I wrote a few months ago how the devastation of miscarriage led me to therapy as one avenue of healing. During my mid-week session yesterday, I was able to really notice the ways that I’ve grown, all in unexpected ways. Here’s my rundown of the top three lessons I’ve learned from my time on the couch (okay, it’s a really a chair, but you get my point).
1- Focus on your Self. I know that sounds super simplistic and obvious, but I have a feeling many of us can name a myriad of ways that other people and circumstances piss you off. The reality is that the more you give energy to that, the more you are affirming that they are the keys to your happiness and the more you abdicate your responsibility to Self. Simply put, worrying about all the external means that you’re not focusing on the internal.
2- Discover what brings you authentic joy. Before therapy, I hadn’t really thought about what was missing in my life. I could name all the things I felt responsible for and how I derived validation from them. I could give a bucketload of reasons about why I couldn’t do the things I may have wanted for myself. But my therapist challenged me to list those things that I wish I had more time/money/space/opportunity for and asked me each week how my progress on those were going. I found that by naming what I wanted and then being accountable to trying was an important catalyst in discovering where my passions lie. I’ll give 1,000 cool points to any reader who can glean what those passions are. Hint: Think about the trends in my posts since January.
3- Reclaim your agency. My therapist gave me this exercise where I had to list all of the decisions that I wasn’t making and was depending on my wife to make. At first, I couldn’t understand why she assigned it to me or how it would help me. But I did it anyway and got to see in black and white how I had fallen into a victim trap by acting as if I couldn’t make decisions that actually mattered to me. Now I’m not saying that I have swung the pendulum to being super assertive about whether we buy broccoli or Brussels sprouts (the latter are my fave though), but it gave me a chance to see all the areas where I could stand to be more vocal and as a result, honor my needs and choices. I am a recovering co-dependent so this is major for me.
This is where I stand today, and I am thankful for these truths.