Life is hard.
We know this. We hear it all the time, and yet we exacerbate the situation by being hard on ourselves. Somewhere along the way life taught us that it isn’t okay to be sad, to be scared, to be angry. We received the message that we’re not equipped to handle these emotions, or that they will be a burden to the ones we love. Therefore, depression, anxiety, and other uncomfortable experiences become the enemy. And when we operate under the assumption that we should not feel the way we feel, then we convince ourselves that we are fundamentally flawed. Talking to a therapist is a tried and true way to address the misguided belief that something is wrong with us and needs fixing.
You don’t need to be fixed.
Every troubling thought, emotion, and behavior you’re dealing with has a reason for being there. The process of change – if that change is to be lasting – begins with accepting this truth. When we can drop the judgments and instead become curious about our internal landscape and the relationships and experiences that have helped cultivate it, we experience more ease in life. Resisting what IS only creates more pain. In this way, the seemingly benign desire to “better oneself” often reflects the belief that one is not yet good enough.
You just need to be found.
Much of what keeps us from being able to lead fulfilling lives is happening on an unconscious level. Psychotherapy is one very effective way of bringing that unconscious material into conscious awareness, where we have more control over it. Tools are great; I’m happy to provide them. But they are a small part of the equation. We usually aren’t ready to use the tools until we’ve reached a deeper understanding of, and compassion for, ourselves. Carl Rogers said it best: “When I accept myself as I am, then I change.”