Hello! It's been a hectic start to the Fall. I've finally gotten some footing after the initial rush of the school year and can blog again (yay!).
Perhaps it was watching one too many episodes of, "Hoarders," but I began to go through my home office file cabinet purging old documents that I didn't need anymore which then lead to going through my bookshelves and my closet. I realized I was holding on to things that were no longer useful and necessary, cluttering my physical space. I thought, "Why hadn't I done this sooner?!" When I looked at the almost knee high pile of papers to shred, I remembered all the times I felt like going through the file cabinet, bookshelves and closet was too daunting. "I can live with piles of papers on my desk, right? What wrong with using my body weight to close my closet door?" I'm being a bit dramatic but it got to a point where things were so cluttered, I started feeling overwhelmed looking at my physical surroundings. Now I was finally ready to dig in and clean up! It's been such a relief to no longer have to jam shut an over stuffed drawer/closet/shelf.
My recent surge of clearing out physical clutter in my office/home parallels my role with clients in therapy. Often I act as a psychic cleaning/organizing consultant helping people see what they are psychically holding on to that's no longer useful and getting in the way. How often have you found yourself hampering on that fight you had with your partner from three weeks ago? Or thinking why the same thing happens over and over again to you? Our reactions, responses and behaviors are aspects of ourselves that have developed over years. It's hard to see the aspects of ourselves that hold us back, let alone change them. On top of that, we only start this process when we're psychically ready. It can be frustrating to live every day or if you are in therapy come in week after week and feel like nothing is changing. I have to help clients come to a place where they can see what is getting in their way, allow them to move at their own pace and let them give themselves time to get there. One of the challenges of therapy is letting the process of healing and understanding happen instead of impetuously taking action to cope with discomfort. Why we hold on to things that, despite all rational thought seem to be more of a hindrance if anything, could be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we're afraid of change or we have to do a little more exploration to fully take in how we got there in the first place before we can move ahead.
Keeping with the metaphor of a cluttered room, as your consultant for a while we may just look and asses and once you're ready you'll begin to open that locked up file cabinet of painful memories and open the closet unhealed wounds. Once we are able to recognize things that are old and unhelpful, explore why we have been holding on to them and begin to let go we allow new, more helpful aspects of ourselves to flourish.