Have you ever been involved in a renovation?
We are currently renovating. It is such an effort and it involves us stripping everything back to its original state. It is taking a lot of time. There are so many layers to wade through and it is creating mess. We have done quite a bit of renovating in our time and we know that if we want to get the room to the place we envision then we have to put in the work to prepare it.
And prep means we have to strip it all back in order to create the canvas on which to rebuild. It is the hardest part, it’s the messiest part and it takes the most amount of energy.
The other day I stripped a wall of all it’s layers and found a name and a date. It was the previous owner who had written on this wall 30 years ago and it had been covered over by layers and layers (and layers) of wallpaper ever since.
It got me thinking that this is a bit like us as humans. We have our authentic selves right in the depth of us. Who we are is imprinted right into our soul. Yet over time, for many reasons - some good, some bad - our authentic self gets covered over in layers and layers of life. We can struggle to find ourselves underneath the expectations, the hurts, the busy-ness, the relationships, the roles we take on, the messages from other people telling us who we should and should be….etc…etc…etc.
I think that therapy can be and should be a place where these layers start to get stripped back, explored and perhaps disregarded. Yes this can get a messy process, it can be hard work and it can feel like it is never ending. But you aren’t on your own. The beauty of the therapeutic relationship is that you have someone holding the space and being with you as you spend time stripping back those layers. You will have someone to be with you in the mess, in the decisions and in the graft. You will have someone to help tidy it up (if that’s what you need) and you will have someone to wade through layers alongside you, searching out your deepest and truest self.
The work of uncovering you is the most important work you will ever do. It will be what underpins any rebuilding that you choose to take on following the stripping back. Knowing who you are, what you are about and accepting your authentic self will mean that anything you decide to add into your life moving forward can be based on the foundations that you have spent time preparing.
You may choose to change some colours here and there, you might add new fixtures and fittings or you may just simply move things around but all of this will be based upon a foundation of understanding, acceptance and freedom which comes from taking the time to uncover you.
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