I have been in therapy for more than 20 years. A friend once asked me why I continue to go to therapy — I seemed so “healthy.”
She, of course, doesn’t know me that well. She simply has my “Facebook life” and career to suggest my degree of healthiness. She doesn’t know my struggles, my past, or my darker places at all.
Nonetheless, the question seemed very peculiar to me. That’s like asking someone why they continue to eat a good diet when they seem to be at an ideal weight and in darn good shape.
For me, it is a privilege to continue to take things up in my life, consistently. Having consistent contact with my therapist, who is thankfully much brighter than me, is simply a way for me to have more contact with myself.
My life is busy. For many years, my days would start like being shot out of a cannon, ready to go conquer the world, hardly knowing what I felt, what I needed, what I wanted or how to take care of myself.
Having better and consistent contact with myself allows me know myself. It lets me have the insight to my inner world so I can make better choices, use my mind and truly be healthy.
A therapist is certainly one good thing, but there are many other ways that you can tap in to yourself on a daily basis! Here are a few ideas:
• Start your day with a four-minute forgiveness flush. Simply spend four minutes to think about your life and all of the people and incidents that come up. Scan through and just forgive — yourself, others, and circumstances for the pain, hurt or discomfort you might have experienced. Just say it. I don’t even care if you mean it. It is liberating and it is a great way to really get in touch with yourself and your feelings.
• Write a journal entry. Take five minutes before you check email, texts, Facebook, or Twitter. Writing anything that comes up. This is your time with YOU. You will be so surprised at what might come out.
• Put your phone away. If you go to dinner with someone, don’t put your phone on the table, not even face down. Just put it away. Most importantly, if they get up to use the restroom or take a call, keep it away. Sit there, look at the restaurant, and notice the life around you. What do you smell, what do you see, what is touching or provoking to you?
Keeping yourself open to real contact is essential. Awareness, especially self-awareness is crucial to a healthy life.
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