from your True Self, calling you home. If you want to explore them together, feel free to get in touch for an initial consultation.