May 8, 2018
A few weeks ago I noticed something lift. In myself, in others. In particular for the most part there was a brightening that was occurring in the people who arrive at my office for session. It is something I notice every year around this time.
There can seem to be very little magic in an adults life. We become busy with chores, the day to day of caring for ourselves and others, working, planning to play.
Happily there is a glimmer of a time in a year when there seems to be a collective uplifting of people. From my experience this glimmer shines through on a day in Spring. A day when you realize you do not need your winter jacket, that the sun is out and gives a bit of warmth. It seems like the buds will come out soon…and wonderfully everywhere you go people seem to be smiling.
People on the street and in shops start talking to each other. For those who live in cities, you know this can be rare and fleeting.
If you are reading this blog from a country without cold winters maybe you don’t know this sensation this but if you are from Ontario, like I am, you know it. In fact you may even feel it in your bones.
In a few weeks you may notice that the blossoms have come out and if you are a gardener like me something stirs within! Creatively can bloom. We can smell the earth; it is no longer frozen.
Let’s consider that the time you may come into therapy may seem a bit like winter. Life seems a bit barren and harsh perhaps. Maybe there are not so many people around and it is a cold and dark place. People, like the wind in winter, can cut you deeply. Layers of protection are needed. We crave something different for ourselves. Something with freedom, hope, warmth. A time when we can shed the layers that can seem to weigh us down.
Perhaps for some, in the right circumstance, at the right time, therapy can be a beginning, like spring. Something can lift. A time when you can put yourself first and realize that maybe being selfish is a good thing, it’s needed. Some realize that they have put others before themselves before they even knew how to speak. This may be felt early, that to take care of you takes away from others. I’m not speaking of taking advantage of others but rather to leave space for your own self care.
There can be a time in a working therapy when the world may start to be seen less in black and white. More colour can be introduced into the picture.
Being seen by another person in a way that is generous, kind and wants to understand you can be life giving.
There are layers to this experience. Like spring coming, the warm feeling can ebb and flow. Being seen by another can be confusing in a way as we may not be used to this as our “normal”. It can take time to settle in.
A wonderful man named D.W. Winnicott who helped many people both in his time and after through his writing once said “It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found”.
People can cause us deep harm and it can feel sometimes like we will not survive it. Humans are incredibly resourceful and strong though.
We many of us, have a drive to want to be found somehow. Perhaps this is arriving at a therapists office, maybe through being an artist, helping others, building a family of your own.
No matter how we find our spring, typically in some way direct or indirect it involves connecting with another human being.