Wellbeing words: Better?

It’s an epiphany.

I feel that my journey with therapy has been punctuated with moments of “Oh, I get it” and I have spent a lot of time working towards and waiting for those moments that seemed to give me the reason for keep coming back, a meaning and a purpose. As long as I am learning then it’s worth the time, the energy, the money and the weeping.

However, equally there have been times of doubt. When I see those “ah ha” moments and feel, after the euphoria, has died down, “well that was all well and good and I am sure that the “shift” is worthwhile deep inside me but what has really changed”? How is my life now better for knowing this? Is my life getting better? 

When I struggle to see results in my wider world I have always had a crisis of confidence that this is worthwhile because I want to see “benefits”. I keep going back because I do know that, in my interaction with the world, I have benefitted from the lessons I have learnt about myself and I am healthier in my relationships and my choices. However, there has been this underlaying feeling that this is somehow meant to eventually make my life better?

I am sure I am not the only one to hold this, potentially secret desire, that therapy will solve things and that my life, whatever that is, will come into focus. Therefore surely, if I get those sorted then my life will get better.

Get better?

I am not sure that I even really know what that would actually look like, other than the things that I go to therapy to resolve; crippling fears and insecurities, somehow I’ve stopped this from manifesting in the way I “think” it should. I am not waiting for it all to be resolved before living the life.. well not entirely… but I do know that this conversation happens in my head, as time marches by. 

I am conscious that I can use the therapeutic process to measure achievement as well. I can reflect on the reflections that I’ve done and (you should know I am an over thinker) chart a progress from “unseeing” to “seen”. There is much to commend myself for in the path I’ve taken and the work that I have done. I am proud of myself. However, how is it working? to what end is it heading?

I have discovered in this latest “ah ha” episode that as well as working on the inside of myself I am also projecting this work into an outer manifestation of my overall life. As if there is a reciprocal agreement in place. I do this and get these successes and then there will be a corresponding return or result that I will be aware of that comes directly because I have resolved this particular knot or issue or seen this pattern. 

Remove, release or let go of the pattern and given time….. I will see the result come back to me in a shift in my life. And this is true. I have witnessed this in my life. Unravelling those pesky patterns and seeing what no longer serves me or my best interests has led to a degree of ease and most wonderful the befriending of my anxiety attacks, an understanding of why they materialised and their cessation. To make the connection that my bodies reaction to my refusal to listen to what was harming me and make changes, led to the equivalent of it screaming at me – the anxiety. 

Once I did eventually understand what listening felt like and acted on it, made the changes I needed, I did get this reciprocal response. I listened and responded, my body stopped screaming and in making friends with the anxiety, through therapy and work, I didn’t need that reminder and that has made my life better.

However, that type of “better” feels different. Something arrived, that in the starting, actively made my life worse and in the cessation, made my life better but I am not entirely satisfied. I keep feeling there is something more and something that I am missing or not noticing.

You should also know that this is pretty much the premise for why I started in therapy. “What is it that I am not seeing?” So the fact that this comes round again, may not be the surprise that I feel it might be! However, working on the understanding that, whether this is a pattern or a guide, it felt important to not ignore it. As I have just described, this has not worked well for me in the past.

It has sat brewing. Not actively worked on but sitting and nagging at me. Maybe nagging is too strong a word but tugging maybe kinder. That was until a run a week ago. I run a number of times a week, first thing in the morning and I do it because I know exercise is physically good for me. I also know that running is mentally good for me. I can see the difference in the way I deal with things and often as I am running, things become clearer or I see what I have not been seeing, so this is a good thing.

On this morning my thoughts again returned to this feeling that life needs to be getting better, don’t I deserve it for all the effort that I am putting in? When will things turn out right? On and on with each pounding step over Wimbledon Common. I cannot tell you how the “knowing” arrived. I can only tell you that I suddenly saw it all and all formed, rather than slow coming together of threads and connection until the picture comes into focus.

I go to therapy to build a stronger connection to self and that strengthening has nothing to do with the life I live. My life may change as a result of this strengthening but that is in the choices I make not the therapy itself. I appreciate that there is overlap and consequences but when I feel into the emphasis or the focus of why I do this, it’s not to get a better life but to better my connection with me. 

To remove all the overlays and anything that I have put in place to obscure that self and to build such a strong bond that nothing the external world throws at me can shake my personal sense of belief and everything that it can offer me can be embraced willingly and deservedly.

This moment has truly released me from the foraging for signs of my life getting better as a consequence of therapy and indeed as a consequence of other work. Other than seeing anything external to myself as a reflection of me and my abilities to see how it has supported me in this endeavour and how successful I’ve been.

Not only that but it has taken my appreciation and gratitude of my circumstances to a deeper level and therefore a sense of contentment to where I am today. I have an understanding of what it is I want to manifest in my life but in understanding the work I have been doing in strengthening my bond with self then these things feel possible on a more real level and not as a reward.

It has made me more conscious of the value of the work that I am doing on myself and calmer that I see the results and the rewards are within me not outside of me. 

I am seeing what I need to see and what I see is me.