I just read an article that says—surprise, surprise!—that a sense of one’s own strength makes a difference in therapy and in life. That it is when we believe in our power to grow and to change that it happens. It was in the New York Times and is ostensibly about how we tell stories about our lives and that how we tell those stories matters. Underneath it all, however, the most important message I took away is that recognizing our strength and our ability to change matters.
Anyone reading my blog knows this is something I have always believed. I’ve said before that the ideal therapist is one who recognizes our fears and vulnerability and at the same time also recognizes the incredible strength and resilience it takes to survive abuse. Any successful treatment will make the client a partner in his or her recovery from the impact of that abuse and will encourage the client to see his or her own strengths and skills.
It is a dicey thing to balance letting go of the need to believe we can control the uncontrollable (something so many of us try to do) and at the same time begin to take control of the things we didn’t realize we had the power to handle.
It is a challenge to balance being willing to accept help that is offered and at the same time not forget that there is so much we can do ourselves.
In a sense, recovering from the impact of abuse is about letting go of the fantasy power and grasping our real power. It is about rewriting the messages from those who tried to make us believe we had no power or that we deserved what was happening to us and recognize that we no longer need to believe in the impossible because we actually can change what is real in our lives that isn’t working.
And all of that begins, I believe, with accepting responsibility to do whatever it takes to heal. It begins with accepting responsibility to feel what we feel but to think carefully about the things we actually say and do. It begins with deciding that we matter and consciously choosing to remind ourselves—every day if need be!—of all our strengths and capabilities if we start to forget. It is about taking responsibility for finding ways to be the kind of person we want to be and create the lives we want to have.
Nice to see an article about how acknowledging our strength makes a difference. It matters even more to know it in our own hearts.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),