Have you got the courage to love?
Clients often come to therapy to talk about relationships. They might want to talk about their spouse, their children, parents, friends or colleagues. Most often, they dwell on relationships that they are finding difficult.
So often we say, "If they would just..." and list the things we want from others, or the things we want them to stop doing. It is our human tendency to see the world from our own perspective and wish for it to be different. So much pain can come from the perceived gap between what we want and what we believe we get.
Sometimes through the process of hearing themselves talk through their relationship problems, clients naturally come to focus on what they themselves might do differently. It is not always a welcome insight to realise that the only person we can actually change is ourselves, but it is true. Having the courage to open our hearts to see things from someone else's perspective is an act of love. It takes gut, it can hurt and yet, what we gain usually far outweighs the discomfort we feel along the way.
An added motivation is knowing that whatever we resist will persist. Almost like a defiant toddler who is being ignored, life has a funny habit of loudly and increasingly offering us opportunity after opportunity to break old habits, right up until we do something different!
Why not have the courage to love right now? Next time you feel yourself bristle or tighten up, just breathe and as you exhale, let that tightness loosen. Going a step further, you could imagine with each breath, you are breathing in love as you stay aware of the tension. Have the courage to gently stay with what's bothering you. Giving yourself a little bit of love might just be transforming.
Contact a counsellor and find support in turning towards the unpalatable in your life.
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About Fe Robinson
Fe Robinson is a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor working in Durham and Chester-Le-Street on Wednesdays. Her mission is to enable clients to find peace and contentment, whatever their life circumstances. Fe is UKCP Accredited, a Registered BACP member and holds a Diploma in Supervision. Fe works both in the NHS and in private practice.