It’s hard to describe the feeling of this one, but I’ll try. I just feel so good after some of these sessions, watching the change happen in front of my eyes. Or more accurately from session to session. You see, when I’m seeing a client, especially if it’s just the second or third session, I have no idea who is going to walk in that door each time. So when who walks in that door has really transformed, it just blows me away. I want to drink in that feeling. And I totally do! Also, I don’t say this to make any other client think “they’re not doing it right” or something. I’d feel like a real jerk if that were the case… There’s just a lot to it, like what is their starting point? Some people are just so ready to shed layers of BS that it can happen very quickly. They’re just ripe, like a grape on the vine. Maybe they’ve done some work elsewhere or maybe they’ve been doing some reading. Or maybe they’re just tired of playing that same old character.
Anyway, I had a young woman come in because she was insecure and codependent, and she and her boyfriend had just broken up. In her words, “I was a bitch taking care of a child.” She’s super type A and he’s super laid back. She was tough to live with, and they’d been living together. She’d never gone without a boyfriend to boyfriend ever since high school, and she didn’t know how to be alone.
She came in for the second session two weeks later, and wow, what a difference. Her main shift was at work, and it was huge. She works in an intense area of the hospital, so this information that we share here is vital. And it helped right away. And being more relaxed in that setting will no doubt spill over into the rest of her life; just a matter of time and gentle practice. She was still working on being alone, though, and was definitely not comfortable with it. I just said pay attention and don’t judge anything. She can be hard on herself, and I stressed that this isn’t about that. Let’s just pay attention for now. She hung out with friends to feel more comfortable, and that’s fine. But maybe mix in a little alone time here and there just to test the waters. Even for an hour or less. And note that you’re perfectly okay. And allow yourself to feel perfectly okay, just in that moment. No big deal.
I didn’t see her for about five weeks between the second and third sessions, and this is where the real transformation had occurred. She’d actually gotten back together with her boyfriend. And yes, I know what you’re thinking, but it’s really not like that, which you’re about to see. He had contacted her, and she said she’s working on herself and they could take it slow. She said that her old self would’ve let him move back in right away, so this is already a huge change. They’re feeling it out, and she says they have to either do it right or don’t do it at all. They’re even going to see a couples counselor, my friend Molly Kasper. She’s ready to settle down, and she calmly told him, “If we do this and you move back in, it’ll be for good. And you’re free to do whatever you want, so just don’t waste my time.” And again, she said it very matter-of-factly. That’s huge in itself! That’s how she’s communicating now, and it’s totally different. It’s of a much higher quality. She simply tells him what she needs or how she feels, whereas before, she’d “hold it in, be mad for three days, and be passive aggressive.” BIG difference. Wow.
And it gets better. Then she said, “It would be nice to have him, but I don’t need him. I don’t need anybody.” BIG change there. That is not codependence; that is independence. That is freedom. We’re talking about someone who couldn’t even go lay out at the beach by herself, which tons of people do. And now she loves it! Then she said, “Even if I end up being the woman alone with lots of cats, I know I’ll be fine.” What?? This is the gift that keeps on giving. (And by the way, if that cat lady reference describes you, it is not meant to be offensive; just an innocent reference to a character from pop culture. Just covering my bases…).
Let’s finish up with some more gold. Regarding life in general, including work, which continues to be less stressful, she said, “I’m able to step back and look at it now [any situation]. I just look at it so much differently.” Nice. And we want more. “I’m not reacting from my feelings anymore, and you make such better judgments, such better decisions.” More! “And you know what? Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s really not a big deal. And when it is a big deal, it doesn’t affect me like it used to because I can use my wisdom.” This is like an infomercial. Let’s have one more, though. “There are still moments, but they’re not overtaking my entire day.” Wow, that sums of a big part of this work: we still lose our balance, but we regain it more quickly. I told her to let the game come to her and she’ll probably see life bringing her folks she can help, just by being herself. And all in the natural flow. No big deal.
Before she left, I made sure she knew never to think “I had it and I lost it” if she doesn’t feel so hot one day. And she was already on it. Moods go up and down. Stressors ebb and flow. She’ll just keep relaxing into her wisdom and doing what she’s doing and she’ll be fine. Her peace is on the rise, but nothing in nature goes in a straight line. And that’s fine, just how it is. And she likes coming in, so she plans on returning whenever she wants. So there you go. Three sessions and less than two months later, that insecure, stressed out, codependent person is gone. Gone. And it’s not me, it’s her. Her and a couple of simple facts that we learn and then gently practice living. Nice. I love my job…