Have any of you ever been to a therapist? Ever felt like you needed to talk to someone whose profession is based on giving guidance, maybe helping out with a word here or there or maybe just listening to all the secret thoughts you have about yourself?
I did. I have a lot of secret thoughts about myself. Thoughts of failure, insecurity, fear, defensive thoughts and angry thoughts and sad thoughts and regrets. Tons, actually, and I needed to talk them out – so – I did.
One thing my therapist said to me on a particularly self-chastising episode was, “How is that working out for you?”. I was taken aback, “How is what working out for me?” I asked defensively. “Beating yourself up. How is that working out for you?”. And just like that, something clicked. It isn’t working out very well at all. It’s one of the main reasons I was there in that office talking to this quiet stranger in the first place. The behavior I had described was leading me to feel this or that and those end-feelings were the result of that behavior; THAT.. is how THAT was working out for me.
It wasn’t working out for me at all. No. Not well at all.
That was liberating, I tell you. To realize that I could change the things I was doing and the result would be different. That I could choose to react in a different way to stimuli or situations and get a different result. That I could be happy, if I chose to try something different, something new. A new outlook, attitude or inner-dialogue. I can love myself, be happy with who and what I am and most of all, for me anyway, I can forgive myself. But I was afraid.
And this.. This led me to another epiphone recently.
When you’re in the worst of it, whatever it is, and maybe you’ve been here a hundred times before.. or a thousand times.. and you find yourself in this awful place again, and you have to go through it again and feel all the pain or guilt, all of the fear gnawing away at your confidence – smile. And tell yourself, “It’s ok”
Tell yourself, “I forgive you/me/myself, it’s ok!”. Tell yourself, “My legs are screaming in agony and I can barely catch my breath on this hill, but.. it’s ok.”. Tell yourself, “My co-worker is pushing all my buttons and I can feel the anger building, but it’s ok”. When you’re injured and you have to sit out, you have to heal – it’s ok. When everyone around you passes you and runs up the hill that you have to walk, that’s ok too. It’s ok. When you didn’t push as hard as you could have, or made an excuse not to practice, it’s ok. When you give up and quit, guess what? It’s ok.
It’s ok to hurt and to fail. It’s ok to cry and whine and bitch and moan.
Because what I’ve found is, when you see something in your way, some negative thought or accusation, some guilt or weakness and you acknowledge it and say, “It’s ok”, somehow, you can keep going. Maybe you aren’t running anymore like you wanted to, but you keep going. At the very least, you remove the whip from the hater’s hands and put a cool salve on the wound and you begin heal. All because it really is ok.. to be human.