I wanted to share with you one of the important lessons that I learned from therapy…the importance of discomfort. I think it goes hand in hand with the heaping dose of patience that therapy teaches you.
Discomfort is necessary for change to happen. This fact of life has yet to fail me. Whether it be a waistband that’s too tight or a relationship that doesn’t feel quit right, discomfort holds a mirror to your current situation and gives you the insight that leads you to change. When we ignore what our inner voice is telling us, we not only allow ourselves to be trapped in unsavory situations but we also limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. The next time that you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation lean into it. Listen to what the frame of mind is telling you. Oftentimes, we limit ourselves by failing to acknowledge the truth that is right in front of us.
One of the things that I am working on in therapy is my fear of failure. Unfortunately, by some cruel twist fate you cannot work through lifelong issues without failing every now and then. This is probably one of the most frustrating things about consciously working on yourself. There is no such thing as being perfect. There is only better and sometimes better is “worse” than where you started. It’s the non-linear pathway that growth often takes. Growth, the albatross that it is, breeds an immense amount of discomfort. For every step forward, there is a potential for a backslide that will leave you reeling. In conclusion, there is no growth without discomfort.
I hope you all find peace and enlightenment in your discomfort.
I remember the first time that I encountered the phantom that is nothingness. An indescribable weight. Unlike Atlas, whose form is bent and broken under the weight of the world upon his shoulders, there was nothing there. An unspoken and unseen burden. A loss for words. A loneliness. You see, there are many burdens that swallow the soul and break down even the strongest of beings. Yet they seem to be comprehensible, but nothingness is everything without being. There is not a panacea for this malady. No finger to point towards blame. There is… .
It evokes a soft plea for help. Others don’t understand. They may have felt this nothingness at some point, yet in its non-existent uniformity it still bears weight differently for different people. Nothingness was the weight that beared down upon me the first time I ventured into my therapist’s office. It seemed as if my body defied Newton’s laws of gravity as I felt myself sinking below the couch that was meant to support me; it was a metaphor for the discomfort that permeated every aspect of my life. I barely made it into the office that day. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I was dragged out of bed and still wearing PJs. I was greeted with a hello and a sincere compliment about my ensemble. She was greeted with a deluge of tears. That was enough for me.
Very few words were exchanged that day. To the outside world, it would not be seen as progress. It would not be viewed as the inception of a strong bond. No one would see what I’d discovered for myself that day, and that’s okay. I wasn’t there for anyone else. I was barely there for myself. I understood that I found a space to cultivate the words that would slowly unload the invisible burden upon my shoulders.
The first lesson that I learned from therapy was the very fact that I needed it.
P.S. I am a firm believer in therapy…even if you believe that you are not struggling with anything in your life. Perhaps you’ve encourage others in your life to seek it out, but felt that you were unworthy of the same service. You are. I encourage you to seek out help if you need it or even if you don’t. It’s nice to share in a space without judgement.