Evident, obvious, unseen–all beneath a microscope.
That’s how I think about my writings I suppose. I am pretty wide-open as far as the depths in which I choose to dive with each entry I compose.
As the operator and eye behind the lens of the microscope, it’s up to each reader as to how far to go, whether to leave the sight a little blurry and judge the finding through a mere glance,…
Maybe a few adjust the focus keenly, solely searching for something specific and they search until it’s found….
And still some don’t really have a mission but rather a yearning for exploration and a curious spirit. These individuals will move the specimen about all which-ways, upside-down, and backwards because there is no set way. They experiment around with what they’re given and try techniques and theories, with no set-expectation and instead choose to discover whatever they are meant to find through this experience. Usually these individuals are okay with whatever the outcome, it’s all about curiosity and exploration. (You guys are my kindred spirits, but shh, don’t tell the others!)
It’s funny, I actually have learned my own best way of finding those individuals in my life that are supposed to be a part of it in a learned way. I think I could use the same metaphor to describe what it’s like to learn about me: Evident, obvious, unseen… the microscope aspect allows for opportunity to see as closely as one chooses to see.
I worked really hard over the course of three decades to build up a wall that I never knew needed to exist initially. This wall I see both as my detriment and strength…
I’m a therapist for goodness sake! Trust me, I understand how this is unhealthy in many forms specific to my particular wall. I know I don’t allow in many opportunities for good because of this,… I also know I have been capable of keeping a lot of awful people and things out too…. No worries, I promise I’m working on a healthy balance, I do my own self-inventory and work too,… I wouldn’t assign any client to do things I am not willing to also do. I work hard to do my own work and I’m every day failing, succeeding, learning, growing…. It’s a never-ending opportunity for continual change and growth, this life.
I have read a post that has resurfaced several times on my social media that someone wrote (I did not write it and do not claim ownership or rights). I never reposted it myself on there because for me I saw that to be possibly “attention-seeking” behavior and don’t want to ruin a wonderful purpose behind this message by making it about me…. not to share with people I know and who know me personally… those close to me know and understand the message anyway, there is no need for me to justify my behaviors to those who don’t really care why to begin with, right? I did enjoy the post and thought it rang pretty spot-on, and I will share it here, in case you haven’t stumbled across it yourself:
“I suspect it is hard to love a therapist or a counselor.
We get up early and don’t always have time to drink coffee or tea over the newspaper and chat. We come home late and are often depleted. We work extra hours at times because we know there are clients who need us.
We don’t get too excited over a minor crisis because we deal with massive crisis all day. We have seen far worse.
We often don’t want to talk when we come home. And it is hard to sit down and listen to another voice at the end of a long clinical day. We don’t want to have to supply the answers or be a problem solver. We have talked all day, we have provided deep, intentional, compassionate therapeutic listening, and we have often provided treatment plans for patients that include problem solving.
There is not much left to give after a day like that.
It may seem at times that we have left all our caring, our heart, and our love at work, then come home to our loved ones empty. We have likely done this often.
But what we don’t tell you is that many times at work we are scared, or overwhelmed, or exhausted, or depleted. Scared we can’t help all of our clients. Overwhelmed that we don’t have enough emotional energy to complete everything that needs to be done. Exhausted from having to deal with angry clients, depleted from intensely emotional clients, and all the while do our best to help them.
And we don’t always tell you how the trauma we see affects us, and how stressed we are at times for the pain our clients are going through.
And if we own our business, there are endless tasks to manage to keep the business up and running. Often we juggle many roles beyond our clinical role – teaching, speaking, writing, and numerous administrative duties.
When friends want to share their stories, their challenges during our days off, it is hard not to feel frustrated and tuned out – we therapists need a break from being tuned in to others all of the time….” —Author Unknown
I omitted the sections that tied the entirety back to illuminating the therapists and stating how much we need their love/support/etc… that was the piece I referred to previously about “attention-seeking” and was a major reason for not hitting that share button immediately. I love the message and think it’s a beautiful composition, but I also have no idea where it originated, who tacked on the “look at me!” vibes at the end with all the “share this if you or someone you know is a therapist” bullshit. My peeps know what I do, and those who care enough to inquire understand why I am/do the things I am/do sometimes.
I keep my circles small, and I have one across-board rule I use for every person in my life, close loved ones or strangers, … same rule.
I am a very open person, and I will share the truth about myself open and freely…
But you’ve got to ask me.
I”m not talking a blunt and concise overview of whatever is inquired about, but rather, I’ve discovered, personally, that people who really want something, they’re going to demonstrate that and they’ll work hard to get it. I’m not going to say I won’t throw curve-balls and tests out there to see the truly invested and genuine of heart from those malicious and selfish-intents… because boy do I! And while I will not divulge what specific curve-balls those are, I will say that I have found there are a few genuinely interested and invested individuals that know pieces of myself that maybe no other being aside from myself knows…
I’m not being a dick, but I’m also not going to let anyone use me as a door mat either. It’s fairly easy to determine who really cares to explore and is curiously intrigued versus those pretending to invest in what they think you see as important for no other means but to manipulate and use/abuse you to their selfish intentions.
I began writing this as a break from doing some work outside of work, trying to balance that self-care, accountability, and means for growth with aiding my clients in doing the same for themselves.
I caught myself trying to worry about getting back to whoever’s text, call, e-mail, whatever so that I don’t appear as stand-offish or just flat out rude and inconsiderate….
I remembered that social media post and also to take my own advice in setting boundaries in order to best care for myself as priority. I’m not shit to anyone if I’m not taking care of myself first.
And a few of those contacts are people who don’t know me or what I do to the level of understanding that that person’s writings do well encompassing as far as therapists go… but I remembered my simple self-taught rule for finding who is and who isn’t willing or determined to be a part of my life. Those who belong will understand, no matter if I explain in the same moment/day or the next… just another way to weed out those who, if they have no desire, energy, effort, curiosity, drive to understand, they shouldn’t. I invest my every day into others and doing this genuinely and openly,… I’m sorry but I’m not going to waste my energy and effort on someone who is just there to soak up and take what they want and abandon ship.
I’m here to live my life best I can and become the best version of me I am capable of becoming. If you are self-centered enough to think the world revolves around you and it’s all about you,… I’m eager to be slapped with that label, whatever you choose it to be, and moved past without second thought. I used to be that person that assumed that everything revolved around me,… it was about me and what I got from every situation… and when I didn’t get what I wanted or thought I deserved, I was quick to judge and place blame on the other person/situation/circumstance and justify this reasoning for my feelings being hurt. I’d make them out to be the bad guy so I was justified for my anger, hurt, frustration, whatever I was feeling and didn’t like.
I also used to care solely on what others thought of me— to the extent of altering my true self in order to fit into the mold of what everyone wanted me to be.
I”m not that person anymore.
I am no longer that martyr.
Sure it sucks to feel that rejection or to know I wasn’t “good enough” for someone else and their standards, but that’s their shit.
And I refuse to carry everyone else’s burdens along with me.
I’m trying my damnedest to find the time, energy, motivation, love, acceptance, open-mindedness, and willingness to work on putting down and working out my own stuff,
Sometimes that means drawing a line and taking my time for me, despite what others say/think/feel/do.
I’ve got one me, and just one life,… why waste it trying to live it for everybody else, trying to be anything other than exactly who I am supposed to be.
That’s all I’ve got.
Much Love. ❤