I’ve been wrestling between two different elements of myself this week.
After a walk around the shops and the realisation that sometime its important that you do something totally meaningless that’s fun, to take all the seriousness out of everything. My enquiring mind brought me back to the two elements.
Each one gives me something different and as I sat dangling my feet in the salty brine of the seashore this afternoon, feeling happy by doing something so simple. I realised what it was and how life has impacted, changed and adapted parts of me. Yet here I was, the never changing aspect, happily soaking in the sunshine and sweltering in the rays of a late spring afternoon here in southend. Happy & fulfilled in its simplicity.
I’ve been told many times and have seen written, that we have to chose between a meaningful life and a happy one. That the two are not the same thing but different, very different and that in choosing one we couldn’t have the other and I wanted to disagree and say that if we can intertwine who we are as individuals, with how life is shaping us in its ebb and flow. As the crashing waves do to an ever shifting shoreline. Then surely we can continue to be the person who we are, as we learn to deal with what’s imbued upon us.
I can remember working with a counselling client in rehab – who as he told me his story, I realised how survival had shaped and changed him and played a huge part in the way that his life had progressed and yet was a very different aspect of who he was personally, without the impacting life experience. In taking action to change the situation he was in. He’d needed to adapt, become more – hardy and different than who he was inside.
I thought that sometimes it’s as if a new part of us gets pushed out, born. As we struggle with what life heaps upon us. As we step up to the challenge of surviving to enable our future self to thrive.
And so I come back to both meaning and happiness.
Investing myself emotionally in others, is the thing which has given my life the most meaning and purpose. But, I would also say, that in doing so, it is also the thing which has connected me the most to pain.
To love deeply has meant that I have felt grief deeply too and I wouldn’t change that. As I grieve – so it shows the depth within my heart and what I am willing and able to give a considered other.
Opening my heart again as a therapist, after a period when we’d travelled and I needed to heal and take care only of my self and my family. Meant that it felt like a kind of spiritual re-awakening as I began to work with others. Getting to know them through their difficulties, trials and tribulations. Understanding them as a. n. other, not as a diagnosis meant that initially the opening, connecting and then leaving was felt very much keenly on a heart level due to the way I work – until I’d adjusted and adapted. I’m proud that I’ve allowed myself to be heart led and not head led. Using my intelligence is a given but it is my heart which has showed me the way and has been a trustworthy companion throughout this ride called life.
As each decade comes and goes, I connect more fully with what it means to be me – what it means to be human, how much I know I can give as a Therapist, without leaving me out and with including those who are most important within my life. Emotionally investing in them, as they are the most precious to me.
It’s interesting isn’t it, what a bit a sunshine and contemplation can do for a person.
I’d love to know your thoughts.