We as humans are creatures of comfort. Anything that pushes us beyond those boundaries is avoided. We enjoy our habits. But every day, we compromise our dreams or desires. Fear that makes them seem more impossible. Fear controls our perceptions, and things that could be achieved, go unaccomplished. Potential squandered.
In counseling, and mental health in general, this fear is often exacerbated by their mental illness. But funnily enough, it’s these clients that have given me more examples of getting shit done.
Our clients come in with a variety of struggles they have acknowledged. They’ve struggled their whole existence, and have grown tired of being unable to have things we take for granted. When discussing their lives, they are often honest, and without question point out some areas that they want to improve. Now, that doesn’t mean they “fix” themselves. What it does mean is they are tired of their circumstances, and are willing to take the first steps to address them. We help them understand their true level of empowerment as present in all of us. It’s not magic. It’s honesty and courage on their part. A level of desperation that digs deep, and pushes them to be courageous. It’s difficult being open about addiction, seeing demons, or hearing small children when lying in bed at night. They often tell us in the first few minutes, being open because they are fighting that dragon, taking some steps into discomfort and growth- frantically clawing their way to a life they desire. They trust us when we tell them that discomfort builds strength; finding out they have that little morsel of potential after all.
This post is not meant to make anyone feel guilty.
But we do, at times, need some reminders of how lucky we really are.
If our clients can face the truly harrowing experiences and circumstances they have, you can work on that skill or talent you desire in the back of your mind. Whether you’ve always wanted to get healthier, or learn ballet, you must be willing to let your wife shave your legs, you must put on some tights, and get on your tip-toes. It's not magic, but it's magical to witness.
"Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything. Period. If you ain't desperate at some point, you ain't interesting."—Jim Carrey