Dear You

Hello fellow human!

This is the first post that I’m writing, and though I wasn’t sure what to write about, I think I’ll write about why I became a therapist, and what I hope to achieve by putting myself in contact with others.

Through my travels and my work as a support worker, I’ve learned a lot of things. The first is that people are people. No matter where we are from, no matter how well or poorly we are treated, no matter what our mental or physical capacity is, we are all kind of the same. And we all deserve each other’s respect, and love, and care.

I don’t mean get-into-each-other’s-pants love. Or feel-about-everyone-the-way-you-do-about-your-kids’ love.

I just mean that everyone benefits from being loved for simply being there. They do. You do. The world does.

This mad universe made you, just the way you are. And there’s never going to be another one like you. In any universe or any dimension. You are you.

So how does this relate to therapy?

Well, I think it’s that I hear and see every day how people are quite hurtful towards each other. Often unintentionally. Generally, without even meaning to. We are often just so caught up in ourselves, in our habits, in our conditioning, that it becomes quite hard to take a step back and communicate what we want, what we need, who we are.

And so, the ones in front of us often don’t understand these things. They often don’t hear us – don’t hear what we are asking for, how we need to be treated – how we hope to be loved. And if they don’t hear us, how can they give us what we want and need.

In return, how can we give ourselves these things if no one ever gave us that opportunity? How can we learn that it is safe to travel within, to really listen to ourselves? What do you learn if those closest to us can’t listen to themselves? What do those around us learn if we can’t listen to ourselves?

The spiral moves. We follow.

When I noticed this, really felt it and understood it, I felt that I would either be crushed by the sadness of it all, or that I could just start chipping away at the mountain with the toothpick of my own, minuscule but persistent efforts. And maybe others would do the same. And maybe, through some general participative action, the world would change. The mountain would crumble because of an army of toothpicks – turning the boulders to sand and letting it wash into the sea.

I am alone. I wonder if we all have this in us. This voice that tells us how small we are. How insignificant. How powerless. Where did we learn this I wonder? And to whose benefit?

It makes me think of the small child, told not to trust themselves because they are too small to understand the big big world. Too small to know.

And there is a truth in it. We are all alone. And yet we are never alone.

We are all alone, and yet we are never alone. Even when we are in a desert, sweltering under the sun, many many miles from the closest village, we are not alone. There is still Us – all the ones inside of us that we hear in our heads, and feel in our guts – the ones who take control of our lives and move us along our winding paths.

So why not start listening – start paying attention not only to the universe outside, but to the universe inside as well – Why not start reminding ourselves of our fundamental uniqueness, and our fundamental belonging.

Within us, we can be at sea. We can be embraced. We can be alone. We can be fractured. We can be all of these at once. We can be none of these too.

You are not distinct – either within yourself or without yourself. It’s all one swirling mist of particles interacting in myriad ways that is too beautiful, too complex and too sublime to understand.

This, I feel, is one of the deepest experiences I’ve ever had the fortune to experience. And holding it is difficult. Communicating it is even harder.

In becoming a therapist, I’ve learnt a few ways to communicate with people and with myself.

And I am constantly learning how to use this to the benefit of each person I come into contact with.

It’s small action that leads to great change.

Breaking something is fast and bloody.

Changing something is slow and kind.

We can become impatient, and angry, and vengeful. We can rage, and shout, and punch the walls. We can complain, and diminish, and shame. Throw glasses and plates against the walls. Push past people on the moving train. We can do all these things too. Sometimes, we might even say that others brought us to it.

Ego

And yet, if we do this, things will only continue to weaken, split and break under the pressure we exert – like a thin sheet of glass under the sudden blow of a hammer- Lightning passing through it before the eye can see what happened. Shattered truths and fractured systems.

Instead, perhaps, sit down on a tiny wooden stool and spend a few moments to be the potter. Spin the wheel. Shape the clay. Take time. Let things rest – dry – solidify.

When it’s finally ready, bake it – and then you’ll have a whole object – handmade and perfect, with all its wonkyness and dribbly paint marks.

Kindness is the real source of good. What is the real source of kindness?

No matter how much we might want to rage against the machine, it doesn’t care. So instead, find the well that travels deep within yourself. And then you won’t need the machine. You’ll have everything you need, forever, within your grasp.

Just put your hands on the rope. Breathe deep, and pull.

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