A New Year..... What Now?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jayne Phillips, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Dip Couns, MBACP Registered
29th December, 20120 Comments
As we approach a New Year, there can be a strong pull within us, of wanting to make changes and a need to feel that we are going to be different in some way; do things differently. Perhaps we want to join a gym or change our job, end a relationship or start a new one. We can feel a need to ‘spring clean’ or to detox.
However, what happens if we bring in the New Year and things feel, well, just the same? The stirrings of excitement begin to subside and we feel the old life creep around us again. We get pulled into the same routine with the same patterns of behaviour that bring us the same results time and time again.
For some, we can feel we are letting ourselves and others down because we have not made the changes we thought we would. The New Year Resolutions are a distant memory.
It is important to acknowledge, that it can be really difficult to make changes and do things differently. This can not only put pressure on ourselves but also put unwanted pressure on our loved ones. Never mind the pressure we put on ourselves to do it almost overnight. ‘If the changes are not made by the end of January, I give up!!’
If we think about how much time and effort we put in everyday, living with negative messages in our heads and our hearts. It goes without saying that we may need to put as much time and effort into changing those messages and making the necessary changes to feel more fulfilled and content with who we are.
Yes, using a New Year is a great way to get ourselves motivated to move forward in a more rewarding way in life. But hey, we know the New Year feeling is fleeting and before you know it, that feeling is gone. It is important to hold onto that strong sense of wanting to create change within ourselves. Whether it is January, February, March or April, we have the resources within ourselves to create change.
When we start to look more deeply at what makes us unhappy or feel unsettled within ourselves, it can feel a little bit like disturbing the earth. We begin to look at our garden and think about digging it up even though most things seem nicely settled. Why dig it up when it is doing just fine? The garden has the basics of water, light and things are surviving even though they no longer bloom and bring us joy.
It can seem much easier to leave the garden well alone, allowing it to grow and remain, just as it always has. For some, this may be fine and they are happy to just pull up the weeds occasionally, knowing the weeds will grow back soon. For some, however, there can be a strong feeling of knowing that this garden needs an infusion of light and life.
This garden needs some love and care, some nurturing and also time and hard work. We also know that the garden does not have to be perfect but we want it to be a place that brings us peace and a feeling of being ‘at home’ with it.
Just like the garden, there is no point in putting in all that hard work and effort without then tending regularly; maintaining what we have achieved.
To come into therapy, can be a huge step towards change but recognition that change is wanted or needed to move forward. To enable you to make sense of yourself and ‘your garden’!’
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