Often, clients ask for my input on what they can do to further their progress in therapy.
“What can I be doing in addition to therapy?”
“What should I be reading?”
“Can you give me things to do during the week?”
I understand the questions. We all want to feel we have control over our lives. Therapy is often an amorphous, anxiety-ridden process of self-discovery and then integrating what we discover, then another layer of self-discovery and more integration. It’s not a straight line, but we want to feel that if we take this step and then this step, we’ll get “There.”
And where is “There”?
“There” is Inner Peace. Self-love. Contentment. Self-knowledge. Complete self-acceptance.
“There” is a place where ambiguity doesn’t scare us. “There” is where we have space within ourselves to hold life and death, wins and defeats, achievements and disappointments, love and hate.
“There” is where we can embrace who we are, who we’ve been, and who we are… becoming.
So how to we get “There”?
By being "Here."
“Here” is where you’re breathing.
“Here” is where you’re feeling, asking tough questions, grappling with the scary answers that want to make their way to the surface. “Here” is learning to have patience with yourself while truth arises.
“Here” is what you know today. It’s not all the knowledge in the world about any one subject, as if knowledge would heal us.
“Here” is talking about and facing now what happened then... yesterday, a year ago, in childhood. It’s seeing it, owning it, learning from it. Feeling the consequences - good and bad - of our choices. That’s what’s happening “Here.”
“Here” is slowly, steadily learning how to breathe through it all. It’s learning how to soothe what we are feeling in the “Here” and the “Now.”
Here’s the secret: to get “There,” we have to let go of it.
In order to ever get “There,” we have to be “Here.” We don’t get to, nobody gets to, go “There” without learning how to be “Here.”
So… what can you be doing in addition to therapy?
Be Here. Now. You’ll get There.