10 March 2008

Nothing to fix

Oftentimes, either when I first meet a client, or after we have been working together for a while, an issue that needs fixing presents itself. Usually, it is an aspect of the person that needs fixing, "I just need to fix this about myself" or "I need to change this about myself." Yet, though change is, indeed, in many ways the goal of therapy, it is not always what we think it is.

Being alive is a fluid, organic process. Our body is not the same second to second, with millions upon millions of cells splitting, dying, changing, and being born. Why should who we are be any different? We become stuck in our lives when beliefs about ourselves become entrenched. The same truth can be both terrifying and liberating: we are not one thing, but many.

As I sit typing these words, I am a woman in my thirties, a therapist, a wife, a resident of Portland, a friend, a daughter, a neighbor, a reader, a writer... the list goes on and on and on. So I am truly none of these things. I am actually an emerging consciousness moving through space and time, the origin of which is still a mystery. It is that very mystery that allows for beauty and happiness in life.

In therapy, we are often seeking to fix, both as client and practitioner. But life is much more fun, rich, and satisfying when we instead make it our mission to discover, to live, to love. Finding out what gets in the way of that natural movement is the work both of therapy and of life.

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