I was inspired this week by a quote that read in part,
“find something deep within yourself that is truly you and cling to it”
I wasn’t initially sure why it was so inspiring or why it spoke to me but as I found myself repeatedly going back to re-read the quote, I began to ask myself a few questions.
How do I look within myself?
How do I know if I have found “something” that is “truly” me?
What do I do with it once I find it?
I tried not to make it a big thinking exercise (as I am known to do!) but instead just let the questions stay in my mind all week. However, with a busy work week and various other demands on my time, I often found myself moving in automatic pilot and not thinking about it at all. When I would stop and take a minute to breath, I would try to let these questions float through my mind, again and again. Pretty soon, instead of getting to work and not remembering the drive, I found these questions bouncing softly around in my head the entire drive. As I interacted with people throughout the week I felt the questions in the background, gently impacting how I spoke and more importantly how I felt.
And then eventually something else truly remarkable happened! I found myself noticing when I felt like myself and when I felt like a fish out of water. I could identify the sense of ease when I was in a groove and things were lining up for me and I could also identify when it all felt difficult, disconnected and my sense of myself was nowhere in sight.
Although certainly not all of the time, these questions seemed to help me become more aware of myself and identify a sense of calm.
As a therapist I meet people all of the time that feel they have been disconnected from themselves and tell me things like:
“The only thing worse than depression, is pretending you are not”
“Being depressed is like wanting to be alone, but being afraid of being lonely”
“I’m not comfortable in my own skin”
“I don’t feel like I’m in control”
Stated simply, therapy can be a time that can both validate and inspire both the therapist and the person seeking therapy. The therapist is not the leader or the one with all of the knowledge, but rather the co-author of the story. Therapy can assist us all in finding that “something” or “somethings” that remind us of what and who we truly are, and with that knowledge feel a sense of self.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” Maya Angelou