You may not realize this, but every time you come in to see me, you give me a gift. I have quite a collection of them now.
Let me open a few with you so you can see some of their contents.
Here’s a long flat box I’m pulling from the bottom of the stack. I remember this box. Inside is a letter written in session by a young woman to her recently deceased mother. The letter is tear-stained and crumpled, each word a poignant marker of a place within herself that cried out for healing. Thank you for your gift of sorrow and vulnerability laid bare.
Here’s another box to unwrap. I peek into the box and witness a couple setting down their defenses and looking at each other with such longing. Thank you for your gift of courage and willingness, in that moment, to see your partner as your beloved. You saw the truth, then, of what lies at the root of your disconnecting pattern – paradoxically, it is a desire to connect which often fuels our defensiveness with each other.
Another couple is in the next box. This couple is sitting side by side on the couch. One partner has their hand on the other’s heart. I remember this moment. Tears are in my eyes as I witness them connecting authentically for the first time in a long while. Thank you for that.
Here’s a box containing one of many sessions of support I gave to a woman whose sister died and whose relationship ended in the space of just a month. I remember this particular moment quite vividly – she was sitting collapsed on the couch, her head in her hands, tears streaming down her hands. It is hard to sit in this place, where up is no longer up and down is no longer down, where the ground can seem pulled from beneath you, and where the pain can be excruciating. Yet you did. Do you remember the moment you lifted your head to look at me and to thank me? The gratitude is mine as I remember your tears and pain, and your courage in being with it.
Here’s another. A couple were working with me to discern the future of their relationship — in this case, a marriage of over twenty years. So much pain and unhappiness were present, but the couple dug deep into their reserves to be intentional, not reactive, in their decision. Although one of the partners wanted to work on the marriage for the sake of their shared history (including children), she also felt she had no energy for it. The other partner was willing to do anything to keep the marriage going. The way forward was unclear. Being able to sit in this place of not-knowing was your gift to me. This is hard to do. I remember telling you to treat yourselves gently during this time, and that it was okay to not know just then what the outcome would be, that things would become clearer with more discernment and intention. And you both looked at me with such sadness in your eyes, and nodded your heads. That was a gift.
I remember these moments. I remember them. Box after box after box, filled with moments of tenderness, sadness, courage, vulnerability, humanness. You probably didn’t know it at the time, but they were gifts to me of your absolute tenacity, even in times you may have perceived as weakness. You persevered, you see. You, and often your partner too, came time after time to sit on my couch. You came and wanted more authenticity, more happiness, more insight, more peace. You wanted it and you worked hard for it. This was a gift to me each time, a gift that showed me the resilience and capacity of the human spirit.
And I thank you. Thank you so much.
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