My best moments as a therapist are when I am in a flow state. I find myself seamlessly blending intuition, mindfulness, experience, and training into intricately woven gifts for my clients. I can never predict exactly what gifts my clients will walk away with when I see them. Sometimes what most benefits my clients are little phrases or thoughts I say without giving it much thought.
For example, a client recently had a traumatic event. When they experienced the traumatic event, they reminded themselves of an idea I tend to speak about often in therapy about finding the "gifts" in difficult situations. I learned this eternal truth from my own traumas and near-death experiences. The deep pain I have experienced as a human being has made it possible for me to feel deep joy and gratitude for what I have. Had I not known that pain, I probably wouldn’t truly grasp how sweet it is to have a good life filled with people I love.
The idea to find the gift in everything is not meant to be toxic positivity. Tragedy is tragedy, pain is pain. I do not discount those things. I too have experienced them and will most likely experience them again. To find the gift means to notice how the pain makes the good things in life that much sweeter. And that ultimately, simply being alive is a gift.
All of us wish we could hold onto everyone we love forever. We wish we could guarantee their safety and ensure that we never feel the pain of loss and heartbreak. Most of the people who come to therapy with me tend to struggle with managing this eternal truth. That we wish for security in a world that cannot fully deliver it. How can we live life knowing that everything could be taken from us at any time? Anxiety can become unbearable as we try to control the little things we do have control over which can lead to further agony.
The fact that we don’t have total control life makes it that much sweeter. Each moment that we get to spend with those we love. Each day that we wake up next to someone we care about. Every chance that we get to express our feelings and connect with others is an incredible gift. The fact that it can be taken away in an instant makes it all the sweeter.