I had an interesting insight the other day as I spotted an old pattern that had popped up and taken root unnoticed. Sitting with a complex and long term challenge, I noticed I had fallen into the trap of looking for THE answer. It’s a familiar pattern from the past, this grasping at one thing which apparently doesn’t work, then another, then another. It was a real ‘ah-ha’ moment for me, noticing my deep desire for things to be different, and the merry-go-round I had got on to in my quest for a simple and complete resolution.
What really struck me was that the latest ‘solution’ I had hit on was actually not new at all. It was a re-hash of practices I was already deeply familiar with, just in new words. I notice this often in therapeutic work too, new theories come out and it’s all very exciting, until I sit deeply with them and realise they are a different map of the same territory and that the different approaches all meet at the back door. This does not lessen their usefulness, it just means they can be additions integrated into my already skilful practice to enrich it and provide more options.
As I reflected on what was going on, it came to me that what was missing was trust. Trust in myself. Trust in life. Trust in the dynamics of what was happening, in knowing that nothing stays the same and that I am not and never will be stuck.
Opening myself up to the pain of wanting things to be other than they are was very useful. Instead of finding ways to move away from the experience, turning towards it and feeling it in all of its intensity, trusting myself to know what is good to do, was liberating.
Now don’t get me wrong. I will continue to ponder, to research, and no doubt to try new things. But now I am once again connected to the knowing that they will not be magical. There is no wand that will cure all ills, There is, though, a groundedness and strength in knowing that I can trust my intuition and wisdom, and base my thinking on my sense of what is good to do.
I sense this insight is useful for more than just me. It’s a common issue in psychotherapy that clients come looking for THE answer, and want it providing for them. It’s a disappointment as they realise it may be a little more complex, and that the prime responsibility stays with them as the person living their life. And yet, these realisations open up the potential for a lively and enabling collaboration that changes lives, boh theirs, and mine.
For psychotherapy delving deeper than simple solutions and temporary fixes, get in touch.