Let’s talk about the struggle of coming to therapy and knowing you must face things when you don’t want to.
It’s hard. Often painful. Very deep “core stuff,” as we call it.
The fight against one’s self ensues:
“You must face it.”
“I don’t want to face that!”
“You have no choice.”
“I don’t want to, I’ll just push it down!”
“No, you must grow.”
The essence of ourselves emerges. The conflict and ever-present dialogue between our authentic self and the self we’ve put on all these years.
Sometimes it’s layers of defense. In our family of origin, we were not allowed to be our real self, because there was no receptacle for it. There was no one to cheer it on. To allow, enhance, or support it. No one to see and reflect back to us our pure authentic self.
Often, parents only see their own image in their children. How tricky it must be for them, stressed and without support themselves, to really see the essence of their children.
So the essence goes underground, undeveloped and unformed. It never really grows to full form, so that we don’t even know it’s there. It cannot come out, even when coaxed, because it lies submerged under layers of defensive armor.
The defense must first be recognized for what it is, a false, shallow ego structure.
Pre-therapy, you stuffed the feelings down. Who can blame you? Who can blame the adult avoiding their inner child’s howl?
Seeking therapy means you venture to face what’s inside you, and that’s a road most choose not to travel. This courageous road, with an unknown destination, has many perils: dark corners, twists and turns.
Yet the path will open for you with each step. Sometimes you may fall, but pay no attention to those missteps, new horizons will open again.
It’s scary to travel this way, so you must not embark alone. It just won’t work that way.
So let the therapy office become a safe haven. Let the therapeutic relationship become the vehicle which carries forth the possibility for your essence to emerge.